Fair disclosure, the author is also one of my publishers. I paid for my copy of my book and no influence was applied for my review. WildBlue Press has been exploding as of late, releasing four or five true crime books in the last three weeks alone. I encourage you to go to their website and follow them on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/wildbluepress/ . They often offer books at discounts upon their release.
If reading true crime is a guilty pleasure than I plead such your honor. I write true crime because I like reading true crime. I like the gambit of topics too. This book caught my attention because Jackson wrote it and I liked his book Bogeyman.
Jackson has peeled a page from Truman Capote in setting up this book’s flow. Most true crime stories are formulaic. There’s a brutal crime (or the body is found), then there is the background of the victim, the investigation, the arrest and profile of the killer, and justice is served. Some true crime books are like watching the Dukes of Hazzard that way. You know that at least one commercial break will be the General Lee mid-jump. The pattern is so embedded in most true crime books they can have a cookie cutter feeling.
Steve Jackson tossed out that formula, much like Capote did with In Cold Blood. Instead Jackson takes us on a journey, starting with a pair of killers. One dominant and demented, the other just bizarre. They live in a world right next to our own, a dark one filled with blackened minds and souls. Whenever our world of light and theirs of the darkness touch, death often follows.
Much like In Cold Blood, these men alone would not have been a risk to society. Together though, they became a single killer. The reader is drawn into their dark and depraved world twisted around the movie A Clockwork Orange. The way the killers play off of each other, feed each other’s strange fantasies, takes a long hard left down Highway Crazy. In doing so, Jackson builds a tension. You know a crime is coming…it is only a matter of time.
When it does happen you are stunned as a reader by the quick resolution about 48% of the way through the book. How can that be? Where is the dogged investigation, the pursuit of leads and misdeeds? As an author I found myself wondering, “where is the author going to go from here?”
Jackson subtly and slyly turns the case and his narrative on its edge. This is about the victim’s family and the gnarled and contentious death penalty. The trial is something that leaves even the most ardent law-lover hating the defense lawyers in this case.
I refuse to ruin the book for you the reader. To do so would be a crime in and of itself. This is a wonderful and dark summer read not for the light of heart. It is a journey into the minds of two men who together become one killer. It is an unpaved roadway through the legal system and what the survivors of such crimes are forced to endure. A solid five out of five stars.
Clockwork Murder page http://wbp.bz/clockworkmurder
Clockwork Murder Amazon http://wbp.bz/clockworkmurdera