I have made no secret of the fact that I have an affinity for stories about serial killers. Well, mass murderers in general I think, for I do have that disturbing interest in the mafia. In any case I was given Bill Floyd’s premier novel which is about the wife of a serial killer and I needed to read it.
The Killer’s Wife is a tale about Nina Mosley and her relationship with the fictitious serial killer Randy Mosley. She maintains throughout much of the first part of the book that she has no idea that Randy could perpetrate such horrendous crimes (his signature is removal of the eyes and placing something else in the sockets). However she comes to recount the unease she began to feel about mysterious injuries that Randy received that he always explained away.
She has spent more than half a decade trying to forget her previous life but it is all brought back to her when the father of one of Randy’s victims catches up with her. He believes she was involved in these sadistic killings and is going to make sure she gets what’s coming to her.
In due course we come to learn of the only known survivor from a family of four that Randy killed and the horrors that boy had to endure. Nina describes him as having a haunted look and is most surprised to learn that Randy knew the boy was there but left him alive. This turns out to be a mistake as the boy, himself suffering from mental problems, later abducts Hayden, Nina and Randy’s son.
He’s rescued in due course and the kidnapper is killed, but we have already learned it is a righteous kill for he has already murdered four other people.
In the end, Nina learns that all her hiding amounts to nothing. To move on with her life she must accept her past.
My thoughts on this book:
Well, I must start off again by saying that I’ve been thinking about this very subject matter a lot because of Dexter. That is, how would a woman react to learn that her husband or boyfriend is a serial killer? So as you can imagine when I got this book I was very interested to read it. Now I’ve done so though . . . I don’t know what my opinion is.
I feel sort of cheated I suppose. I think because this was a mass market book rather than a work of literature, we do not get as much of the emotional grappling that I would have liked to read. Yes I love strife and angst. I admit it could be a legitimate argument to say that it is within her character to act the way she did but that feels like a cop out. On the side of fairness though, it was Mr. Floyd’s first novel and I did enjoy it.
I did like the sense of reality in the novel. It was cursory at best, but it seems that at least some research was done. From what I’ve read on serial killers, they all tend to exhibit the MacDonald Triad. That is, as children they all seem to have been bed-wetters, fire-setters, and animal torturers. This was mentioned in passing. Also mentioned was the superficiality that seems all too often common. Much as I love Dexter, he’s a really smart guy, something that’s not common. In this novel, while Randy was successful we also hear Nina’s explanation that he was full of shit most of the time.
A short review for a short book. My final comment on this book is that it is worth the read if you’re looking for something quick and not too taxing on the emotions or thought processes (its no Crime and Punishment).