I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.SKA: Serial Killers Anonymous by William Schlichter
Published by BHC Press on October 2, 2018
Genres: Fiction, Thriller
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Group therapy can be dangerous…
Unable to seek conventional help, seven serial killers band together in their own unique support group, attempting to quell their unnatural cravings. Led by a former nurse, they gather in dark basements and share the most intimate details of their murders as they attempt to heal their dysfunction.
Forging a fragile trust, they suppress the urge to kill. And as more and more members accomplish breakthroughs, the group agrees to stop slaughtering.
But one member of the group isn’t truly convinced. And they will do whatever it takes to end therapy. The hunters are about to become the prey.
Seven serial killers join together as a group, headed by Jane, in order to try to stop their sick tendencies to kill. Naturally, they can’t join a regular support group, so Serial Killers Anonymous is born via the dark web. This support group brings together the most horrific serial killers. While meeting in abandoned buildings they can each discuss their triggers, prey, and modus of operandi. Here they also discuss ways on how to stop and make a change in their lives. They no longer want to kill and are hoping this group will prevent them from seeking more victims. The group promotes sharing stories, especially their first kill, as a way of getting to know each other, to explore and overcome urges, and to finally stop all of the killings. But, there is one member of the group who has infiltrated their ranks, looking for the killer who murdered his sister. With serial killers surrounding him, will he gain their trust enough or will they see right through him?
When I first saw the title for this book, I really got excited because I LOVE serial killers. I should probably expand on that statement just a bit. I don’t mean that I love serial killers in the “I want to be their fangirl and write them letters” type of way, I am more fascinated by their mind and what makes them tick. During high school I was always the girl with my nose pressed into a serial killer book, especially non-fiction ones. So, it comes as no surprise that SKA: Serial Killers Anonymous was moved right to the top of my reading list. This story was more than what I thought it would ever be as it brought segments of realism with some of the most popular serial killers and blended it with a fictional story.
I really like that the author, William Schlichter, incorporated known serial killers such as Ed Gein, BTK, Albert DeSalvo and a few others and incorporated them in each of his characters. I do want to point out though, Jesse, one of the main characters in the story reminded me of a real life college student, Jason Moss, who wrote to known serial killers in prison as part of a project for school. The project wound up becoming a book, The Last Victim. Although Jesse’s story is quite different, he shares some similarities, such as getting into the minds of serial killers in a fictional setting.
It was really creepy getting into the minds of these killers and while most were pure evil,it was interesting hearing about their first kill and how they honed their skills to become even better at hunting and killing their prey. While I did enjoy this part of the story, I did have to suspend belief into believing that they all wanted to change and stop the urges that led them to killing. Serial killers with remorse? Schlichter really put a new spin on the empathy side to serial killers in a way that made me stop and think what really goes on in the mind of a serial killer.
The pacing of the story is really a slow build up where we get to know each of the characters intimately and what goes on in their mind exploring their stories and the lure of the hunt. The pacing does pick up towards the end and I never saw the final twist coming at all. It was shocking!
SKA: Serial Killers Anonymous is a cleverly and creatively written story that blends true life with fiction. I found myself thoroughly engrossed in the story needing to know what happens next. A lot of research has gone into this story and it shows. I highly recommend reading it if you love stories centered around serial killers.