Monday, February 1, 2010

Book Review: The Murderer's Club by PD Martin

The Murderer’s Club - PD Martin

It’s been six months since Agent Sophie Anderson, a criminal profiler with the FBI Behavioural Analysis Unit, encountered an evil serial killer known as the Slasher.
But even though half a year has passed, she still feels the effects of her horrifying encounter, and in an effort to ease her vulnerability, trains her body to withstand brute physical force and exertion. As part of her recovery, she also decides to take a week off and spend time with her Arizona-based friend, Detective Darren Carter from Tucson Homicide.
However, on her first day in Tucson a body appears on a university campus, and Sophie puts her holiday on hold as she gets drawn into the case. When a second body appears, also strangled and inscribed with a love heart on the victim’s chest, Sophie begins to wonder if there’s a new serial killer out there- one not recognised by the FBI databases. To make matters worse, as the body count grows, so do the psychic visions that plague Sophie about the victims’ dying moments, which she sees from the perspective of the killer.
Unbeknownst to the FBI and Homicide squads, there are a group of killers who are using a website to communicate and broadcast to each other their murderous intentions. The Murderer’s Club, as they call themselves, is led and controlled by the club president, AmericanPsycho, who has personally chosen all of the victims and organised the set-up of their murders.
With her frightening visions aiding her, and with the FBI’s computer guys working around the clock to track the murderers’ whereabouts, Sophie and Darren have to uncover the identities of the members of the Murderer’s Club and save their still-living victims before it’s too late.

What I gained from reading this book:
Sophie Anderson is an Australian, whose dual-citizenship allows her to live and work as an FBI agent in America. This allows the author to draw comparisons between the Australian criminal system and the American one, and highlight the severity of the murderer problem in the US. In chapter sixteen, a detective quizzes Sophie about how many serial killers have been discovered in Australia, to which she replies several- in comparison to the two thousand serial killers estimated to be still at large in the US. These statistics are chilling, especially considering the sadistic techniques that these killers often use to torture their victims before death.
This novel, although fictional, can help to make readers aware that there are evil predators out there who will go to any length to find themselves a victim. This novel also highlights the often difficult, yet exceptional work, that law enforcement agencies face everyday in their fight against some of the eviler characters of society.

This story is easy to follow- without being too simple- and allows readers to see the predatory natures of the members of the Murderer’s Club, as well as the untiring efforts of Sophie and the rest of her team, who are trying to solve the mystery and save the potential victims.
The references to Sophie’s Australian background are also good to see, especially considering the author is an Aussie- Sophie reads the online version of Melbourne newspaper, The Age, and calls her mother mum. This helps to soften the overall Americanisation of the story.

Throughout the novel, Sophie experiences psychic visions that assist her in solving the murders. This cannot really be classed as a negative as it does offer an interesting take on the average murder mystery, however, in including her unusual abilities in the story, it also removes a certain sense of credibility.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Genre: Crime/ Thriller

Recommended for: People who are fascinated with the FBI, and the processes they undertake in tracking down serial killers.

Australians can buy the book by clicking the picture below:

The Murderers' Club

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