4 out of 4 stars
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Henry Paul Heart was born into a middle-class family that adored him. As a small child, he bit another child and got away with it because that child had bit someone else. He was the boy all the girls wanted to date, played sports, and held an office on the student council in high school. He finishes college, gets married, and has a good life. Amelia is a detective in a small police force in her hometown of Lake Shore. Her chief tells her that the son of a member of the police force is missing. The little boy, Robby, has autism and is ten years old. Then a six-year-old boy goes missing, too. Memoirs of a Serial Killer: Children and Strangers by J.J. Franks is the story of a serial killer and the detective who wants to stop him. Is she able to? What makes someone turn into a serial killer? Do they find the two boys?
This first book in the series has many positive aspects. The author explains why it is easier for a serial killer or any criminal to target small towns. For instance, people in small towns tend to leave their doors unlocked and allow their children to play outside alone because they feel safe. Crime only happens in the big cities, right? The character development in this book is impressive. I felt the parents and detectives fear, heartbreak, and worry when a child went missing. I could sense the killer's enthusiasm while committing his crimes. The chapters are written in the first tense from either Henry's or Amelia's perspective, and they flow smoothly between each of them. The author includes humor to offset the darkness of serial killings. For example, I laughed when Gramps sent a text that his phone autocorrected, saying something different from what he intended. "People see what they want to see" and "idle hands and an idle mind are the devil's playground" are my favorite quotes in this book because they are so true.
There is nothing I disliked about this 124-page book. The book has a fast-paced and smooth-flowing plot that is full of mystery. The cliffhanger ending makes me anxious to read the next book in the series.
This book deserves no less than 4 out of 4 stars. There are only six minor errors in this professionally edited book that did not distract from my reading.
I recommend this book to enthusiasts of mystery and crime thriller books. I caution readers that you will have a hard time putting this book down, so allow time to read it in one sitting. Only the most sensitive readers will find anything offensive in this book as it has only borderline profanity. Although the book is about murder, there are no descriptive scenes.
Memoirs of a Serial Killer
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