Read The Killing Lessons by Saul Black Online


When the two strangers turn up at Rowena Cooper's isolated Colorado farmhouse, she knows instantly that it's the end of everything. For the two haunted and driven men, on the other hand, it's just another stop on a long and bloody journey. And they still have many miles to go, and victims to sacrifice, before their work is done.For San Francisco homicide detective ValerieWhen the two strangers turn up at Rowena Cooper's isolated Colorado farmhouse, she knows instantly that it's the end of everything. For the two haunted and driven men, on the other hand, it's just another stop on a long and bloody journey. And they still have many miles to go, and victims to sacrifice, before their work is done.For San Francisco homicide detective Valerie Hart, their trail of victims--women abducted, tortured and left with a seemingly random series of objects inside them--has brought her from obsession to the edge of physical and psychological destruction. And she's losing hope of making a breakthrough before that happens.But the murders at the Cooper farmhouse didn't quite go according to plan. There was a survivor, Rowena's ten-year-old daughter Nell, who now holds the key to the killings. Injured, half-frozen, terrified, Nell has only one place to go. And that place could be even more dangerous than what she's running from.In this extraordinary, pulse-pounding debut, Saul Black takes us deep into the mind of a psychopath, and into the troubled heart of the woman determined to stop him....

Title : The Killing Lessons
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781250057341
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Killing Lessons Reviews

  • Melissa
    2019-06-17 02:07

    I have to say, this one managed to poke at some of my deep-seated fears, which doesn't seem to happen often enough. I’m a horror movie junkie and crave a panic-inducing level of fear every single time I pick up a dark and gritty read. I want to be scared out of my mind for some unknown reason. I know, crazy . . . right?You will never find me living in a remote area, in the middle of the woods, with no neighbors around - never. Who would I run to for help if something bad went down? It would make me feel way too vulnerable being all alone, just surrounded by trees. Like I was at the mercy of those just waiting to come and take advantage of the situation. Case in point, this story.Rowena, a single mother, and her two kids are ambushed in their home, in the middle of nowhere, Colorado. There is nothing that could have prepared them for the two men who showed up with the intent to wreak havoc on their lives. It’s depraved and gory and incredibly sad what happens to them. It’s my worst nightmare come true. Sure the men were crazy, but it was their unpredictability that made for an even scarier combination. Jumping from state to state and woman to woman; they leave behind a confusing trail of mutilated bodies.A major portion of the story is told through the eyes of the lead detective, Valerie. A woman whose demeanor and backstory has been done so many times before in this genre. This case is consuming her entire life, vodka is her number one coping skill, and she’s pushed away the only man she’s ever truly loved. Sounds similar to a lot of other police procedurals, right? Just once, I want a detective that has her shit together. Is it just the nature of the job that makes living a happy and balanced life impossible?I think the author did a great job of creating a sense of utter hopelessness. There were so many things that made me feel that way; the dead ends Valerie and her team faced, the sheer number of dead bodies, seeing no possible escape for Claudia and the reality that Nell and Angelo might not be discovered in time to make a difference. All of these things kept me on the edge of my seat for pretty much the entire read. I would definitely consider picking up Lovemurder.

