"I began to worry that the line between the hunted and the hunter might often become blurred"- Inspector Boris Sukurev" (page 46)
Now that was a very interesting statement that I found in another dark story that I just finished up the other night. This book is called Russian Wolves by Jim Musgrave. I won this one from the author in a give-away on booklikes.com.
This book has all the things make you coward under the covers, jump at every thing that goes bump in the night and at that moment ... you can't remember if you locked all the doors and windows. It's beyond the realm of dark but how does someone write darker that dark? But I know that is the only way to describe it. It grabs you by the throat and that little pulse in your neck grows louder and louder as your life is slipping away. Mr. Jim writes in a style that has me think of a very demented Stephen King mashed up with the likes of Jack the Ripper on the literary world.
In my opinion the story line is dark, demented and dangerously addicting to be an "eyes wide open" read. The blood lust starts at a fast pace frenzy that sent shivers down my spine. But I could not put it down and was reading so fast that my e-reader had problems keeping up with me. The development of the characters was so vivid that I could see them in front of me. I could almost smell the sweat of desperation of famine as it opens up in Southern Ukraine in February 1932, in the village that hasn't seen food for 6 weeks in cold of the Russian air, and the despair of those who live there. Here's a word to think about - cannibalism.
Enter Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo - a loyal man to the cause who follows the Communist Party Rules to the bitter end. We walk along with him has his mental break. The man who has a job as a teacher, is a patriot, partisan, husband to Pauline, who is expecting their 3rd child; and there is one more thing that this mild mannered father is above all else ... a serial killer.
We are taken in the dark mind of this man who thoughts are so demented it's like a train wreck that has you frozen right that on the tracks as the 2 behemoths are barrelling down on you. Your brain sees it but you just can't look or get away no matter how hard you try.
Now we can add it government corruption that goes all the way up to the Attorney General's Office, the Russian Mafia, and people won't be missed and things really get interesting. But let us add an element we that we all know racism. That becomes a bone of contention between Commander Kanowsky and a description provided by the Commander as "an Ingus college boy" Inspector Boris Aukurev. As you can guess "Ingus" is not a kind word.
The inspector is a man who has the ability to get inside the criminal brain. We can't help to root for him throughout the book as the hunt begins with brick walls at every turn. We can see how it takes over is the Inspector's life. This chase continues for 12 years against all odds. The suspense and the terror of the hunt and the hunt has my heart beating fast like I, too; is running against the darkest that is surrounding us. It has me thinking about that line from the poem by Robert Frost, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.
“These woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
The twist and turns will have you dodging like you are also running with the pack. Yes ... I did say pack. The line between the hunted & hunter indeed get blurred. But without giving more a way, I admit that I spent several nights glued to the e-reader long into the wee hours of the morning. The e-reader smacks me in the forehead as I'm reluctantly fighting to keep my eyes open for I must continue the chase.
Mr. Musgrave - I salute you for writing a story so dark that literally scared me to mental death!!! And that takes quite a bit of doing for a reader who cut her middle-school literary teeth on Stephen King's "IT"!!
I'm more than happy to give this book a Horrifying 4.75 of 5 stars out. And that is my honest opinion that I freely offer up as a winner & reader of this book. I will be looking for more of your books with out any doubts!
And this my friends is my review tonight. I will be back with another tempting tidbit of literature for you to read. But until then...
On the whole I did enjoy reading Russian Wolves, even though at times, I did struggle in parts. I recall reading about Andrei Chikatilo and the horrendous crimes when he was captured year's ago. It made me go cold back then and once again, it made me go cold whilst reading parts of this book. Recommended.