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  • Murder Most Warranted

    This is a fresh take on the Serial Killer genre, all of the action is from the perspective of the killer themselves and their journal entries. I am not entirely sure how the journal is produced - I presume typewritten and heavily encrypted but there is no messing about setting the scene for us we jump straight in. Straight in to a world that everyone can recognise - petty annoyances caused by road users, co-workers, shoppers - but not everyone acts on those urges. Rhiannon, the eponymous Sweet Pea, has no such compunction - annoy her and on to the kill list you go. It sounds strange to say, considering the subject matter, that this is a genuinely humorous book. I didn't laugh out loud but I did grin like a loon a few times whilst reading it. Rhiannon's voice is so strong and so clear you are immediately drawn in to her world and feel like you may be a PICSO of someone just like her - if you don't feel that then maybe, just maybe you are a Rhiannon. There are dark and twisted passages as Rhiannon examines her motivations for wanting to kill people and describes her methods of doing so as she begins her one-woman crusade. Well, not begins exactly - she has already killed once before but the circumstances behind that are not revealed until the latter stages of the book. Whilst there is some literary gore I found it be far less than more mainstream "detective thrillers" and it was also far less angsty and there are few genre tropes extant. Despite the whole book being from Rhiannon's perspective the other characters involved - from her boyfriend to her work mates and the infamous PICSOs - read well and have distinct personalities that make them seem real to the reader. The situations she finds herself in are also mundane and hum-drum and not something we would think twice about if they happened to us. Walking her dog at night, being more or less forced in to attending a social gathering, being passed over for promotion at work and, on the whole, her responses to these situations are disturbingly normal. There's just the 1% of the time when the situation escalates, or she manipulates it, to actual violence. The twist at the end was completely unexpected. Although I did wonder what she did with her trophies I genuinely didn't expect that and it was refreshing not have the denouement figured out quarter of the way through the book. I also enjoyed the way she acknowledges that murder is wrong and is trying to figure out why she gets the urge and why she cannot resist the compunction to kill. If you love a good thriller but are getting bored with the maverick detective and the sick of killers being just purely evil then this could be the book that rejuvenates those jaded palettes. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that it ended!

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