This was one of my Dominican Vacation reads. As I read so many books this week, I will be doing a shorter review than normal. Creepy. Creepy. Creepy. - 3
It is my personal belief that given the right set of circumstances ANYONE is capable of murder. If someone tells me that they are not capable of killing another human, I will disagree with them. Having said that, there are some things that I don't believe every person capable of doing. While I might believe your grandma is capable of shooting or poisoning someone, I don't necessarily believe that she is capable of then cutting them up and cooking them is a stew for supper. I enjoy dark crime novels. I have always be interested in what makes people do those things for which I think few people have the capacity.
While I enjoy reading about these things, I believe I have found my upper limit for what I stomach. Birdman
has brought me to that threshold. The Good
The writing and pacing of this novel is excellent. Mo Hayder writes excellent prose and the story never drags. Jack Caffery is an interesting and nuanced character as are the criminals. The psychological elements of the crime are well explored. There is an interesting exploration of how a person feels compelled to do bad things, the steps he takes to avoid doing them and the ultimate failure of those boundaries. It is a compelling look in the mind of the depraved. The Bad
In the words of a 14 year old "OMG!" These people are messed up. While I can stomach quite a few things, this one about took me over the edge. We have some people in this novel who are interested in necrophilia. In case you do no know what this means, that would be obtaining sexual gratification with corpses. While many dark crime novels have characters who find the act of killing as sexual experience, I find it far more disturbing that the sexual experience occurs after the act of killing is complete. The only reason I finished this novel is that it was multilayered. As this was the not the only aspect of the novel, this theme was not pervasive.
Another major issue with the novel was the manner in which Jack Caffery made breakthroughs in the case. Most every breakthrough was an "Eureka" moment. The reader is rarely privy to the information that the MC uses to reach his conclusion. Jack usually sits around thinking about the case and suddenly he thinks, "Hey! We are looking at this case all wrong. (fill in the blank) is what is actually happening here". This was lazy plot development.
While Mo Hayder can certainly write, the plot development leaves something to be desired. Assuming the next novel is not increasingly disturbing, I will continue reading in hopes that the plot development improved as the writing gained experience.