The Bride Collector
This is one of those books that reminds me why I’m not particularly fond of the crime genre… And the worst part about talking about this book is that I can’t tell you why I didn’t like it without bleeding spoilers all over the place. So, I’m bleeding those spoilers and I really don’t think you’ll be any worse for it. This book really isn’t worth your time.
The way that the book approached mental illness was annoying. In the world of this book, you are either a killer or a child if you have mental illness. Not a deal breaker for me, since I have accepted that most books and movies will not portray mental illness realistically. Why not? Because having mental illness is not the drama show that the movies and books want. Most people can’t look at someone with mental illness and know that they have one. In this book it was all but stamped on their foreheads.
The main character, Raines, and the killer, Quinton, were in so many ways the same character. It felt forced and lazy. There was a failed attempt to use the similarities between these 2 characters as a way of discussing the fine line between a healthy and an unhealthy mind. Instead, it came across as though they were the same person. For a while I had hoped that they were the same character, but no.
I did like the character Paradise, almost. She was interesting, but didn’t feel like she belonged in this novel. Put into a fantasy or supernatural piece and I think that she could really become something dynamic. This is a little splash of the super natural that felt completely out-of-place here. She sees ghosts and gets visions when touching dead people. And once I got to thinking that she was a character that was realistic, she started doing things that weren’t. By the end of the book she had completely forgiven her rapist (only a few days after she remembered being raped) and was magically cured of her mental illnesses even though she had yet another traumatic experience.
The core plot was pretty standard stuff. Serial killer goes around and kills people while a team of FBI agents scramble to catch him. The fact that these agents went to a facility for treating the mentally ill for help in solving their case was ridiculous. The romance sub plot was terrible. Raines and his partner, Nikki, had that sexual tension bullshit going on (because all partners what to fuck each other). And of course, Quinton takes Nikki as a victim because there is always one of the cops or someone loved by a cop that becomes a victim. Raines then quickly shifts gears to pursuing Paradise. That I actually did believe since Raines is a slut. But then he spills his heart to her which magically makes it so that she can remember all the things that she had suppressed. Turns out that Quinton is in love with Paradise and has done all this killing so that he could somehow get her back.
Alright, so after I’ve told you how much it sucks you are probably wondering why I gave it 2 stars. Well, 1 star is the lowest that you can go so it gets one just for existing (but that really id pushing it). The other star was for John Glover, the narrator. He was excellent. I liked the way that he was able to give the characters their own voice without making them sound silly. He put more emotion into the characters than Dekker did. His ability was wasted on this book.