The Killer You Know
2nd May 2019
You need to kill at least three people, right? So that’s what I’ll do.
When Will jokes about becoming a serial killer, his friends just laugh it off. But
Adeline can’t help but feel there’s something more sinister lurking behind his words.
Fifteen years later, Adeline returns to Blythe for a reunion of the old gang – except
Will doesn’t show up. Reminiscing about old times, they look up the details of his
supposed murder spree. But the mood soon changes when they discover two recent deaths that match.
As the group attempts to track Will down, they realise that he is playing a sinister
game that harks back to one they used to play as kids. Only this time there are lives at stake . . .
About the author:
S. R. Masters studied Philosophy at Girton College, Cambridge before working in
public health and health behaviour for the NHS. He is a regular contributor to UK
short fiction anthology series The Fiction Desk, having won their Writer's Award for
his short story Just Kids. His story Desert Walk was included in Penguin Random
House USA's Press Start to Play collection and he continues to have short fiction
published in a variety of magazines. He grew up around Birmingham but now lives in Oxford with his wife and son. The Killer You Know is his first novel.
All of this started the night Will told us he was going to be a serial killer.
He said ‘Okay, I’ve decided what I want to do when I’m older.’ We looked over at him.
He was the last to answer the question, which meant soon we’d start the long hike home from the electricity pylon deep in the forgotten overgrowth between our village and the next.
What will you be doing in another sixteen years’ time?
It was all coming to an end; the night, the summer, the campfire burning on the concrete around which the five of us sat. Most of us secretly wanted everything to go on like this, perhaps for ever, despite saying out loud that we were excited by the mysteries of adulthood. None of us could believe things would ever be as good as this again, whatever problems we had with our parents or each other.
Except maybe Will, sitting there smoking his brother’s drugs while the rest of us only wanted to get drunk. Will, milking the moment of reveal for dramatic effect behind a cloud of breath mist and cigarette smoke. Who knew what was going on in his head? Maybe he did think that there would be something better after this.
‘You need to kill at least three people to be a serial killer, right?’ Will said, his rich voice filling the dome of light the flames had created around us. ‘So that’s what I’ll do.’
This is a very cleverly-plotted book with some tense, dramatic moments and twists you can’t see coming. If you’re looking for a thriller which explores the darkness behind too close childhood friendship groups with some brilliant character development while reminding us how we can all fall back into old patterns, this will be for you. If you enjoyed The Chalk Man, you will adore this narrative.
Thank you Anne Cater for organising the blog tour and sending me my proof copy in exchange for this stop on the blog tour.