The Killing Lessons: Saul Black

killing lesson saul black suspense thriller

 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.

~ June Lorraine

British author Glen Duncan writing as Saul Black




  One thought on “The Killing Lessons: Saul Black

  1. December 13, 2015 at 11:37 AM

    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?

    • December 13, 2015 at 12:32 PM

      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.

  2. December 15, 2015 at 12:10 AM

    This was a chilling read.

  3. December 16, 2015 at 3:00 AM

    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

    • December 16, 2015 at 9:34 AM

      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

      • Vicki
        December 16, 2015 at 11:47 PM

        Okay, I’ll risk it then. Thanks, June!

      • December 17, 2015 at 4:22 PM

        Vicki, let me know how you felt about it so I’ll know for future recommendations.

  4. December 19, 2015 at 4:55 PM

    Your review makes me want to read the book!

    • December 20, 2015 at 8:59 AM

      If you do manage to get to it please let me know. I’m very interested in some feedback on this one.

  5. January 29, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    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. 🙂

  6. January 29, 2016 at 4:43 PM

    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!

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