Not quite sure why this is happening but I seem to be reading a great deal of crime novels at the moment featuring serial killers. I don't think I really want to think why this should be, but another arrived last week and as I seem unable to settle down to any reading of serious application at the moment, I gave it a whirl.
Never heard of the author, Katia Lief, though I checked and seems she has already published in the crime genre and so had an early night and took You are Next to bed with me. Nice and warm and comfortable and cup of tea to hand I settled down. Opening is a tad chilling. Ex-detective Karin Schaeffer, newly promoted and a happily married mother, is working on an investigation to track down the Domino Killer, so called because he murders whole families, leaving a trail of bloody dominoes as the only clues to his next victim. On a run of the mill search of an empty building, Karin stumbled across the killer asleep and thus sets off an appalling run of tragedies and vengeful acts. Before his is identified as the man they are all
looking for, merely being arrested for vagrancy, the killer takes revenge on Karin by murdering her husband and small daughter. I am not giving anything away here as we are told this at the start of the book and this is where the story starts - Karin, having had a breakdown and attempted suicide, now lives a precariously fragile life attempting to come to terms with what has happened to her and then hears that the killer has escaped jail (they seem to do it so easily I must say...) and she knows he will come for her.
Karin is fatalistic, in some way happy because once he has killed her she will have peace and makes no attempt to escape or fight back when he turns up, just as she knew he would. it is only when she realises that he is leaving a domino at the projected scene of her death and she realises he intends to slaughter the rest of her family, that she fights back.
Again, I am giving nothing away when I say that he is caught and imprisoned but as we are only halfway through the narrative it is clear something else is going to happen and it does. At a birthday party for her niece, Susie, the child is snatched and it is clear that the killer had an accomplice who is still free and ready to carry out his wishes.
You are Next is a well plotted thriller, slightly over written at times when the inner thoughts of Karin are expressed, over and over again, but it is a page turner and builds to an exciting climax. Still not quite sure how Karin and her old partner from the force managed to arrive at the correct location where the kidnapper is waiting, the clue that hinted at it seemed to appear from nowhere with no back story to explain where it came from, but in the end, though slightly confusing, it did not spoil my enjoyment of this title.
Nothing out of the ordinary really in this read but I enjoyed it and it kept me sitting up in bed with the light on till I had finished it.