Friday, 23 September 2011

Death Sentence by Mikkel Birkegaard

Life Imitating Art
review by Maryom

Frank Føns is an author of brutal thrillers - the more twisted and perverse his plots, the more his public loves him. Safely confined to the printed page, how can even the most violent death harm anyone? They aren't so appealing though when someone begins to copy his fictional murders in real life. Gradually Føns takes on the role of detective to track down the copycat killer before his world collapses completely.

It's often said but this really was a compelling, page turning read. Presented as notes written by Frank Føns himself, the unfolding drama is interspersed with flashbacks of his life with which Birkegaard creates a rounded, if warped, personality for him. As the back story unfolds, the reader shares in his struggle for success as a writer, the strains placed on his relationships, the loss of his family. But what really holds the reader's attention is the continuing working out of Føns' plots in real life. Who is copying Føns' books and why? Can he/she be stopped? Sometimes suspecting one person, then another, I was kept guessing to the end.
Warning - this is at times very violent. I really found the final section TOO disturbing - and resorted to skim-reading. I know this is cheating a little but it was really too realistic and unnerving for my comfort. Overall though, the violence was outweighed by story-line.

Maryom's review - 4.5 stars
Publisher - Transworld Books

Genre - Adult Thriller

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