Once upon a time I actually interviewed Oldrich about this very book, but at the time I hadn’t actually read it. Many moons later, I’ve finally been able to crack open its digital spine to see what’s inside and what I found was intelligent and disturbing.
The Black Chronicle
Written by: Oldrich Stibor
Publishing Info: Red Right Hand Publishing (July 15, 2015)
Could you take the life of a stranger to save the life of someone you love?
When an enigmatic and infamous serial killer known simply as ‘Mister’, brings retired FBI specialist and forensic psychologist Dr. Jeremy Foster into his orchestra of terror that’s exactly what he must answer.
For three long, hellish years Mister has terrorized the state of California with his a string of gruesome murders and the FBI are not any closer to discovering his identity. To add insult to injury Mister frequently engages the public with videos of his killings, ridiculing the authorities for their inability to catch him and regaling them with haunting sermons on the nature of reality as he perceives it.
When Dr. Jeremy Foster inadvertently becomes enmeshed in the Mister case he sees an opportunity to help put the serial killer away once and for all, but to stop a monster he must first become one. [amazon]
So, in this book we have a serial killer very theatrically kidnapping, torturing, and murdering people- kind of like how the killer behaved in Scream. However, as any monster worth reading is written he isn’t the main focus of the story. The torment he is inflicting is. He’s not just killing people, but abducting and torturing people while tormenting their loved ones through video messages.Although, I suspect, but cannot quite confirm yet, that the flashbacks in this story center around the serial killer, Mister’s, background.
The flashback sections are telling the story I find the most compelling. This is because you don’t know for sure where it’s going until much later in the book. Seeing the fetid ground this human being grown in is fascinating. These sections are also tantalizing in how they are written. Each segment pops in and out revealing just enough to connect to the next dot, but without giving too much away.
It’s interesting how the narration floats between the different characters’ experiences. Mary is unraveling from fear yet trying her best to do anything she can to find help. Although, Mary is falling into the role of damsel in distress, but since we’re only half way through the story by the end of this book, I’m interested to see if she actually steps up to the plate and starts to take some action.
Her knight in broken armor, Dr Jeremy Foster, observes the world through a sheet of grayed out depression and yet- he’s really the character in this story that I’m routing for. Jeremy is lost in a sea of depression- he loses someone very close to him in the beginning of the book and it makes him question his existence and all of the choices that had led him to that moment. But when Mary Stien shows up desparate for help, he actively tries to help. It’s not an easy task for him, but his struggle to deal with the situation makes him a compelling character.
Sometimes our narrator takes us into the darker corners of the story- right into the room with Mister and his victims. We get to see in a way that is a little too close for comfort, the depth of his insanity.
Intellectual Side Notes
One of the sections of the book I found to slow down the pace of the book- yet intellectually interesting, were the parts where little documentary style interviews with experts pop in. Although the points they bring up are interesting those sections do go on for too long. By the time I got to the 5th expert in a row I was skimming the paragraphs ready for the story to start back up again.
That being said, there were some really interesting thoughts brought up in these sections. Like why is it that America has the most serial killers in recorded history? (I think part of that is because in the past these types of people went less noticed as pillaging and plundering were more normal).
4 out of 5 blood spattered stars- It’s an interesting story with characters I’ve come to enjoy. I do feel this book could have used another editorial pass-though to catch more of the grammatical errors and to trim down on the serial killer analysis sections but- the story was engaging and that dang cliff hanger has me ferociously curious to read what happens in the next book!
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