Hellbound: Book Review

Hellbound: Book Review

elgeewrites Hellbound: Book Review HellboundIf you had been following my blog for a while now, you would know how excited I become when I get my hands on a serial killer, erm I mean a book on serial killers. The blurb of the book was so intriguing promising me tale with ‘a serial killer, an execution and an after life with a dosage on morality’, how could I pass it up?  
If death is all you can sentence a killer of 28 women to, especially when he feels no remorse towards his deeds, would you be satisfied if one of the victims was your family? What could be a worse punishment than death itself?
If every child with a bad home doesn’t turn into a killer, what makes the notorious few to turn into one? Rather, how much does a broken family and abused childhood affect a killer’s mindBook Name: Hellbound: The Tally Man
Author:  David McCaffrey
Genre: Fiction – Thriller
Characters: Obadiah Stark, Joe O Connell, Eva, Eve
Setting: The UK


The story begins with The Tally Man, Stark being executed by lethal injection at the high security prison at ADX Absolom in front of his victim’s families and the media. He feels no regrets, even till the last moment of his life, rather looks forward to whatever that may lay ahead for him. Joe O Connell, a reporter and follower of Obdiah Stark’s life, investigates the execution when he hears that there might be a foul play. 
Stark ‘awakes’ after his execution and is shocked to find he lives at his hometown with a loving wife and affectionate daughter. Being true to his evil self, he goes around the town on murder spree only to be shot down by the cops. Much to his and the reader’s surprise, he wakes up the next day only to realize that the previous day wasn’t real after all. While his family seem to have reasoned his mood swings and confusions to the effects of his medications, he continues to feed his ego by rampaging around killing people only to find that the days to be restored. 
There are three Point of Views (PoV) in the story; the afterlife of Stark with his family, Joe’s investigation about the irregularities related to Stark’s death in real time and the fact sheet based on the Dr. John Franklin’s psychological profiling of Stark right from his childhood. Though there were places I felt the shift among the PoVs little abrupt and disturbing the flow of the narration, they bring together the past, the present and the future of Stark side by side. 
I am not sure what to feel about Stark. Should I say he was intriguing but that would be saying too little. I don’t relate to him per se, but how can I not feel awed at someone who knocks off people in such a gory fashion then walks into a bar and asks a mug of beer. Wow, now that is style. He preys on other’s lives not because he hates them nor for other petty reasons like vengeance, money or lust, he kills because he can. 

He loves to feel the power over the victim, it gives him a high. And even after the job done he doesn’t feel a remorse, rather just moves on with his life. To say he was the evil personified would be closer to truth, and that is why I like him.  In short, the best serial killer I have read. Did I mention he had a tattoo of his tally of 28 murders? Sigh, what is wrong with me. I would love to read more about him. Oh wait there is more to the series? I am picking them up for sure. 

I should start with I am in love with the author’s writing style, dictum and everything that I could think of. I have been raving about the book and its author to everyone who would listen to, from the day I started reading the novel. I can not believe that Hellboundelgeewrites Hellbound: Book Review ir?t=elgeereviews 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B073S6BNB7 is the debut of the author David McCaffrey, I am sure to follow his other works. 

I clearly was hooked from the right beginning and the plot twists kept my pulse rising right till the last page. And the final twist made me go ‘Woah, did I read that right?’ Well played, David! For someone who reads too much about killers for her own good, Hellbound: The Tally Man elgeewrites Hellbound: Book Review ir?t=elgeewow 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00PK958I0has been the best read in 2016 (yet). 
Dark Places by  Gillian Flynn: A Book Review

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn: A Book Review

I just realized there are few authors that I fall in love right from their first book that I can lay my hands on, and then they go on to make me stay in love (unlike the people in real life, but that is a story for another time), with every one of their other books.

I am all praise about Gillian Flynn (of the Gone Girl fame) and her book Dark Places, and I can’t stop myself raving about it to everyone who would listen and who wouldn’t even. Gillian Flynn, you are my newest favorite author!

