Face Book: A Gripping Serial Killer Thriller by PJ Jovanovic or Paul Johnson-Jovanovic caught my eye because for a short while I was on a serial killer spree. I’ve now added The Killer Net by Matthew W. Grant to my reading list, so evidently I’m on a bit of a “serial killers utilizing social media” kick. (Better than the Hell/Occult spree I’ve been on for the last few weeks! …and oddly more specific.)
A cast iron guarantee: you’ve never read anything like this. This novel is pedal to the floor, from start to finish. No lulls. To say that this novel is a page-turner is an understatement. Strap yourself in for a hell of a ride. Justice is about to be served and it’s going to chill you to your soul. This is what happens when social media goes wrong …
Down on his luck, Jack Williams heads for the pub to get drunk. He’s lost his job, he’s in debt, and his girlfriend has thrown him out. Things can’t get any worse, can they? He doesn’t think so. But then three guys enter and demand protection money from the landlord. Jack, being the sort of bloke he is, can’t just sit back and do nothing. He tells the thugs to go away, take a hike. A fight ensues. Jack gets badly beaten. One of the thugs cuts his face, leaving him scarred. When Jack comes around in hospital, he sees what he looks like and vows revenge. Weeks later, when he’s recovered, he watches a news clip about a serial killer who’s escaped from prison. James Ward has a special fetish. He befriends women on Facebook. He meets up with them and kills them. Then he brutalizes them in a very unusual way. Jack wonders how anyone could do something so inhuman. But the more he sees his own ruined reflection, the more he understands. And then he starts plotting his revenge …
Well there you have it! A cast iron guarantee! I mean this sincerely, I’ve grown quite tired of “guarantees” from indie books which fail to deliver. (I hate to name names, but Give Me the Night: An Evil Love Story comes to mind.) However, that doesn’t make them any easier to resist. Plus, Face Book had a clever, rhyming title! Not to mention, Paul Johnson-Jovanovic opted to specify the raw material he used for his guarantee! Surely that meant something!
…Besides the fact that I’m easily won over by basic marketing strategies, of course.
For once I can happily report that a book with a guarantee in the description delivered. Face Book was engaging from start to finish. Part of the thrill was embedded in the way Jovanovic wrote the book. The reader is flung back and forth between narrators and story lines, forced to pick up the pieces left of each character by the traumatizing and disorienting events which occur in their lives. The story is brutal in a variety of ways. It’s an interesting experience for a reader, to navigate between bits of violence, gore, or frightening text to try and piece together the big picture. This book isn’t just a thriller, it’s a puzzle. There is something to be said for horror which doesn’t just scare or shock, but actually mandates that the reader dig deeper. There isn’t enough of that, honestly, so Face Book was a refreshing escape.
The writing style was well suited to the genre. Jovanovic is clearly very comfortable within the thriller genre. (This comfort is likely what led him to offer the previously mentioned guarantee.) The way the serial killer deals with his victims is grisly, and I am pleased to report that Jovanovic’s writing does it justice. As for the other characters? Their fates are no less dreary, but you’ll have to read the book to understand how they come into play. (A cop out in a review, perhaps, but Jovanovic takes this same approach with the book. Each chapter ends on a question mark rather than a period, forcing you to plunge deeper into the universe he has created.)
Overall I would give Face Book: A Gripping Serial Killer Thriller by PJ Jovanovic or Paul Johnson-Jovanovic a 5/5. I look forward to checking out other books from Jovanovic. (Who wouldn’t love an author who not only says that he offers both murder and mayhem, but delivers?)