The bodies are found in towns and cities around Puget Sound. The young women who are the victims had nothing in common…except the agony of their final moments. But somebody carefully chose them to stalk, capture, and tortured depraved killer whose cunning is matched only by the depth of his bloodlust. But the dying has only just begun. And the next victim will be the most shocking of all…

Victim Six by Gregg Olsen

Victim Six by Gregg Olsen

One of the very first things that attracted me to Gregg Olsen’s Victim Six book was undoubtedly the jacket cover. A solitary man stands resolute, peering over a wide expanse of water, a deep and inviting body of tranquil water that draws you in as if your very life depended on it. A chilling fog is rising slowly over the lake giving the book a haunting and eerily hypnotic appearance, all this before I’d read the very first page. All I wanted to do was run to the very edge of the small wooden jetty and jump in. I announced to the twitter world that I wanted to do just that but when author Gregg Olsen replied with a simplistic “Don’t do it” I should have realised there and then I was in for a scary ride! The problem is I didn’t listen and I jumped into the book with both feet!

Victim Six is wrong in so many ways, in parts it made me catch my breath, shudder, shake my head and wonder how on earth a serial killer as depraved and unhinged as this could exist. It made me question not only Olsen’s sanity but how an author could come up with something as imaginative, brutal, perverse and downright wrong – yet so right!! This book isn’t for the fainthearted but one thing I will guarantee is that when you reach the ending it will leave you thoroughly exhausted!

The narrative is shockingly good, some may say arresting; it flows well and apart from the crippling torture scenes and a distinct lack of human compassion shown by the killer that forces you to take stock, it moves effortlessly along until its intriguing dénouement that leaves you, the reader, with one very big question! As I’ve already alluded to, Olsen somehow manages to capture the essence of a serial killer and as he switches the story from the hunted to the hunters – in the guise of detectives Kendall Stark and Josh Anderson – the change is palpable and immediate.

Adding a little light to the proceedings is Kendall Stark as the main protagonist. I found her believable and appealing. She plays the dual role of a doting mother who cares deeply for her autistic son and a compassionate detective hell-bent on tracking down the person responsible for a spate of deaths in Washington State’s Puget Sound. With the discovery of each fresh victim – and I use that term loosely – the pressure begins to take its toll and mistakes are made by those investigating and reporting the crimes. There’s an intensity in this book that gradually develops, slowly at first, but once it starts moving there’s no stopping it. As far as Josh Anderson is concerned the jury is still out! I’m not sure what to make of his character; he showed a certain naivety throughout and made a number of mistakes that could have been avoided. That said the pair work well together as characters and just like the serial killer’s desire to progress their partnership has depth.

Victim Six is an adult themed crime novel, there are parts that will make you squirm and some scenes that will make you laugh – although they are few and far between! This is an incredibly dark thriller that leaves very little to the imagination; you leave all that to Gregg Olsen and his wonderful prose! One thing I would advise is sleeping with the lights on – just for the first night – for any sound will feed your fraught senses and have you up all night!

Realistic, imaginative, terrifying and tense, Victim Six is one of those books you’ll want to read with one eye closed and the other eye squinting – one page at a time – while seriously wishing you had a third eye in the back of your head to ward off any attackers. Gregg Olsen is one to watch – Highly recommended.

Published by Robinson Victim Six is available in Paperback & Kindle.

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1 Response » to “Victim Six by Gregg Olsen – Book Review”

  1. Nikki-ann says:

    You’ve made me want to buy another book! I love crime thrillers, but am a tiny by squeemish so slightly worried as to if I’d get through the whole book. After all, you can watch a film behind your hands, but that makes for difficult reading!

    I also love your discription of the cover. It’s alsmost as if I didn’t need to see the cover at all, but read read your discription of it. Ever thought about becoming a writer yourself?

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