  • Melissa
    2019-05-31 21:53

    2.5 StarsI couldn't help but be somewhat disappointed with this book. I had heard such wonderful things about it and a lot of my friends have given it a minimum of 4 stars. I just didn't feel all the LOVE.There are a few things going on at once in this thriller. First we meet Rowena and her family at a secluded house where two armed men enter. 10 Year old Nell is the only one who escapes and flees into the snow. One of the men follows her and so begins Nell's fight for survival. At the same time Valarie, a detective, is desperately trying to find a serial killer who has killed many women in horrible, gruesome ways. She realises that he may not be acting alone. And finally Xander's story. The killer. How and why is he doing what he is doing? And how did he get such incompetent help? The three stories of Nell, Xander and Valarie continue, and come together in a griping conclusion.Now don't get me wrong, I did like this book. It was very gripping and exciting in parts. The characters were well written, all interesting and complex. However too much of it was just totally unbelievable and corny and TOTALLY predictable. There were a few times in the book where the author would focus on something small and "insignificant" eg a funny shaped tree, and give it just a little bit too much attention, which made the reader aware that it would end up being an integral part of the investigation. It was way too predictable for me. Even the reason that Carla disliked Valarie was SO OBVIOUS. I felt every twist as a disappointment.Parts of this book were extremely slow. There was more than one occasion where I was totally and utterly bored reading about what the characters were thinking about every second. Or when they would go off on tangents, imagining what it would be like if they were in a different situation. It felt like it went ON AND ON AND ON. And Valarie! Oh my gosh if she went on about "what its like to LOVE" any more, I think I would have ripped my hair out! I counted at least 10 different occasions where she went on about LOVE and what its like to have LOVE and what its like to lose LOVE and LOVE and LOVE. ARRRRRGGGGG!!!!! And then the other characters started on about LOVE AND LOVE AND LOVE...And lets not mention the medical inaccuracies... I can't help but be frustrated with the description of miscarriage, pain relief and other cringe worthy medical parts of this book.Ok enough with the bad. It was exciting. I will admit that. I enjoyed the majority of the characters. I liked Valarie despite her flaws and I tried not to hold all the LOVE against her... I enjoyed the relationship she sort of had with Nick. I liked how the bad guys were written, and there was a lot of blood and gore in this book. I'm glad it wasn't too graphic though, some of the killings were over even my threshold of tolerability in a thriller (which is saying something) but a lot of the really bad stuff was mentioned or merely eluded to, but not described in detail.Would I recommend it?Yes, but for die hard thriller fans... Those who don't mind their thrillers with a little bit of dribble.For more reviews visit my blogwww.booksbabiesbeing.comFollow me on

  • Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
    2019-05-28 01:11

    Absolutely freaking fabulous serial killer chiller! Oh man! I have read so many crime books featuring serial killer themes and this is an absolute stand-out. I wish every single book I read was this engaging, well written, exciting and chilling, that would make me one permanently happy reader. Don't you just love a book that you love from the first word to the last? Yup, this was one of those.I will try not to gush TOO much with this review but seriously this is an outstanding book and if you are a crime/serial killer chiller fan DO NOT MISS THIS ONE. I had read some of the snippets of reviews from well known authors and reviewers on the inside front and back covers and was well impressed, but took them with a pinch of salt. Turns out that they were all spot on. I really liked the quote from author Linwood Barclay "Do not read this. No reader deserves to be terrified like this." and "Black squeezes every last ounce of suspense out of this story...The Killing Lessonsis state of the art in the ever darkening serial killer genre" from The Washington Post.The plot sizzles and shocks every step of the way. Two serial killers, horrendous rape scenes, torture and kill methodology. You will NEVER see the alphabet in the same way again. These are seriously messed up guys and you are going to love to hate them. I refuse to give too much away as this book has so much in it that spoilers could be easy to spill. Their killing spree is relentless and they are getting more and more motivated. The motive behind the killings and the back story too is was absolutely brilliant. This is intelligent fiction, not just blood and killing for the heck of it. I was addicted to this book very, very quickly. With constant strengths all the way through in plot, character development, twists and suspenseful moments this book easily enters my long-list for my Top Ten Reads of 2016. Why did I not hear of this book last year when it was released? Never mind, I have read it now and so should you! The detective on the case is a fantastic character, she is broken, damaged, cracked and not a cookie-cutout character cop whatsoever. I absolutely loved her tenacity and realness. The book is presented from numerous points of view, smoothly integrated so that you don't get confused. It's like the events being seen from so many angles but making it so much more exciting because of it. As a reader I had a birds-eye view and it was spectacularly good.There are difficult graphic rape/torture/kill scenes, I was fine with them as a seasoned reader of dark crime and it's nice when an author is willing to go there and make no apologies. Your heart will break a few times over and you may shout at the book, try to tell the characters what they need to hear and be page-flicking desperate to get to the next bit, the next outcome, the next scene. Bloody brilliant. As the book barrelled to the grand finale I was totally lost in it, reality blurred and nothing was going to stop me from finishing it. SO GOOD! Hugely recommended reading, crime/serial killer fans plus those readers who love a good thriller and high suspense will no doubt love this too. I have stumbled across a few negative reviews for this and am genuinely befuddled by them and wondering if we read the same book? As many know I read mostly in this genre so for this to be one of the best I have ever read is high praise indeed. 6/5 stars. My new scoring system. Math was never my best subject, English was. I will be looking for more from this author and read that the pen name Saul Black reveals another published author underneath the title so I will do some detective work myself. Chilling, full of tension and suspense, horrifying moments, quality writing and a plot to die for! Did I mention I really loved this book? Woot!Thanks for reading my review! For more of my book reviews, plenty of awesome books to win, author interviews and features come over to join me for book fun at: follow me on Twitter: enquire about joining my reviewers team: to enquire about my book publicity services:

