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...Horror fans may enjoy this, but it is a very short story and doesn't focus on the actions enough to appeal to crime readers....

We first met Raven sitting on a bench, wondering about suicide, before the police pick him up and take him back to the home he ran away from. It doesn’t take long to learn why he ran. From that point onwards, Heartless is the story of the making of a serial killer from inside his own head. From the dysfunctional family, abusive upbringing, and abuse of animals to the slow dawning of mental illness and his progression into murder.

The violence and gore are present throughout, and readers who prefer to avoid reading about this or about cruelty to animals should avoid the book. It is written in close third, letting us share Raven’s thoughts and opinions while he carries out some quite horrific deeds. The only thing I would say is that it never really drew me in, and I felt quite detached from the action rather than appalled as I probably should have been.

I didn’t spot any typos or grammar issues although the formatting is slightly odd: each chapter begins on a new page, but on that page there’s a large white gap between the top of the page and the chapter number and only a few lines of text appear.

Horror fans may enjoy this, but it is a very short story and doesn’t focus on the cases enough to appeal to crime readers.

Rating: 3
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