As a book reviewer I have made a very curious discovery, book themes seem to come in waves. It makes no sense, but I assure you it is true. The current trend seems to be books concerning serial killers, They Never Die Quietly is the fourth one I have read in as many weeks.
Actually it is a genre that I enjoy when it is done well. And Dan Annechino does it very well indeed. Fiction to be successful must mirror fact. If you look back at real life serial killers, people such as Jack The Ripper, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, etc, you find that they all share a trait, the victims always have something in common, and that Modus Operandi is almost always consistent.
Dan introduces us to Simon Kwosokowski a man who truly leads a double life. To those that know him he is a quiet and unassuming man, to his victims he is a fanatical monster.
A spate of killings in the San Diego area cause the alarm bells to sound, in every case the victim is a woman who has a young child. Both are abducted, the woman killed by crucifixion and the young child returned unharmed.
Please do not think that I am giving any spoilers in this review, the identity of the killer is revealed very early on in the book.
In charge of the hunt for this predator and madman is Sami Rizzo a woman who has great empathy for the victims, she herself has a young daughter. The battle to give a name to the killer is an uphill one. There are few clues other than the style of execution.
A nervous population leads to an even more nervous police chief. He wants answers, and he wants them yesterday. Sami Rizzo and her partner Al are rapidly running out of leads, clues, and ideas.
A chance, seemingly innocent encounter does tug at Sami’s gut instinct. If she is right, she can solve this case within the time that the Chief has given them, If she is wrong, her career prospects look bleak. Being right though is not always the best avenue. Being right can can have a domino effect and start the Law Of Unintended Consequences in motion.
This is a well crafted book. Dan Annechino has taken a bit of a risk by revealing the villain so early on, but it is a risk that pays off. By doing so he is able to capitalize on the ‘cat and mouse’ scenario. He has also done a great job of building up the suspense, but not spoiling the readers enjoyment with the gory details. The reader is left to fill most of those in at his or her choice. I think I would best describe the style as what Hitchcock did in his movies. The horror is best left to the imagination.
They Never Die Quietly is a great read, and clearly Amazon are in agreement, they have elevated this book to their Amazon Encore program, in which Amazon identifies self published books with promise that have been well reviewed on the site and publishes them and gives them a bigger marketing push. This is a lofty position for a first time fiction writer (he has written a previous non fiction book).
I started this review off with the observation that Serial Killer novels seem to the the flavor of the month. In fact I have an idea (run for the hills!), I am going to try and lure all of the authors onto a radio program to have a round table discussion on the subject.
Watch this space for updates!
You can order your copy of They Never Die Quietly from Amazon by clicking the link above.