Hey, it’s my first ARC!
If you don’t already know, in between all of the mystery novels and cutesy K-dramas, I do get down on some super weird stuff.
Speaking of super weird, I kept seeing Samatha’s True Crime popping up on my Instagram! Based on the cover art alone, I knew I had to get my hands on it.
Before I received it, Samantha let me know that True Crime is in fact a fiction novel… It’s just going to be a bit true crime-y! And hey, that is right up my alley.
Other than that, I knew very little about the contents of this book, so I went right into reading this with minimal expectations. Lets just put it this way… I am shocked.
Suzy and her brother, Lim, live in a podunk town with their extremely abusive mother, until one day Suzy decides that she’s had enough. After the brutal slaying of their mother, Suzy and Lim decide to go on a road trip murder spree.
Wow, guys. Just wow.
I’m going to start with letting you know of a few trigger warnings right off the bat. This book includes a lot of sexual assault, animal deaths, and graphic violence. (Note: I will not be detailing any of that here.)
While I can fully admit that this book may be extremely upsetting to some, and trust me, there were moments that were very upsetting to me too, I also understood that these three (horrible) elements had important roles to play in this story.
The truth is, y’all, true crime, (the real deal, not the book,) often glosses over the fact that most of the crimes in discussion, and/or somewhere within the history of the serial killer, there exists all three aforementioned things. It’s unfortunate and it’s terrible, but it’s also true.
It’s strange, isn’t it? In the past 5-10 years it has become so popular to watch shows and documentaries about true crime. There’s even a true crime convention in Tennessee that sells out in seconds! However, more often than not, animal torture and sexual abuse are in a murderer’s history but almost always left out of the story when its being retold. Why is that?
Because it’s just too much to hear about, isn’t it? It’s just takes things, what feels like, a step too far. (Like in horror movies; we don’t really care that Tiffany got murdered as long as the dog and her little brother make it out alive!)
True Crime (the book) really takes you into the first person view of a sociopathic serial killer with no holds barred. Love it or hate it, the fact about most murders is: They’re fucking monsters. Why would we expect our main character be any different?
This fictional tale is probably so upsetting because it seems so real. Due to all of these elements playing major parts in the story, it didn’t feel like a fictional novel to me! (And that’s pretty amazing.)
I felt so sorry for Suzy based on her upbringing, but at the same time I absolutely hated her! Each and every time she was handed an opportunity to turn her life around and stop being a huge piece of shit, she tuned it down! I just could not understand her or any of the choices she made at all! But this made me love the book even more. You know why?
Because monsters are monsters, and real true crime isn’t a Lifetime movie! A serial killer isn’t going to be given an opportunity to change one day and say, “Awesome, I guess all of that is behind me, now! Look out, world! I’ve changed!” For better or for worse, our main characters stay true to themselves the entire way through in this roller coaster of brutal mayhem, and I appreciated this as much as I was angered by it.
Another important thing to note is that the writing was perfect. I felt completely submerged into a place and culture that I have never even remotely been close to or familiar with. I felt gross, I felt worried, and I felt like I needed a goddamn shower when I was done.
This book is not for the weak of heart or stomach.
Proceed, but with caution.
My Rating: ★★★★★
You can snag a copy of this bad girl on January 15th!
Follow her on instagram at @sarukokole.