April 1, 2010

Back Cover:
Glasgow is being terrorized by a serial killer the media have nicknamed The Cutter. The murders have left the police baffled. There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason behind the killings; no kind of pattern or motive; an entirely different method of murder each time, and nothing that connects the victims except for the fact that the little fingers of their right hands have been severed.
If DS Rachel Narey could only work out the key to the seemingly random murders, how and why the killer selects his victims, she would be well on her way to catching him. But as the police, the press and a threatening figure from Glasgow's underworld begin to close in on The Cutter, his carefully-laid plans threaten to unravel - with horrifying consequences.

People who follow my blog and me know I am not a big fan of books told in first person narrative and when I started to suspect RANDOM was written from the killer's POV and only from the killer's POV I started to wonder what I'd gotten myself into by offering to read this book for review.

When I started to read it I didn't know if I was going to like this type of thriller. For me it was a very unusual concept to make the killer the protagonist and following the story from his POV. I am more used to reading thrillers where the focus is on the police procedures and how law enforcement investigates and tries to discover whom the killer is. That being said I truly enjoyed reading this book and started to feel sorry for the killer along the way and while discovering his motives. From his POV you also see the way the police deals with these weird and random killings, these parts are shown in newspaper article quotes and they were ingeniously done.

RANDOM tells the story of a serial killer who chooses his victims randomly, making sure he doesn't leave any clues about his person. When one of his random picks leads him to a victim who turns out to be connected to a known local gangster, he not only has the police after him but Glasgow's most renowned criminal as well. As random as he chooses his victims, he's meticulously precise in his preparations and execution of the murders.

The way he picked his victims was both intriguing and appalling and the same is to be said about the horrible ways he killed his victims. The seemingly random killing however served a purpose and I was surprised to discover that. It was slowly and brilliantly set up and revealed by the author. Even though I didn't always agree with the protagonist's actions and some of them were really hideous, still Craig Robertson has the talent to make me sympathize with him, feel sorry for him and to understand his anger and grief and why he was doing what he was doing.

Just when I thought I had the killer all figured out and thought the ending was going to be a bit predictable, Craig Robertson turned it around and gave me a surprising and unexpected ending that was an accumulation of twists and turns I really didn't see coming. The conclusion of this different to me and fascinating read was an amazingly powerful final chapter that left me with a lump in my throat, wondering what had just happened.

Sometimes a book comes along of which you have no or low expectations. Then you start reading and after getting used to the concept, the fascination reels you in and doesn't let go until an ending that is just perfect and fitting the story. RANDOM was such a book for me.

If you like to read thrillers that aren't a dime a dozen and don't fit the picture you have of thrillers RANDOM is a perfect pick!

Thank you to Carolyn from BOOKCHICKCITY and Ally Glynn at SIMON & SCHUSTER UK for the opportunity given to read and review this wonderful book.

It was a magnificent Victorian building but it had been plastered with so much gold leaf and crystal that it reminded me of an old whore with far too much make-up. It tried for plush refinement and it managed classy brothel.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10


Book Chick City said...

I'm so pleased you enjoyed it!! Thanks for the great review, this sounds like a thriller I would enjoy too :)

Smokinhotbooks said...

Sometimes I think first person's POV is more intimate, you connect more with the character, but at other times can be frustrating not to get into the mindset of the other characters.

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I have a love-hate relationship with POVs told in the first voice-this one sounds like it's a great thriller!

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

Sounds like a thrilling yet kind of creepy read. I don't mind first person POV but I've never read one from the bad guy's POV - sounds interesting!

Fiction Vixen said...

I have to say I do like first person POV. I like the intimacy with the main protag. That's not to say I read it exclusively or dislike 3rd person etc.

There have been times when I picked up a book just have something to read, not expecting much and was blown away. What a great surprise!

Nice review Pearl. :)

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