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The Killing Lessons


Saul Black

The Killing Lessons
average rating is 4 out of 5

Thriller, Horror, Extreme, Disturbing

R. Alex Jenkins

Surprisingly well written and so much better than I was expecting.

Action is intense and character development is detailed across split chapters using refreshingly disturbing viewpoints, vivid and active descriptions with tons of people to root for and hate at the same time.

There's even a mild romance element under the surface, as well as feuding rivalries between cops as we get to understand their lives, skewed working hours and addictive dedication to hard living and intense investigation.

Although disturbing and graphical in places, this is a crime thriller rather than horror, despite extreme circumstances coming in droves, including graphic accounts of abduction, grotesque murder, entrapment, rape, intense pain, trauma, regret and many other negative emotions and experiences.

Two demented murderers capture, torture, rape and kill female victims out of perverted enjoyment, mistreatment in the past, mental health issues and associated collateral effects, as the cop team tries to peace it all together and work out why, who and where next.

It's disturbing, but I particularly enjoyed being able to leave this book for a few days and get right back in and immediately reacquainted with all the characters and personal nightmares and hangups.

Valerie Hart is the toughest of wiry female cops with multiple vices and transgressions, while also being likeable, extremely dedicated and most of all, fair. She's essentially a good cop.

My main gripe with the book was difficulty believing that such an important and pivotal investigation would mostly be run by a single person, especially as the situation ramps up and the noose tightens. At times, investigations felt local and isolated instead of national and widespread.

I also found the action a little farfetched and cheesy by the conclusion for the sake of guns-a-blazing action. Minor gripes though.

This is a still a great book and I recommend it to lovers of crime thrillers who like smatterings of splatterpunk and horror.

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