I know some readers are a little more sensitive than others, so I felt it important to mention some scenes in this novel that are quite unsettling. I imagine the mention of serial killings in my last review is telling that this novel will feature violence. Myself, I prefer suspense thrillers with minimal violence, and minimal graphic detail. I find these are just as scary as more graphic thrillers, if not more so, because our own imaginations can come up with something far more horrific than what’s on the printed page. That being said, I enjoyed this novel immensely, but it was more graphic than what I prefer. The actual violence is no worse than what you would see in a PG13 film, but the aftermath pushes it into an R rating. Just a warning to more sensitive readers, the crime scenes are graphic. Forced incestual relations, and mass murder are shown in the aftermath. These murders are not acted out on the page. Two characters, a mother and (adult) son, are shown to have an incestual relationship. It is hinted that this has not always been consensual, and that the mother no doubt molested him when he was a young teenager. There aren’t any graphic scenes of this relationship, and the scenes that are shown fade to black.
Another downside, not upsetting, just disappointing, it that the females presented are rather one dimensional, and all three of them turn out to be antagonists. Perhaps if Ellis had written a female “good guy”, it wouldn’t have been so noticeable. I have only read the Matt Jones series, but I am aware he has written books with female protagonists. I will have to read these to compare. Perhaps he normally writes female characters quite well, especially when they are heavily featured, as the women written in The Love Killings were not.
As I mentioned before, I consider myself quite sensitive to graphic violence, so you, dear reader, may do just fine. For those who are still unsure after reading this post, you may want to tread carefully while reading this novel. For those of you who think that this novel sounds tame in comparison to other books you have read, I say go for it! As far as the minor annoyance about the female characters, ladies (and gentleman), don’t let it discourage you from reading this book. I’m glad I didn’t.