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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Killing Lessons: A Novel

I was told at Book Expo this year that this was the scariest book they had on offer. Well then. I want it. This is Saul Black's The Killing Lessons

Two men enter a home one quiet morning. Most of the family doesn't survive -- the young daughter is the only. The two men leave to continue their spree, but it's a far cry from what it appears at that farmhouse. Women are disappearing all over the west and showing up ravaged in random places. What do the objects found inside of them represent? Who are these men who have such little disregard for life? Valerie Hart is the detective on the case, and she will stop at nothing to seek justice -- even if it means putting her own life is at terrifying risk.

Yeah, so I was sold about five pages in. When the men entered the farmhouse, the story was so vivid that I actually felt my heart pounding and I was flipping through the pages faster than I could read. That usually happens at the end of books, so to have it happen at the start was really incredible. Black's prose pulled me and made me want to reach out and give the young girl a push, to get away as fast as she could. I found myself letting out my breath at the end of the chapter, and I hadn't even known I was holding it.

This mystery was strung together so brilliantly that I loved every second of it. I would absolutely say that the moment Valerie put the puzzle together, it was a little contrived, but in all fairness, it wasn't any worse than a Law & Order episode. It was actually quite a bit more seamless than that. It was fascinating, though, to barrel through this story like I was running out of air. It came to a head and blew me away, and for that, I would recommend you spend your own quiet, dark, rainy Friday night alone with this book. If you dare, that is. 

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