Thursday, December 2, 2010

Review: Duncan's Diary - Birth of a Serial Killer

Read 11/26/10 - 12/2/10
4 Stars: Strongly Recommended

This book is not for the weak-stomached. Or for those who are easily upset by graphic violent sex. Thought I would clear that up right away.

Now, for those of you can handle it - Holy F@#k! Are you in a for ride with this one!

The book centers around Duncan as he struggles to find an outlet for his feelings of hate and rage that stem from his impending divorce. According to our psychotic narrator, his wife is ruining his life by spreading horrible lies about to him to everyone they know and anyone who will listen. Normally a peaceable, non-confrontational guy, Duncan beings to develop strong violent emotions that are in need of release.

His best friend suggested a vacation to the Dominican Republic where he can relax and forget about all of his problems. So Duncan took his advice and went. While there, he was immediately taken with this lovely young girl who allowed herself to be willingly, violently, used and abused - which unlocked new and exciting feelings in Duncan.

Returning home, Duncan was desperate to experience those feelings again. We find ourselves standing by and watching as Duncan recounts the following months of preparation, contemplation, and kidnapping - and the horrible, twisted ways in which he releases his pent up anger and frustrations.

It's an all-too-easily-imaginable look at the birth of a serial killer. At what might finally cause someone to break down and do the unthinkable with no sense of remorse, no guilt, and no thought other than "when can I do this again"? At what the hunt for a victim might be like. At the careless and reckless behavior a person may exhibit just for the thrill of the kill. And also, at all the hard work and effort that goes into attempting to publicly fit in - to avoid detection, to ride right under the radar, so they continue to kill again and again.

Here is a short example of the 'other' side of our killer - where he compares his evolution into a serial killer as the beautiful transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly.

Totally cringe-worthy, complete with blood and guts, Duncan's Diary had me by the throat time and time again. If this were a movie, I would have been watching most of it through my fingers. It even invaded my dreams at night in strange and unwelcome ways.

Of course, reading this book had me concerned for the mental status of the author. How the hell does one come up with the things I read in this book? We're talking either one heck of a researcher, or one heck of a whacko! Then again, should I be taking a look at my mental status for reading it and enjoying it?

I easily overlooked the grammatical errors (of which there were quite a few) and quickly lost myself in the sick and dark world Christopher Payne created. For those of you who enjoyed the Dexter series, or books like The Seven Days of Peter Crumb and The End of Alice, do yourself a favor and take a crack at this one!

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