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True to my promise in the April 22nd post, I’m still refusing to post reviews of books I’ve read but haven’t enjoyed or thought worth recommending. That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t think about those books and why I didn’t like them.  So now I’m going to vent a bit.  Okay, a lot.

I read three books in the last couple of weeks, all of which featured serial killers.  Honestly, I am really tired of serial killers. It’s so easy for an author to make a S.K. the villain.  You don’t need any motive, or at least any realistic motive, if your killer just keeps killing seemingly random people—sort of like the Energizer Bunny on steroids.

The author can blame everything on the killer’s childhood, which is what these three authors seemed to do, without actually explaining what it was in their childhoods that caused the man (the S.K. is almost always a man, almost always white, almost always in his 30s or 40s).  Actually, after I read these three books, I thought I could quit my day job and become a profiler for the FBI. Once the authorities have decided a S.K. is on the loose, they turn to S.K. 101 in their textbooks and come up with the above description, a one size fits all label.

So your parents made you eat all your veggies before you got dessert?  So you couldn’t have your own television/computer/car and all the other kids did?  So you got punished for coming home ten minutes past curfew?  That explains your compulsion to slice and dice women who are runners, men with beards, women over 50 with bleached hair the color of your late mother’s.  It’s easy, simplistic, and not at all convincing, at least to me.

I want a motive that’s realistic—love, hate, greed—all the old standbyes that make a person commit the unforgivable crime.

Do you feel the same?


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