I hope you all are doing well in these COVID-19 times, and that you all are staying safe and healthy! I’ve finished a new book, a crime novel this time, and it didn’t quite cut it for me. However, it had a lot of good qualities but one simply cannot love every book. The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads:
Serial killers are secretive animals. They keep their deeds to themselves and hope never to be found.
But there’s a new man in town—a killer who warns people in advance he’s going to kill them, then does it, in a variety of unusual, even bizarre, ways.
Ex-policeman Ben Buckland wants to catch this man not because he’s on the list … but because his 15-year-old daughter is. And that’s just not fair.
Especially when the killer has sent out warnings to several hundred people …
I May Kill You is an easy read in many aspects. The language has a good and easy flow, our characters are good yet not too complicated, and the story has an interesting theme. Dixon early shows his ability to build a story by using several good techniques. First of all, we have the unemployed police officer who simply seem to be unable to stay away from the life he previously loved. I don’t experience Ben as desperate to get back into the ring but there is certainly an air around him that gives a good indication that he misses it, A LOT. Yet again, I suppose that if you lost your job the way Ben did you would miss it in a different way than if you, let say, retired at an old age. Another great technique is that Dixon has the ability to weave things together that doesn’t seem to belong together by a first glance. The reader is described a scene which is lacking some aspects or is overly full of aspects and Dixon tricks your attention away from the small vital things that can point you in the direction of the story which is very nicely done! When you get further out in the story you start to see a pattern of things you «obviously» should have noticed earlier. A third technique Dixon uses is that he introduces our serial killer very early in the book which is always a plus! I love to try to puzzle out who it is, so I was rather frustrated when I felt that this chance was snubbed from me. Rather annoying to be honest. After reading this book I’ve come to appreciate the ‘killer is revealed at the very end’ solution rather than this one, but that is also my main annoyance with this book. In this crime novel we alter between the perspective of Ben and the serial killer which adds to the appreciation of technique number two. The last great technique I want to pick up on is the ultimate pressure of time. These notes just keeps on coming and the pressure it puts on Ben, and thus also the reader in some sense, is just a streak of ingeniousness when it comes to Dixon’s penmanship!
Ben is a solid main character. I enjoy his complexity yet simplicity at the same time. I get the sense that Ben is trying his very best to be a great father but who can fully understand teenage girls? I’m quite sure they’re one of the world’s greatest mysteries so I can’t blame Ben for not always getting it right. This is Ben’s more complicated side which gets even more complicated when we ad in Ben’s previous job and this just creates for a full on amazing father-excop-wants-to-please-everyone sorta situation which gets even more complicated when you add in our serial killer. Ben’s other side is yet so simple as only humans can be. He enjoys hanging out with his old colleague, drink tea or beer and read books in his spare time. Before the notes came around he went to work, eat, slept, read, and tried to be a teenage father. Sounds pretty normal and simple right? I really enjoy how Dixon is able to portray both this complicated side within a seemingly simple person. Never judge a book by the cover!
The big bummer for me was, in my experience, that the serial killer is revealed too early and too easily. What I enjoy about crime novels is that my brain will work on the clues and try to figure out how it’s all connected together. As we know, this is not one of my strong suits but this novel made it too easy in my experience which wasn’t fun either. However, Dixon doesn’t reveal what our serial killer is up to so that still remains a great mystery to be solved. A very great and well composed mystery if I may say so so I’ve got nothing to complain about on that note!
Although a bit disappointing, I May Kill You has a great storyline with a great plot that will engage its reader throughout. It’s a book that leaves its reader with many questions along the way and they’re all answered in due time. If you enjoy crime novels with complex characters and a hidden agenda then check out this read!
Genre: Crime novel
Theme: Family, murder, books
Keith Dixon was born in Yorkshire and grew up in the Midlands. He’s been writing since he was thirteen years old in a number of different genres: thriller, espionage, science fiction, literary. Two-time winner of the Chanticleer Reviews CLUE First in Category award for Private Eye/Noir novel, he’s the author of ten books in the Sam Dyke Investigations series and two other non-crime works, as well as two collections of blog posts on the craft of writing. His new series of Paul Storey Thrillers began in 2016.
When he’s not writing he enjoys reading, learning the guitar, watching movies and binge-inhaling great TV series. He’s currently resident in France.
Social Media links:
– The Book Reader