  • Janet
    2019-06-06 02:50

    I came to this hearing really good things about it and who the novelist was, so my expectations were fairly high. Unfortunately, as it turns out, a little too high. I couldn't get this at all.It starts out really well. A family in a remote part of Colarado are hit upon by two twisted killers, told with graphic visualisations and genuinely scary. Especially the little girl who manages to escape the evil clutches of one of the men. But then the story just lost it for me. We have the obligatory drink dependent cop out to solve the killings that seem to be spreading across America and I lost interest in the over telling of many aspects of characters. There just seemed to be too much of what was not important. So much so I skipped to a few chapters before the end and felt that I didn't really lose much of the story.I came away really disappointed especially given that the first few chapters were totally gripping. The writing is good, just kept going off in different directions that frankly had me thinking about what I should cook for dinner!! Mind wandering is never a good sign when reading a page or two.I fully accept that this is just my take on it and obviously it does work for others. Not me I'm afraid in this instance.

  • Liz Barnsley
    2019-06-15 21:00

    Teaser Review: Full review near publication.Serial killer thrillers are tricky things – they can be way over the top, so extreme that you lose all sense of feeling. They can be under cooked, so they are not terrifically frightening. They can border on ridiculous when it comes to police procedure. Writing a truly scary, authentic feeling, heart stopping thriller involving a serial killer is not the easiest thing to achieve. I’ve read many and out of those I would quote a handful as being anywhere near as good as this one. In fact I’m not sure I’ve read one as good as this one…Saul Black has written an utterly frightening, endlessly compelling, rollercoaster ride of a novel, featuring an amazing cast of characters every single one of whom is full of such depth that you will easily be persuaded that you are reading real people in a real life doing real things. And that my friends is scary as hell. The plot is intensely intelligent, brilliantly written and will carry you along whether you want to go or not – kicking and screaming I tried to escape occasionally, so nerve wracking it was at times, but nope – I had to follow right along to the end. And the ending chapters were perhaps the most powerful “finish” to a crime novel I have read in years.Put this one on your list folks – you will not want to miss it. Don’t be frightened – its only fiction. I promise.Happy Reading Folks!

  • Michael Robotham
    2019-05-30 00:09

    Glen Duncan can change his name, but he can't lose his style. There is ample evidence of his writing skills in this new excursion as he ticks all the boxes of serial killer fiction - a sadistic killer with perverted fantasies, an alcoholic detective with a lousy private life, a missing woman and an unlikely hero. This area of crime fiction has a lot of imposters, but very few writers do it as well as this.

  • Terri Wino
    2019-06-15 00:15

    A good book that could have been a great book if:1) It had been about 100 pages shorter. There was too much unnecessary and boring side story. This had me losing interest several times until some new burst of action happened. 2) The stereotypical good cop, but has a drinking problem interfering with her work scenario. 3) Eliminating the Carla character altogether and the whole she hates Valerie subplot. Didn't care about it, and it was one of thosethings that made parts drag for me. 4) Going too over the top a few times with Leon as the Energizer Bunny who takes a licking, but keeps on ticking. Actually, the same could probably apply to Valerie too.With a few changes, I feel the story would have moved along more quickly and kept the intensity it started off with. I did like the book, but I do feel it could have been so much better if the heart-pounding pace could have been maintained by eliminating all the boring extra side stuff.

