Hello and welcome. The first proper blog post of 2020 going to be the last book I read in 2019, namely the debut novel from Samantha Kolesnik, True Crime from Grindhouse Press.
Suzy and her brother, Lim, live with their abusive mother in a town where the stars don’t shine at night. Once the abuse becomes too much to handle, the two siblings embark on a sordid cross-country murder spree beginning with their mom. As the murder tally rises, Suzy’s mental state spirals into irredeemable madness.
After reading this book I was thinking what Glen Benton, vocalist and bassist of the legendary death metal band Deicide said about their 7-studio album, an album that clocked in on 29 minutes, he said that sometimes an album should be like a punch in the face, hard, brutal and quick, and leaving the listener staggered not knowing what hit them. True Crime is this statement in book form, albeit it not being a simple punch, more like a sledgehammer to the face!
As you probably can guess True Crime left an impact on me, it’s been a few days since I read it and I am still reeling. This is a no holds barred, unrelenting, bleak and gritty tale. One that from the first chapter gives the reader an unflinching glimpse into incestual sexual abuse, and goes straight into murder territory, in the beginning the killings almost feels justified, they do it to survive, to live, but as one reads on, it starts to feel more and more senseless and aimless. It shows how broken Suzy and Lim truly are, of years of abuse, never experiencing any joy or happiness, and if they do, then it just gets taken away from them, and growing up in a place where everything seems off and wrong. So, one does understand why Suzy and Lim do what they do, and I for one cannot hate them, and this shows the talent of Samantha Kolesnik! It takes true talent and skill to write characters that commit such horrible crimes and offences, and to whom one feels for, and somewhat root for. Suzy, our protagonist, is believably broken, filled with self-loathing and with love for no-one else but her protective brother.
The violence and abuse are hard to read but it is not gratuitous, its not violence for violence’s sake. Its as necessary as violence can get in writing.
The book ticks in at 150 pages, any shorter than that, we would have an unsatisfying read with too much left unanswered, and if the book had been any longer then we probably would have felt it all was to gratuitous! So, you can read it in an afternoon in one sitting if you have the stomach for its
beautifully written gritty realism and bleak horrors.
So, in the end, do yourself a favour and order this, yes it might be a hard read but it is so worth it! True Crime is released on the 15 of January on Grindhouse Press.