Book Review: Dark Places Gillian Flynn

About Dark Places

Book: Dark Places

Author: Gillian Flynn

Genre: Fiction – Thriller

Main Characters: Libby Day, Ben Day, Patty Day, Ronald ‘Runner’ Day, Diondra Wertzner

Setting: Kansas City, Missouri, The USA

Plot Summary of Dark Places

Twenty five years ago, 7 years old Libby Day testifies against her 15 years old brother Ben, for the massacre of their family – their mother and two younger sisters. Ben is convicted for life, partially on Libby’s testimony and partially on the evidences related to his practices of ritualistic Satanic worship and substance abuse.

Libby is still mentally stunted and turns pretty much selfish and broke, living these many years on the donations and trust fund for survivors of such murders. Libby blocks away, mentally and physically, anything to do with ‘those’ days – until she was contacted by an odd club obsessed with solving mysteries, called Kill Club.

The members of the club are convinced that Ben was not the murderer after all, and offer to pay Libby to talk to people related to the murder or the Day family. Libby agrees to do it for want of money. As she meets the people from her past, she unravels the dark secrets that happened decades ago as well as the poignant and confused memories she had safely locked up in her mind.

Their mother, Patty was shot on her head, both Patty and Debby had been slaughtered with an axe, and Michelle was strangled to death. The walls were covered with blood and scriptures and profanity. Libby confesses to the reader that she had not seen anything but was hiding and listening to a male voice and screeches of their mother. She tries to convince herself that she did the right thing and all the evidences did point to Ben. Was she correct? Did she put the right person in? Will she able to get past her past demons? Grab a copy of the Dark Places right now.

Book review of Dark Places

The narrative alternates from present day Libby, and voices of Patty Day (mother) and Ben Day on the day of the gruesome murders.

I have always been partial to stories with flawed characters and guess what, this book is so ridden with them that I can’t help loving the book and the writing – not the characters. And that’s there, that I didn’t love or even like any of the characters. The plot is gory, dark and depressing; yet poignant enough to strike a chord in your heart and hold my attention.

Each character is etched to perfection and the flaws are quite real. Be it Patty who  hated her miserable life so much that she could see only the easy way out or Ben who wanted only a sign of approval from his girlfriend and friends. Or Libby who did not want to take a step to recount her past until she found it as a lucrative business. Yes, these are the kinds of people I look forward to in books. (Yes, I am creepy and weird)

Despite the gory theme with abundant violence, it was the writing of Gillian Flynn that kept me reading it.  I love that she expresses so much emotions with few words.  Having seen read and loved “Gone Girl” I was sure I would enjoy the book but I ended loving it as much.  

Quotes I liked from Dark Places

As ever, some of the quotes that I loved from the book.

“I was not a lovable child, and I’d grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it’d be a scribble with fangs.”

“That was another of my mom’s words: glum. It meant having the blues in a way that annoyed other people. Having the blues aggressively.”

“I felt something loosen in me, that shouldn’t have loosened. A stitch come undone.”

“They were recognizable but totally foreign, an everyday word you suddenly couldn’t remember to save your life.”

Many might have a problem with the ending being abrupt but that is how life is. The twisted and vile nature of people and circumstances do play a lot of role in everyone’s life.

Of course, the book is not for everybody. Perhaps, Satanic worship, substance abuse, underage sex, teen pregnancy as well as the vivid description of the bloody massacre would be too much. But on the whole I loved her writing and I am looking forward to reading her other books as well.

Bottom Line

If you are up for dark thriller, with so many twists that you don’t see them at all and beautiful writing to accompany, the Dark Places should be your pick.

Similar reviews you might like

Pin me!

Dark places by Gillian Flynn Review Pinterest

Let us talk

Have you read Dark Places by Gillian Flynn or any of Flynn’s books? Have you watched Gone Girl? Let me know how you like her books.