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The Octopus Hook Murders: A Gus Bolderjack Novel

The Octopus Hook Murders - Terry Rich Hartley Received a copy of The Octopus Hook Murders by Terry Rich Hartley through the First Reads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review

This book was really well done. I feel privileged to read a story featuring the heightened feelings of an experienced individual, and his view of what would make a great story for the reader. Thank you Mr.Hartley for the entertainment. *Moral Compass On* I find it to be somewhat inhumane liking a book that involves such disgusting acts that would even make the most notorious of killer blush.*Moral Compass Off* But devilishly I liked the story very much. With the typical sado-sexual behaviour to the nth degree and the commonly found Oedipal complex, these guys don't stray far from the stereotype. In fact they present the (ab)normal run-of-the-mill/garden variety serial killer with a little twist. The difference with these serial killer's is their thirst for direct revenge and the issuance of teamwork among their very own constructed motley crew. Their schemes are diabolical and incredibly unrelenting, yet quite entertaining.

Gus Bolderjack, Sun Valley psychotherapist and former criminal profiler is a character that for me was easily relatable. Self-deprecating humour is one that is not ordinarily found within civil authoritarians. I guess that is what makes him an anomaly as he prefers the life of a renegade figure rather than being one of the good ol' boys. It is a breath of fresh air to see a man admit to his "short"comings and be comfortable enough to attack the manhood of the world's most nefarious beings. The way he communicates with the killer's is often a procedural "no no", but for Gus he has honest intentions with his heart in the right place.

Their is something undeniably haunting in the written word. You can watch your television dramas and movies about creepy events, but when the final scene has ended you shut it off and go back to the real world. With novels, the idea of an author conjuring up this story for the reader tends to stick with me for a while. With this book it seemed that the author was desensitized from his past experiences serving "hard time" as a psychologist and journalist. It was similar to the part of the book when a young med school graduate Valerie Gomez was on hand for her very first bodily examination and the pathologist technologist Rollo Cucas said:

"You actually got lucky for your first autopsy experience.
There's no putrefaction to speak of. All the smell is from urine
and feces."

*The innocence and anxiety commonly found in new experiences is a funny dynamic when paired with hardened professionals.

One problem I have with books that focus on the sociopathic is the thought of other like-minded individuals getting ideas from the book and using it as an aid in strengthening their own demonic plot. Author's learned knowledge often make it too easy for bad people too do bad things, after reading I feel compelled to walk around with my guard up, I am a little extra defensive and cautious around strange individuals. Especially when an arsenal includes that of chemicals. The use of burying victims alive, poison or some other paralysing concoction to subdue their victims makes me sick and reminds me negatively of Jeff Bridges in The Vanishing. To this day whenever I watch him as "The Dude" in The Big Lebowski I see his character from The Vanishing. Amazing how the times have changed the state of unconscious-rendering devices from chloroform and ether to present day tetradotoxin which is found in puffer fish found in Japan called Fugu and the Poison Dart Frogs from South America.

"Sometimes evil things happen to good people. Jan left
you at the restroom because she's a woman, and woman are
evil. Your mom was probably a whore and drove your papa
away, then abandoned you. I know my momma was a whore and
my parents left too."

"What's a hoar?"

"Just another name for a woman. They're all evil, all
whores. Now be quiet and eat."

*To say Raol Corvo has a vendetta against woman would be a massive understatement. In this passage Raol also shows his utilization of psychological grooming towards his victims to allow for the manifestation of Stockholm Syndrome.*

I thought the pacing of the book was executed really well at times, but really slooowwweeeddd down at a time when one would believe the book would be rolling. The book was gripping from the first page and strung me along for the first two hundred pages, but eventually the story languished with occasional moments of entertainment. From my past experiences most books will be dull for the majority of the entirety of the book, but will redeem itself with a superb finish and will in turn psychologically manipulate my overall perspective of the book rather unjustifiably. As I explained earlier The Octopus Hook Murders had an adverse effect for me. Perhaps if the moments of intrigue were spread out equitably throughout the entire book my feelings would be more different. Unfortunately, when your enthralled at the beginning and taper off to a "meh" response at the end their was something wrong with the delivery of the end of the story. Their is a psychological strategy that would best explain what I want to say but it escapes me. Along the same line my dad gave me some advice with woman; end with a bang and always keep them wanting more. Unfortunately the book failed to live up to this time and tested paternal proclamation.

This book is recommended for people that enjoy a good thriller and are not put off by the irregularity of a serial killer's sexual exploits or paper trails depicting a murderers violence.

"You don't know me, but I'm Idaho's attorney general,
and you're very important to me, I'll see that you're
very well taken care of."

Looking embarrassed, he said "Jan can do that."

Carrie laughed and said "I'm sure she can." Then she was
off to greet her gaggle of deputies, the dynamic camera
duo in tow.

"Wonder if I can arrest her." Mattie said to Gus

"For what?"

"Grand larceny, thunder."

*I thought this was a funny exchanging showing how politics can rear its ugly head even during the most sensitive of times.*