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I Am Death (Chris Carter)

I am Death - Chris Carter

3.5 stars

First thing first ... Chris Carter has become one my auto-read mystery/suspense authors for the past few years. His works entertain me. Period. Carter writes his chapter with a bait to open the next one immediately, keeps the pace fast, throws red herrings here and there, and lets our detectives struggle to find clues before the next body comes. They're not for the squeamish though; his description of the crime is vivid. His murder scenes are of often very bloody, the victims suffered from gruesome form of torture or killing method.

"I Am Death" offers the same formula. I was happy that Garcia was back as Hunter's partner in this book, he made me worried in book #4, and in book #5 he wasn't even around (though that book was good in a different way -- it was more 'personal' in terms of Hunter's background).

So those are the good things.

BUT, just as I finished this -- my initial reaction towards it was that I felt depressed. Yep, this was depressing :(

The answer is inside the spoiler-tag -- it's MAJOR SPOILER, as in I will mention the murderer's name, so avoid it at all cost except if you actually want to be spoiled.

[I really have no problem reading all the gory murders that Chris Carter writes about (what's that said about me?). I know that it's fiction, I can detach myself from it.

EXCEPT for the part with Squirm. Squirm, real name Ricky Temple, was only 11 years old when he was kidnapped by a monster of a man. He was already a 'weak' kid -- often bullied by kids at his school. Then he was kidnapped, was kept for 7 years, in which he was tortured as in ... beaten up, raped, shackled, locked inside a cell, starved up, treated like a slave ... and my heart just broke. This was a child. A CHILD.

I hated reading that part -- I hated the fact that he was practically a helpless boy and must endured it for seven years. Each chapter that has Squirm's perspective in it, just made me want to reach out into the pages and save him from the clutch of that Monster.

The twist of this book was that the "Squirm chapters" happened in the past, twenty-five years before. In the present time, Squirm becomes the murderer himself -- "I AM DEATH" -- as he repeats the killings done by 'The Monster' which then bring Hunter and Garcia to investigate.

But I didn't feel any relief in reading this revelation. It felt like a bitter taste to swallow. I was sad then depressed. For the horrific past and the way that it turned Squirm into another monster. I wasn't satisfied at all.]

(show spoiler)

On another note, I did wish that I got to know Hunter's mind a little bit more, because Carter doesn't really let readers know about Hunter's thinking process... he just lets the explanation comes from Hunter's mouth later on. It is probably like reading Holmes' investigation process, where you just end up baffled (or annoyed) at the way he solves the cases. Which means the ending also feels rushed when Hunter is able to connect all the dots (but it happens inside his head!).

All in all, while it was still as enjoyable, I have to deduct the star-rating because of the uncomfortable feeling I had to endure. So sorry for this, book.