Book Review: First Time Killer
Image from goodreads.com
Title: First Time Killer
Author: Alan Orloff as Zak Allen
Publication Date: 2012
Version: Kindle Version (free from author via Library Thing for review)
Summary Via Goodreads.com:
"In shock radio, nothing is too far over-the-top in the pursuit of ratings.
Not even murder.
During his twenty-six-year career, D.C. radio talk show host Rick Jennings steered clear of outrageous radio. Wasn’t his thing. So when WTLK execs tap him for the Afternoon Circus to land a lucrative satellite deal, Rick struggles to maintain his standards—and his dignity. A chilling call (“I’m a long-time listener, first time KILLER.”) leads to the discovery of an intern’s arm in a trashcan. Rick spars with the “First Time” killer over the airwaves. The police are stymied. Ratings skyrocket. And First Time continues to knock off members of the Circus, phoning in to gloat afterward.
In a world of psychics and poseurs, crazy deejays and crazier callers, it’s up to Rick to bring First Time down before more people perish."
What do you do if you are a radio host trying to get better ratings to please your boss and then you get the opportunity to make that happen? Well, you would use that opportunity like crazy right?! Well, you may think so, but you man change your mind about that if the opportunity turns out to be a crazed serial killer calling in to tell about his latest and “greatest” kills he has made. Rick is a radio host of a radio show called The Afternoon Circus, which he shares with another host nick named Tin Man. They have been doing this slot since the original host Rhino died. Their goal is to see which of them is the better host and who can draw in the listeners more, then that host gets the whole show. If the ratings are up the radio station also has a chance to seal a deal to go satellite and make millions. To a small radio station this is huge, so Celia (the manager of sorts) is willing to do anything to make sure ratings climb and stay high. The question soon becomes…how far would she really go? Is she somehow connected to the man calling himself First Time Killer, a man that called Rick at the station on air to tell him that he had killed someone and it was someone he knew? When Rick’s world is turned upside down by First Time, he struggles with what to do in the situation. Rick wants to try and help the police find First Time and catch him for the murder he has admitted to on air, but also doesn’t want to put his wife and daughter in danger if he talks to First Time more. As the plot thickens there are more murders, more chaos at work for Rick, more stresses put on his marriage/family by the whole First Time drama, and lots of decisions for Rick to make about his morals/ethics/job. Can he really be a key man to helping stop First Time? Does he really want to be the one to keep First Time talking…on air? Will the serial killer really ever stop just because he talks to Rick about his kills on the air? And more importantly who is First Time and why is he killing in the first place?
I very much enjoyed reading this book. I loved the interesting serial killer-radio twist to the plot. I have read many books that do the serial killer/TV show angle, but I thought the whole radio twist was very unique and very interesting. I loved Rick as a character, he is a good man just doing what he loves to support his small family. He wants nothing more than to just interact with people on the air and help them solve small problems they have or hear their rants about traffic if that is all they want. Boy is he surprised when he gets in the middle of a mad man’s serial killing “game” being played out through talking to him on the radio. The plot of this book was great and the adventure was always underlying the chapters. I also love how the book takes some turns that, as the reader, made me think…”ha, I solved this and I know exactly what will go down” only to make my jaw fall to the floor when not much of what I saw happening did happen. I had a hunch from the start who First Time was and I stuck to that theory all the way through the book…was I right you may ask…well I won’t tell you if I was right completely or not, as that may spoil some of the reading fun for you, but I will say that some things snuck up on me and were very surprising. This book plugs along in true mystery fashion and I think the writing was amazing. I also loved the detail of this book, I really, truly felt like I was there, in the book, seeing what the characters were looking at and doing. Very good read, would recommend to any mystery or serial killer fiction buff out there.