Forgive Me, Alex, by Lane Diamond

“The sleepy town of Algonquin was once terrorised by a ruthless predator; a serial-killer who took pleasure in torturing his victims to death.  No one understands this better than Tony Hooper who experienced first-hand the damage the reaper dealt.  Now, seventeen years later Mitchell Norton, “the devil”, has been released; apparently cured of his psychotic break by the removal of a brain tumour.  But the brutal killings soon start again… Is it a copycat? Or has Mitchel returned to his old tricks?

Forgive Me, Alex cover artRating:  4 stars

Genre: Thriller

Forgive Me, Alex switches between several perspectives, mainly Tony Hooper and Mitchell Norton during the original killing spree of 1978 and ‘now’ (1995), which could be potentially confusing, but is highlighted nicely by the chapter titles and change in the tone of the POV.  I also found that the insight we have from 1995 adds to the suspense – we know some details, revealed sparingly along the way, and this results in a tale that (in parts) puts me in mind of watching an impending car crash.

There were, however, a few scenes that I found less than realistic (and this is where I openly admit I don’t read too many suspense/thrillers so have no idea what the ‘standard’ might be here): a particularly corny scene between Tony and Diane (I’m not a closet romantic); and another scene involving some dodgy hypnotism (there are limits to the method and this perhaps went too far). But, as I’ve pointed out in several posts – everyone has their own opinion or viewpoint, so my negatives might not even register on others’ radar.

So why should you read this?  Firstly, if you’re a fan of Dexter I think you might find something you like…  This novel comprises a unique mix of the insane ramblings of a madman as he edges towards the serial killer he will become; the suspense of not knowing who is going to die and how painfully; several twists that you can try to predict but will often come up short; and a lead in Tony Hooper who will not idly sit by and let this murderer kill again.  Tell me, how many other books could give you that?

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