Let’s talk about crime, baby!
It’s been a while since I read a thriller/mystery/crime book and I forgot a little bit how much I enjoy them. When you start reading a bit more, it seems popular fiction gets forgotten or readers are either really into literature or only reading pop fiction. It’s a shame, as I think both can be awesome to enjoy and teach you valuable lessons.
I picked up Girl 4 by Will Carver on a whim, in a massive sale (50p/book whoop whoop!). It seemed to have a whif of a psychological thriller rather than a whodunit. I wasn’t deceived.
This is the first book in the series by Will Carver and our main guy is detective January David. As he gets to see Girl 4 in a series of brutal, ritualistic murders, suspended in a theatre ten feet above the ground, he realises he knows the latest victim in the investigation.
January Davis is quite the typical detective. He’s determined, smart, observant and all the great qualities a detective should have. He puts his job first, before his family and his fiance, but tries to keep the illusion that he can take himself out of his job when he comes home. He’s also a very flawed hero: he drinks too much, sleeps too little and is afraid of his discoveries.
Now this might be considered a bit of a SPOILER so if you want to go in 100% blind, please skip this paragraph (although it won’t ruin the story if you read it). The only thing about this book I found annoying is that is has a certain supernatural aspect, which isn’t exactly done properly. It has some relation to the bigger picture once we start going forward in the series, but for this particular chapter, it’s neither here nor there. It doesn’t fit the narrative surround it and doesn’t make much difference to the overall story, but rather complicates things unneccesarily.
Possible spoiler over.
The story is told from the perspective of different characters, including the killer. This is really refreshing and is done in an impressive way. The voices aren’t all that different and the style sometimes remains the same across chapters, even though one is from Jan’s POV and the next is the killer’s story. It does offer some complexity to some parts of the narrative, as we can experience the same scene from different POV.
This also gives voices to the victims, which is rarely done in crime novels, especially those about ritualistic serial killers. We get to know Girl 1, 2 and 3 and see bits of their lives.
This is a great crime novel that’s going to get you hooked. I couldn’t stop reading it because I really wanted to know what was going to happen. It has lots of twists and turns and there’s a big reveal just at the end that not many people would ever think of.
Our detective Jan may be a bit of a stereotype (and you’ll probably not going to like him), but the writing style gives the story a unique slant which brings it out of the ordinary crime genre.
Rating: ★★★ – I really enjoyed it!
Read any good thrillers lately? Which ones are your favourite? Let me know, I’m looking for more now that I’ve got into it again.