4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Tim was the owner of a bar and a widower who decided to use dating websites to meet new women. He thought it wouldn’t work until he found a woman called Jenny, a Muslim Filipina who seemed genuine. However, Tim didn’t get to know her better since she was assassinated right in front of her computer while talking on a video call. Later, he found out that the man who killed her was Paul Asoph, as known as Snake, who was a merciless killer involved in several issues with terrorist organizations. Now, we get to know Paul Asoph, but also what happened in his life until the moment he killed Jenny.
Beyond Hate by Jim Williams is a historical fiction book that brings Paul Asoph as the main character. The book is narrated from the first-person perspective, but it begins with the reports from Tim’s and Jenny’s perspectives. It’s a novel filled with interesting characters and suspense, even though we know the end of the story. It brings fictional details about terrorist organizations and violations of human rights too.
My favorite part of this book was Paul’s development as the main character. He wasn’t a good person, but he wasn’t the typical villain who didn’t care for anything or anyone. At first, he seemed to be purely evil and cold-hearted, but later we can see that he is human after all. For example, he was a killer who didn’t attach to anyone, but he found a friend in Gabe, who was also his student in Beirut. Sometimes, Paul showed humanity when he couldn't protect someone innocent, but he also shows his evil side when he enjoys killing other innocent people. Paul is one of the most complex characters I have ever known, and that’s what makes him even more realistic. In real life, some people tend to be good and people who tend to be evil, but it is extremely rare to find someone who is entirely good or evil.
The only aspect that I didn’t enjoy in this book was the lack of likable characters. However, I think it fulfills the author’s purpose of writing a fiction book from the villain’s point of view, so I’m not taking a star off my rating because of it. Besides, this novel seems professionally edited since I didn’t find over ten errors while reading it.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It’s a unique historical fiction book with interesting character development. I recommend it to those readers who are already interested in historical fiction books that bring the villain as the narrator and main character. However, I don’t recommend it to those readers who are sensitive to the themes of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse since this book might be triggering for them. I also don’t recommend it to younger readers since it contains sexual content and violent graphic scenes.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon