“A serial killer who wants to quit. A detective struggling to keep his personal life out of a murder hunt. And a celebrity psychiatrist facing an incredible challenge. Three damaged individuals, linked by their traumatic histories. They’ve chosen very different paths. Now those paths are about to cross.
Sarah Silver is a hedge fund manager – from Monday to Friday she makes a killing in the markets. At weekends, though, she hunts men, not profits. Martin White used to be a brilliant detective. But his family, judgement and self-control are deserting him. And Karl Gross has sold millions of books on serial killers. However he’s a controversial figure in the medical community.
Can Martin keep it together and catch a killer who commits almost perfect crimes? Is Karl capable of unravelling Sarah’s psyche and putting an end to the killing? Or will she disappear when she realises that the hunter has become the hunted?
PsychoAnalysis is a psychological crime thriller that explores the grey area between good and evil.Why would a woman kill for fun? Can she be understood? Can she be stopped?”
I am thrilled to welcome you to my stop and the first stop on the PsychoAnalyis blog tour. PsychoAnalysis is V.R. Stone’s debut novel and crikey, it packs quite a punch! I’m excited to see what V.R. Stone has in store for us in the future.
Today, not only do I have a fabulous guest post about why V. R. loves a violent thriller, I also have my four and a half star review of this BRILLIANT serial killer thriller to share with you. First of all, here’s V.R.’s incredibly honest guest post:
What kind of grown man sit alone in a room, making up stories about serial killers?
My earliest childhood memories involve a chase: hurrying out of my parents’ restaurant and down an alleyway; abandoning my den-building at a friend’s house when my father discovered our whereabouts; watching cartoons in a women’s hostel; and my mother screaming “he wants to take my children” as Dad caught up with us.
From those events, it would seem that we have a pretty traditional story, a ‘trope’ as us writers would refer to it, of a battered wife and a violent man. But real life is often more complicated.
Yes, my father had a temper, but a glare or a few words were usually all it took for him to assert his authority. I don’t recall him laying his hands on any of us. He was prone to outbursts, but would often cool down after a short period. He wasn’t a teddy bear, but he certainly wasn’t a psychopath either. And my mother… well, she’s a worrier and has suffered from mental health problems. I can certainly imagine, though, that my father, perhaps in a rage, had threatened to take her children away, perhaps back to Turkey, where we’d be harder to retrieve.
My parents married only 6 weeks after meeting, sold my mother’s house and bought a restaurant. The pressure of running a failing business did not help their relationship, which imploded in spectacular fashion – a whirlwind romance that spawned a tornado. And the break-up happened when I was four years old, around the time a child starts to form lasting memories.
Now, three decades later, I’ve written a thriller featuring a successful woman who kills men. And she’s being chased by a detective whose marriage is falling apart.
That, for me, demonstrates the essence of inspiration and the desire to write stories. My novel is very different from my life and my characters are very different from anyone I know. And yet, if you rearranged the pieces, turned a few things upside down, you’d get me, my life, my family and my desires.
I enjoy a wide variety of stories – novels, films, TV dramas – but the ones that stay with me, that really suck me in… well, they’re invariably violent and would typically fit into the crime genre. The Silence of the Lambs, The Sopranos, Danish/Swedish TV show The Bridge, American Psycho – they’re the ones I return to, that influence me.
Why? I think it stems from those early experiences – the combination of peril and happiness. Making a den when we were ‘on the run’; watching cartoons with the children of battered women; having parents who wanted me but were trying to take me away from each other. I suppose my early years were something of a rollercoaster of fear and happiness – so now rollercoasters and fear make me happy.
And despite my father’s personality flaws, there were many things I loved about him. Yes, he was tough on us, but he was tough on others, including the man who tried to rob his kebab shop and found himself up against a wall with a knife to his throat. Dad was something of a wild man, who did what the hell he wanted to – a rebel, an anti-hero. Until he developed a rare, incurable type of cancer that slowly killed him.
Maybe he’s the reason I’m drawn to characters who use violence or the threat of it to get what they want. And that’s probably why I’ve written a thriller, rather than a mystery. I’ve never been one for ‘whodunnits’. I don’t want to see the killer identified at the very end – it’s them I want to watch or read about, to try and understand, all the way through. In a game of cat and mouse, you might find me rooting for the cat…
I also love strong female characters, though, like Saga Norén in The Bridge, or “The Bride” in Kill Bill. Tough women who stand up to men, and can kick their arses – or chop them up – when they need to. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out why they appeal to me.
So, when you’re looking at me, a grown man who writes about serial killers, and there’s that combination of pity and bewilderment in your eyes… well, maybe you’ll still think I’m a little crazy. But at least now you know why. And where would you prefer me to be? Sitting alone in a room, making up stories? Or out on the streets, lurking in the shadows…
When I first read the blurb of this book it gave me goosebumps. What a story! There was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to read it. And I’m so glad I did as this is a brilliant serial killer thriller with everything I enjoy in one novel.
Sarah isn’t your average, everyday serial killer, oh no! First of all, she’s a woman and second, she doesn’t fit into any of the traditional stereotypical profiles. Oh, and she WANTS to stop hunting and killing gorgeous young men. So she seeks the help of infamous celebrity psychiatrist, Karl Gross. But Karl has his own plan for Sarah and his own twisted fantasies. Another of Karl’s patients, DI Martin White is put on Sarah’s case alongside fellow detective, Phil Burton. But it’s just the two of them versus a clever, accomplished killer. Will they be able to stop Sarah before she kills again? And is Sarah really the most dangerous one…?
This is such a great story which I devoured in a few short sittings. I loved the female serial killer angle, the psychology aspect and the incredibly damaged detective (really, those three things are all I want in a book!). The three main characters are brilliantly written and I particularly liked Sarah. The book reminded me a little of American Psycho (even before I got to the nod to Patrick Bateman) but the level of violence is substantially less grizzley in PsychoAnalysis (don’t get me wrong though, this book contains a fair amount of violence).
The twist towards the end was completely unexpected which was a thrill. The plot moved at a good pace and my interest was kept from start to finish. I just wanted more! I was a smidge disappointed with the end as it seemed to come too quickly. I would also like to see more of Martin White but get the feeling this book is a one off and we won’t be seeing DI White again (shame).
Would I recommend this book? I most certainly would, I blooming loved it. Thrilling, exciting and edge of your seat stuff for all fans of serial killer fiction.
Four and a half stars out of five.
Many thanks to V. R. Stone for providing me with a copy of PsychoAnalysis in exchange for an honest review.
PsychoAnalysis by V. R. Stone was published in the UK by Silverwhite Press on 14th October 2016 and is available in paperback and eBook format | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads | To watch the book trailer, please click here |
V.R. Stone loves crime stories – The Silence of The Lambs, The Sopranos, American Psycho, Pulp Fiction, Shutter Island – movies, TV shows and books featuring cynical cops, femmes fatale, gangsters and serial killers. Thrills, twists and violence – that’s what he craves. Give him a well-crafted tale featuring compelling characters on the wrong side of the law and he’ll be a happy man.
He really does have an unhealthy fascination with people getting shot, stabbed and strangled. But he doesn’t have the guts to set up a protection racket in his leafy London suburb, rob a bank or follow you home at night. So he sits alone in a room making up stories.
When he’s not busy with that, he works in the City of London and spends time with his very patient wife and very impatient children.