Desperation & Loss
Courage & Recovery
Saul Black’s characterization of the lead investigator Valerie Hart is excellent. She’s smart, accomplished and damn good at her job. Stress has taken its toll however and her decline is marked by a serial killer case from years earlier.
She becomes self-destructive and betrays her lover with another man. It’s not just his heart she crushed with this act but also her own, and she descends into alcoholism. While this seems a typical trope it feels real, relatable and understandable.
This is a dark crime fiction book with a demented killer and his ‘wanna-be’ sidekick wreaking chaos across the country. One criticism, the book could have easily lost the FBI agent Carla York whose character is simply unnecessary and somewhat puzzling for that.
A sub-plot with and elderly man crippled by sciatica and a frightened little girl brings poignant nuance over the pages. One of the best books I’ve listened to this year.
Update: Book 2 in the Valerie Hart series, Love Murder is now available.
~ June Lorraine
British author Glen Duncan writing as Saul Black
14 responses to “The Killing Lessons: Saul Black”
Yes indeed it has its grim content but I’m so glad you enjoyed the complexity and suspense. Thanks for your input on this Carol. Valerie is great!
I finally got to reading The Killing Lessons. Although I found that it had too much violence for my taste, its complex plot held my interest. It was well written with lots of nail biting suspense and a dark atmosphere. I really liked Valerie. 🙂
Your review makes me want to read the book!
If you do manage to get to it please let me know. I’m very interested in some feedback on this one.
I will. 🙂
June, your review makes me want to read this, but then I read the comments. How dark is it?
Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas! xx
There is some description of the acts mainly at the beginning so that you know what is happening moving forward which goes to answering the ‘why?’ of his actions. This is not a ‘slasher’ book by any means. The opening scene is heart-pounding because it involves a woman and her children… yet all is not lost.
Snding you Happy Christmas wishes as well.xx
Okay, I’ll risk it then. Thanks, June!
Vicki, let me know how you felt about it so I’ll know for future recommendations.
This was a chilling read.
I found the opening quite harrowing Carol.
And so many other scenes – it was very well done…but didn’t seem gratuitous.
I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know. But your comment about the FBI agent makes me wonder why she was so unnecessary. Can you elaborate?
Hi Sue, about the only thing I can say the FBI agent would add to the book is additional stress on Valerie Hart. There is no real impact on the main or sub-plot and doesn’t fit well…it feels like an add-in.