So like, I've mentioned this mythical Cut and Run series a few times, but always glossed over it because I wanted to make a big giant post about how awesome it is and just a throwaway wouldn't do it justice.
But whatever, I have a hundred feelings to get down, so let's talk about one particular aspect of these books.
It was 4am, I was supposed to be up early the next day, but where was I? Curled up in the corner of the couch with Jezzi's kindle pressed to my face, tiny little reading light the only source of illumination, my hands and heart shaking as I devoured word after word, sentence after sentence, paragraph after paragraph. If it had at that moment been a choice of putting the book down or death - I would choose death.
Now see, I like a good murder mystery, but less for the 'woo scary' aspect than the psychological motives and pieces inherent in it. I'm really not a fan of horror movies, of titillating fear - in my opinion, the scariest things are concepts, not sounds and noises and gore. So maybe someone else would not find these particular murders interesting. Maybe. But I was absolutely bone-chilled. Reasons being:
01 - Sane killer. Sane killers scare the everloving out of me, because at least insanity is predictably unpredictable. Mental imbalance is recognizable and oddly understandable, as it's both easier to stomach the idea of a mentally unhinged person to be more capable of killing, but also because it makes it easier to predict what they'll do next. But a sane killer? A smart killer? Someone who has a specific goal but fuck knows what it is because what sane person would do this? Why? Fuck.
02 - The excellently written, palpable aura of 'anything can happen' that permeates the story. The main characters take a serious beating, including and right up to the very end, until you actually find your jaw hitting the floor because 'oh my god this killer is one step ahead of them and they just keep getting hurt worse and worse and oh my god'
03 - Inside job. Inside jobs are always terrifying because who the fuck do you trust? I feel like the only reason the two mains are able to trust each other is because
they're fucking. Which, you know, that aspect of their relationship is important and integral to the plot, which I love, but that's not the topic of discussion, so anyway.
04 - Obscure references that are actually obscure. I consider myself an avid reader, a learned person, a literary
person, and yet it took me well over half the book AND a hint from a friend to see the pattern. Which... was right about when the characters did. Shit. It was excellently and brilliantly subtle, which made it all the more effing creepy
05 - [Let's talk about the end, I'm not going to spoil any concrete facts but I will talk about the setup of the ending, so there's that.]Let me set the scene. Agent A and Agent B have chosen to trust the one person they absolutely shouldn't trust, of course. They've been in a bad car accident so Agent A has an arm in a sling and a bottle of painkillers, which he's been resisting taking because he has substance abuse problems, but he hurts like fuck so he takes them. Agent B is agoraphobic. Agent B gets bricked into a wall while A thinks he's safe with the killer. Agent A finds two dead bodies of comrades and finally realizes who the fuck is behind this shit - and who he let his partner go with, his partner that he's basically in love with. So we've got Agent A drugged out of his mind, injured everywhere, surrounded by dead bodies, with his partner bricked into a wall. There's a machine jamming cell phone signals and there's no way he can make it across the room, let alone drive.
This is the point where I was at 4am. Terrified. Absolutely bloody terrified. It's like - you know the good guys are gonna win in a deep seated sort of way, but a: you don't know if that includes making it out alive and b: HOW THE FUCK WILL IT HAPPEN. HOW. HOW IS EVERYONE NOT ALREADY DEAD.
I basically stopped breathing. That's a thing I do when I'm reading sometimes, which is Not Good, but I can't help it, I just get full of FEELS and it's way more suspenseful than a supposedly 'suspenseful' movie.
06 - And I'm not going to tell you how it ends, either. Suffice to say I stared at the wall dragging in shaky gulpfuls of air because MY MIND WAS BLOWN OUT OF MY HEAD. I suppose you'll have to read it yourself.Cut and Run
by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux, people. Read it for the bone-chilling murders, stay for the gay porn. Wait... maybe that's the other way around.