Today’s team review comes from Suraya, find her at http://www.thestorymint.com
Suraya chose to read and review Kill Line by Robert Leigh
The Kill Line
By Robert Leigh
My first reaction to this novel was, ‘you have to be kidding me’ then I thought it must be a black comedy. That was how I got past the vividly described first murder of many. “Kill Line’ is aptly named.
Inbound call centre representative Shaun has his own unique way of dealing with difficult customers. They have to pass a series of tests before they get nominated for the dubious honour of receiving a personal call from Shaun.
The process dehumanises the victim. This is where things get tricky because I ended up wondering whom the victim was….the caller or Shaun. He was likable and the abusive callers sounded thoroughly unlikable.
This is the reason it becomes possible to accept what Shaun does. This is black comedy at its most compelling.
I found myself pausing every so often to ask why I kept reading Shaun’s gruesome tale. I realised the reason was that I found Shaun a fascinatingly complex character and in some ways, I empathised with him. What is really funny is, he has a checklist of things ‘customers’ say when they call in and if the abusive caller misses one of the steps then that person is saved from a very unpleasant end.
I found his list very believable. I would hate to be a call centre operator because while I’m sure there are some very pleasant callers out there these would be outweighed by unpleasant ones, I’m sure. I have only to think about being a call centre representative for Inland Revenue (Tax) department and I have no difficulty imagining how a person might feel at the end of a shift.
Shaun manages his double life remarkably well even when a former girlfriend re-enters his life. How does she not guess he is a psychopath?
And there are some amazing mental and physical contortions Shaun goes through to keep his secret from everyone. I will leave the reader to find out how his long-time friend, Matt fares.
His barbecue was just amazing. So glad I did not get an invite.
The thing is the author creates believable scenarios for believable circumstances and that takes real writing skill.
If you do not have the stomach for gory detail then this novel comes with a warning.