REVIEW: Strawberries by Casey Bartsch

Summary:

Synopsis from GoodReads.com:

“Strawberries is the name he has been given.
When they let him out, they had no way of knowing what he was. A psychopath. A killer. The body count is at twenty already, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Agent Harry Bland can’t see one anyway. He doesn’t have a single clue to go on. It doesn’t help that his mind won’t focus. His heart just isn’t in it anymore. Half way across the country, Sylvia is in a different state of mind. When she isn’t selling sex to the rich, she is doing her best to disappear. She lives a life of assumed names, one night stands, and a constant stream of narcotics. Sylvia has heard of Strawberries. Of course she has. So has everyone who has turned on the television or surfed the net. Yet, she has no way of knowing just how much his life will affect hers.
Seedy hotels, cross country truckers looking for the meaning of life, homemade pie, a reporter with her own secret agenda, obscenely expensive champagne, and plenty of spilled blood await our cast. But make sure to read fast…..Strawberries has killed number 21″

Review:

I was sent an ARC copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Strawberries was a bit of a roller-coaster ride and I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started it. I had been promised the typical serial killer thriller level of gore so of course that perked my interest. It turned out different from what I expected.

Yes it delivered on the gore front, creatively so at times, but it didn’t follow the formula of the typical crime novel. I read a lot of crime and thriller fiction and many new crime novels follow a similar layout and writing style but this book was different. This had its good and bad points.

The story is written from different perspectives and follows multiple characters. This is different from the typical crime novel because some of the main characters seem to have nothing to do with Strawberries the killer. This makes you wonder where it is going while you are reading it but it has a downside because sometimes you wonder if the story has drifted off topic. It all wrapped up brilliantly in the end though. I am glad I kept reading. I had a feeling it would all work out in the end and it did just that. I don’t believe in giving spoilers in my reviews so I will say no more on the subject.

I also enjoyed the portrayal of the sex worker in the novel. She was realistic and portrayed as an actual person, which is something I like to see in my fictional prostitutes. She wasn’t sexualised, didn’t have a tragic backstory and had tons of character. Actually all of the characters were relate-able in their own ways, and there was a lot of enjoyable romance.

Warnings:

Adult themed novel with sex scenes, sexual references, graphic gore, drug use and strong language.

Rating:

3.5 out of 5. 

This is a solid crime novel with some very clever writing. If you are looking for a good gory crime novel with great characterization I would suggest you pick this one up. Strawberries was release on the 30th of April so you should be able to get your hands on it now.

As always feel free to follow me on GoodReads. What is your favourite crime novel? Tell me. The bigger my to-read pile the better.

 

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