Book by Mark Haddon
I was lucky to receive an advance copy of this book with a nice little note from the author. I only say that because otherwise I might have missed out on this powerful and impelling story that took over my life for several days! Based on the part of the title True Crime in Kentucky and the afterword by Mr. Massie as well as his own biographical information, I am assuming that Mr. Massey is telling his own story. However, the main character's name is Mark. Mark narrates the tale in first person beginning with his arrest at his girlfriends house and then backing up and telling the tale how he first met her on the Internet through the aftermath of his arrest.
Mr. Massie has such a way of spinning it with so much detail that I actually felt that everything was happening to me. He seems to have met his ultimate soulmate (Roxie) through Craigslist. The two exchange emails at first and seem to have everything in comman. That elevates to phone calls that get expensive for Mark (he keeps talking about using up his minutes and he prefers talking at night where the calling is unlimited). Mark lives in Syracuse, NY and Roxie is in Burkesville, Kentucky. After about a month of constant conversation, Mark decides to meet his "dream" woman in person and makes arrangements to take a 19 hour bus trip to meet her.
Mark is not very well off financially and he lives with an obnoxious roomate, Les who gets arrested for DUI just before Mark's trip. When Mark gets to Kentucky all he can see is a beautiful goddess in Roxie who gives him amazing sex right away. He seems to be blind to signs that she is probably bad news (kind of like the Seinfeld episode where Jerry is dating a woman that everyone sees as a loser except Jerry).
Roxie is subject to mood swings and seems to leak hints to Mark when she gets drunk that she may have done some really bad things or was involved in some things that had some really bad outcomes. Mark seems to keep saying he will file these tidbits in his mind for later investigation. Then Roxie does some obvious things like forcing Mark to take a daily dose of foul tasting "vitamins" for which she will not reveal the ingredients.
No matter what Roxie does Mark thinks with his libido and keeps getting suckered in more by Roxie until she has her claws deeply in him. Again the author does such a good job that the reader feels like they are the ones being victimized by Roxie and being pulled into a position of no escape.
I really liked this book and the only complaint I have is that I think that the author should tone down some of the gratuitous sex scenes that are presented in excessive detail. Other than that I still give this book a full five stars.
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