Happy Labor Day everyone! Michael Seidlinger has an awesome new book coming out, The Laughter of Strangers. So in celebration of its forthcoming release, I wanted to re-post this video review I did for HTMLGiant of his earlier book, My Pet Serial Killer starring the awesome Hannah Lee and of course, a big thank you to Editor Janice Lee! What I like about his writing is he always takes the expectations you might have of a given genre and completely flips them, smashing them to pieces. Take for example the serial killer novel. Instead of an officer investigating a killer or even charting the progress of a killer from his perspective, the heroine of this book is someone who collects serial killers and raises them like a hobby or a “pet.” As I put it in my review:
This leads to a very strange dynamic. Their duality becomes a power struggle between the killer, who wants more independence, and Claire, who wants to exert her control. She utilizes cameras and phone calls to screw with the Gentlemen Killer’s mind, even taking the corpses without his knowing it. He responds with what comes across as petty tantrums that are used by Claire to elicit test tube responses, all of which she is recording and analyzing for her daytime job as “professional student.” She’s already been through this cycle multiple times, as is evidenced by her skillful disposal of the bodies and her ability to canvas a murder scene and recognize all the problems: “I’ve been attacked. I’ve been strangled. I’ve been in that position of having to give chase to one that simply ran and ran and ran… but they all end with the same image: A mystery wrapped around a serial killer image where the killer seemingly ends its own life.”
I can’t wait to see where Mr. Seidlinger takes boxing, which is the subject of his new book. I’m sure he will leave lots of bloodied bruises and corpses in his wake, literary fists that pounce tropes to pieces. Make sure you check it out as well!