Ron McClure is a marriage counselor to the stars, a celebrity in his own right, complete with talk show appearances and a book deal. When he spots a beautiful woman sobbing in a liquor store parking lot, he has no idea where a well-intentioned conversation will end - but he certainly doesn't expect to be tasered, kidnapped, and tied up in a serial killer's basement. Despite what seems like his own impending death, he can't help but be drawn into the story of a serial killer couple who've lost their lust for killing together. In between thoughts of escape, he actually starts listening to their respective stories, compelled to solve them as he has so many others.
Jody and Seth are an interesting couple, creepy as hell and twice as frightening. The story of how they met is worthy of a book all its own, and theirs is a story that just gets darker and more complicated as their confessions go on. The tricky thing is, they're an almost likable couple, making it all too easy to get drawn into their tale of terror, torture, murder, and mayhem. There's almost something of a Natural Born Killers vibe to it, but without the silly, surreal, satiric element. This reads more like an uncensored early season episode of Criminal Minds. The real hook here, though, is Something Violent itself - a darknet, subscription-based website for serial killers and their most twisted fans. I won't get into too much detail, but it ties into both how Seth and Jody met and how they drifted apart, with another serial killer couple involved in it all.
Like I said, there were a few soft spots in the middle that I think could have been tightened up, but it's so well-told, with such fantastic characters, and just the right amount of violence, that its flaws are easy to excuse. There are some definite shocks along the way, and a key tipping point where our fascination turns to horror, but the pay-off is one of the best I've come across in the genre in ages.
Expected publication: March 28th 2017 by DarkFuse
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC of this title from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This does not in any way affect the honesty or sincerity of my review.