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What other book might you compare Killer Within to and why?
If I didn't know better while listening to this I would swear this sounded like a Mary Higgins Clark book. Good, fast paced with no down time, slightly predictable but thrilling just the same.
Have you listened to any of Joyce Bean’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Joyce Bean did a very good job narrating this book. With her repertoire of voices the characters are easily distinguishable, including the male voices.
Any additional comments?
You know who the killer is from the beginning but there are a few scenes and characters you know are making some really bad choices setting themselves up as the perfect victim. With trepidation they walk right into a trap. Some of them you really want to survive. The book does require some suspension of common sense as far as law enforcement procedurals go but this is fiction and is entertaining, definitely worth the price. I would recommend this and will probably read more by this author.
29 of 30 people found this review helpful
This thriller about a cat-and-mouse game between a serial killer and a hot FBI agent was an okay, fast-paced story, but the writing and execution was strictly average, in my opinion, and while I appreciated the local details about Annapolis and DC, I found too much descended into cliche and the main characters picking up the proverbial Idiot Ball.
The Killer Within opens with the antagonist, Arnie Milhouse, who is just an average schmuck with an abusive junkie nightmare of a wife and a son who is the only good thing in his life. Arnie is making a stop at a convenience store on the way home to his life of miserable, quiet desperation, when he is caught in the middle of a hold-up. In an unexpected turn of events, he ends up killing the stick-up guy, and then decides he enjoys it so much, he also kills the kid behind the counter.
This gives Arnie a taste for blood, and thirteen years later, we discover he is a veteran serial killer. He used the insurance money from his late wife (yup, she became "late" very soon thereafter) to build a business empire, and he's gone from zero to hero — rich, successful Alpha Male who kills and tortures prostitutes and the occasional bystander for fun.
I did not find Arnie's psychology very convincing - someone doesn't just "snap" and go from ordinary schmuck to sociopathic killer just like that. Additionally, if he was truly a sociopath, he wouldn't be so attached to his son. But let that pass as our required suspension of disbelief.
The main character, Allison McNeil, happens to meet Arnie while on a freelance photography assignment in Annapolis. We quickly learn Allie has her own history, and her meeting with Arnie was not coincidence. There is a whole subplot about how Allison was a cadet at the US Naval Academy before she was raped by one of the faculty, who of course was never punished and Allie was blamed and everyone in the USNA hierarchy closed ranks against her. Which sounds like a believable plot from the 1980s or so, but not so much nowadays, when sexual harassment is very much on the minds of the top brass and it's quite unlikely that every single officer Allie talks to would blame her and let someone known to be a serial offender keep raping female midshipmen. I'm not saying rape and harassment isn't still a problem in the military, including at the academies, but the staff in charge just cannot afford to follow the cartoonish "blame the victim" script we see in this story. (It's never even mentioned that even if they think Allie was lying about being raped, then sexual fraternization with a member of the staff would still have been a huge violation for her and for the NCO in question.)
But anyway, the rape subplot is not the main story. The main story is Allie trying to trap a serial killer. There is a lot of cat and mouse before the inevitable confrontation out on Arnie's boat, a bit of a twist where we learn another important detail about Allie's past, and a setup for a sequel, so obviously the author is hoping to make Allison a returning character.
Entertaining enough for a quick listen, but I found Allison to be too much of a cliche, and I didn't really like any of the supporting cast much either.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful