Serial Killers

I am fond of a nice gruesome murder. A serial killer novel is right up my alley. However, I’ve read rather a lot of such books this year, and they are starting to become a tad formulaic.

A lot of these books have followed the same generic plot. The killer, generally male, is targetting a specific type of victim (generally female). As the body count piles up the police investigation gets ever more frantic. Meanwhile the reader gets to know the killer quite well, as parts of the story are told from his point of view. He relishes the thrill of the hunt, and gets turned on by the power he wields over his victims.

We know his motivations, what kind of vehicle he drives, how he catches his victims. What we don’t know is his name. This is generally revealed about three quarters in, when something rings warning bells with one of the main characters. Further investigation reveals this person fits the killer’s profile. The police set off in pursuit, and eventually the killer is caught.

The excitement in such novels is the thrill of the chase. Generally a character we’ve come to know and love becomes the target of the killer, and the suspense comes in whether he will be caught before he kills her.

I’ve probably read too many of such books in quick succession, but it’s all getting a bit predictable. Suddenly I’m hankering after different fare in my reading diet.

The number of print books in my TBR pile is vast, as I’ve been abandoning such books for electronic ones of late. Top of the list is “Changes” by Jim Butcher, and my signed personalised copy of Sara Paretsky’s “Body Work”. Both of these books I’ve been looking forward to reading for months. The problem is, they’re both hardbacks, which I find rather inconvenient to lug about with me on my daily commute.

There are other books in the pile, too, which I have acquired free of charge from attending various Cons this year. Sometimes these free giveaways are books not really worth reading, but there’s often some hidden gems in there too.

As I get further into the new horror WIP, I find myself craving more horror. Once upon a time the only horror writers to be found on the shelves in British book shops were Stephen King, James Herbert and Clive Barker. Nowadays, it’s a bit different. Horror seems to be back in vogue. Which means there must be a lot more horror writers out there for me to discover.

I’m looking to load up my e-reader with some good scary horror novels. All suggestions considered…


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