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Book Review: Amongst the Killing by Joe Compton

April 26, 2017

Genre: Suspense/Thriller


Synopsis: There are 2 sides to every story...For as long as he could remember Detective Charles Street wanted to be a police officer, moreover a Detective. He wanted to be knee deep in the action, working the biggest cases, and reaping the biggest rewards. He also didn’t think when his dream job came a calling that it would ever turn into his nightmare. For as long as he could remember Jack Casey just wanted to be free, his own man to do what he pleased when pleased. He too craved the action and when his dream life came a calling, he didn’t think he would meet anyone his equal and definitely didn’t think he could ever have difficulty leave the world he loathed and mocked behind. Amongst The Killing documents each of their stories, told in their own words, as the moments unfolded when their paths first crossed and their lives intersected. How two men, with two different philosophies, could be so different and yet so connected.As the ultimate cat and mouse game unfolds, each has to deal separately with the others decisions and the effects it has in turning their lives sideways and upside down. Will one of them crack? Will one of them even succeed? Ultimately the journey may mean more than the game and show both of them the outcome neither was ever expecting.


My Take: Joe Compton does an amazing job catching the unique voices of Detective Charles Street and Jack Casey, serial killer at large. Unlike Girl on a Train, I had no problem telling which character was speaking at the start of each chapter, and admired how at certain points, the two voices were eerily similar (clearly intentionally done by the author!)  This story really sticks with you. I actually had to take a break from reading it at one point because it gave me nightmares! 


Why? Because Jack Casey seems relatively normal. Hearing his internal monologue is very reminiscent of listening to my teenage son talk. He is quite Machiavellian, but some of the brightest people I know score quite high on the Machiavellian tests. It gives credence to neighbors of serial killers who say "He was quiet, polite, seemed like a nice guy."  And that, to me, is far scarier than the "crazy" versions of serial killers often portrayed in Hollywood. 


I loved that the ending was unpredicatable, and (if you pay close attention) there is a unique little twist that was very unexpected for me. The wrap up felt a bit rushed, and tied a little too neatly, but I love the teaser for the next book! 


The book does have a fair number of errors, and could benefit from a good edit, but many of the errors, I felt, were due to the format of telling, from the eyes of the character. (Still, there were several that clearly weren't, most commonly missing articles like the, or, and.) It did make it a bit difficult to get into the story at first, but as I adjusted to the perspectives of the characters, I also adjusted to the writing style. I don't know that I would read it again, but I am interested in reading the next Detective Charles Street book. 


Interested in learning more? Check out Amongst The Killing on Goodreads. 


Until next time, 

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