What if you suddenly started receiving anonymous text messages that you were going to be screwed over and laid off by your boss, and a few hours later it happened?
Then the same anonymous source begins telling you that you must kill your former boss, and provides you with a self driving Mustang and an ancient scimitar to do the deed…
This is what happens to hard working family man Peter Blades, (subtle eh?) at the beginning of Hunter Shea’s novella I KILL IN PEACE.
But it doesn’t stop there.
An ongoing list of victims, all with one thing in common, they’ve done various shades of nasty things. All Peter knows is the messages come from “AO” and that his victims could inflict some serious nastiness on him if he thinks about refusing. But then again, he might be starting to enjoy his work.
More than just a serial killer story, I Kill In Peace is filled with supernatural and religious touches and omens. Are they real or the fabrications of a man going insane? is “AO” real or something Peter’s mind has created to justify his killing spree? And if he/she/it is real, why was Peter chosen for this task?
For a story weighing in at just over a hundred pages there’s a lot going on. Between the killings themselves and trying to figure out the bigger picture the reader will be busy questioning some of the more out there moments. I must admit, when the self driving car turned up with “AO” communicating via the radio I was hoping we might have an evil version of Knightrider on our hands. Imagine KITT and Christine’s bastard child let loose. Without spoiling anything I’ll just say that what’s behind it all is far more chilling.
The killings are bloody without going over the top and the victims evil enough that you can’t help cheering Peter on at times. Watching Peter grapple with his conscience gives the story a bit of grounding in reality.
For those looking for a quick bloody dose of horror I Kill In Peace should do the job nicely. The ultimate twist may offend or disappoint some readers, but most should find it a fine afternoon’s read.