PUBLISHING INFO: Condor, 1978
GENRE: Fiction/Serial Killers
SETTING: California, USA
MY GRADE: D
FROM PUBLISHER: Driven by animal desire, a psychotic killer springs from the mist-shrouded California hills, ravishing and murdering to sate his perverse sexual lusts. A hard worldly call girl… a fragile, beautiful, vulnerable, young musician – In the harsh light of morning the police found they had one thing in common… Their Last Terrifying Moments On Earth Were Spent With The… HILLSIDE STRANGLER.
MY THOUGHTS: This book is incredibly hard to find and wasn’t worth what I spent on it. I was so let down. The title and story was probably inspired by California’s real life Hillside Stranglers, active from 1977-early 1978. That’s why I was interested in this.
Though the book is relatively short, 240 pages, we got a tiny bit of background on the murderer and four female victims. Two of the girls were young call girls. There were a few more victims but no background info on them. Early on we learned who the killer was. I didn’t want to know until the end. Most of the suspense was taken away by knowing too early. I guess the authors’ wanted us to know so that they could let us in on his background, childhood, home life and such so maybe we could understand him a bit. Like most serial killers, this one was physically abused and there was a bit of sexual abuse at the hands of his father. He was also frustrated at having erectile dysfunction for almost a year and was also having problems at work. The act of strangling the victims’ caused him to get an erection.
Aside from the murders, this book was boring as hell. I think the majority took place at Andy’s job. He’s some sort of manager for a real estate development firm. His age wasn’t given but I’m sure he was in his mid to late thirties. His co-worker, Sam, was annoying and took up many pages.
I don’t understand why two American authors use the slang word ‘bloody’, say ’round’ instead of ‘around’, and say ‘spelt’ instead of ‘spelled’. I didn’t like that at all.
There weren’t any interesting characters in the entire novel, including the killer. The only good thing about this book is its cover. They don’t make ’em like that anymore!