“…think Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ meets ‘The Birds’ with flashes of humor.”
I have a rather compulsive habit of downloading books to my e-reader, so it was no surprise when I SPIDER joined the masses on my kindle after I read a few excerpts (Hanging on to sanity by a thread, Take care, there’s a caretaker, Caught yellow handed) at author Anthony Lance’s I SPIDER BLOG. But that, as they say, is only the beginning of the story. Intrigued by the humor, vivid depictions and sparse writing style, I immediately started test reading the first few chapters and finished reading the book the next day.
I SPIDER is a murder mystery/crime thriller but without the “who done it” — it opens with the murderer in a mental ward having confessed to his crime. The mystery and thrills come from discovering the whys and hows of the murder and who the victim was, but mostly from how the murderer got to that point.
Like the many spiders woven throughout the story, the author patiently spins his tale with precision and care. He knows his craft. It is equally apparent the author knows spiders, Australia, and mental illness. Using a first person narrative, the author slowly shares the murderer’s history from a seemingly average childhood with a paralyzing fear of spiders to a mentally unbalanced adulthood fixated on murder and deadly funnel-web spiders.
I SPIDER candidly journeys through telling events in the murderer’s life, casually wandering from the entertainingly humorous, to the universally mundane, on through to the frankly disconcerting. But always it feels compellingly real and creepily authentic. So much so, that it is impossible not to wonder at times if there aren’t elements of biography and true crime as well as simple fiction to this story which only adds to the mystery and fun.
This is a quick reading, darkly humorous mystery/thriller — think Hitchcock’s “Psycho” meets “The Birds” with flashes of humor . If you have even a small fear of spiders you will be warily looking for eight leggers around every corner. Which makes it the perfect creepy (not gory) Halloween read. I just wish I had read and reviewed it a few weeks sooner. But don’t wait until next Halloween to read this. Treat yourself to I SPIDER now, then you can enjoy it again next year. And who knows, I SPIDER may become an annual tradition.