  • Mary
    2019-06-01 20:58

    Dear reader,On a seemingly ordinary day,I walked into a bookstore in search of distraction. Sitting on a shelf,the only copy left,it called to me. So naturally I did what I normally do when deciding to part with my hard earned cash....I opened the first page and started to read this book. After a few moments I knew that I'd like it. What I didn't know was how utterly compelling and addictive it would turn out to be! To say this is a story about not one but two serial killers does this book an injustice. To add that we sympathise with the monumental efforts Valerie Hart and her team are making to bring these killers to justice isn't true,initially,for they have no suspects,very little DNA evidence,only the decomposed bodies of women who died at the hands of maniacs. What we do have however,and are sadly privy to at the beginning of the story,are the names of these men as we catch them in the act of adding other victims to their log of abuse,depraved mutilation and finally welcome death. To say that Valerie and her team catch a lucky break,dear reader,would likely lead you to thinking that this was the work of a moment,or that the killers themselves slipped up. Nothing could be further from the truth,and as we see the circumstances surrounding the discovery of this initial clue,along with the path that Valerie and her team take to discover the identity and whereabouts of these two men,we are practically left speechless,so enraptured are we at the domino effect that plays out. Added to the chase,we are allowed access to the backstory of Valerie,the reason her life has tunnel visioned into work alone,her 'mild' obsession with alcohol and her reaction to the appearance of one Nick Blaskovitch. We read of the grieving widower,a little girl that,although saw nothing,now knows too much and the young woman who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Coupled with these facets of the storyline, we also learn of the powerful instinct to survive,the strength one garners when faced with insurmountable challenges and the choice to dare act in ways that in a previous life would have been deemed impossible. We are also offered,dear reader,a snapshot into the early life of the alpha killer,the wrongs that were done to him,that of course don't condone what he has done,but do go some way to explaining the path he chose. I loved so many different elements of this book-the chase,the different characters and their unique histories that led to a strange inevitably in their meeting,the beautifully crafted story,in many ways horrific to read, but also utterly compelling in its carefully chosen words,descriptive phrases and exploration of the realm of human emotions. I could continue to wax lyrical of the merits of this book,but I won't,as my words alone cannot do justice to this fantastic thriller. I will end by saying that I highly recommend it,but please beware that it is not for the faint hearted!!

  • Susan
    2019-06-22 02:04

    The world was full of women not noticing the men who were noticing them.Sometimes you just want to read a really fast paced thriller, full of suspense and edge of your seat excitement and this ticks every box. It begins with Rowena Cooper, a widowed mother of two children, who curses her stupidity in feeling safe in her remote house, when two men walk – rather than break – in. and her nightmare begins… The two men have been murdering women throughout the country and homicide detective, Valerie Hart, is the officer in charge of an investigation which goes back over three years and has haunted her for the past seven months. Now she is working with Special Agent Carla York, but Valerie cannot help feel that Carla is not completely on her side. Drinking too much and depressed by a love affair which fell apart some time ago, Valerie is an intelligent and driven officer. However, her team are just fishing in the dark and nothing seems to result in any leads. Poring over evidence night after night, Valerie knows that a break can only come with more victims and the past victims are always there, haunting her thoughts.What follows involves a serial killer haunted by his own demons, a woman held prisoner, a detective who is under attack and a child who knows who the killer looks like. This novel keeps up the pace all the way through, with fascinating, flawed characters, unlikely heroes and some extremely creepy scenes. I really hope that this book has a sequel, as I will surely be reading on if it has. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys intelligent, well written thrillers. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, for review.

  • Judy Collins
    2019-06-08 19:17

    Saul Black (aka British author, Glen Duncan)delivers THE KILLING LESSONS, a dark, and shocking psycho-crime suspense literary thriller, which will leave your head spinning! Making it difficult sleep after reading this one, with heart-pounding adrenaline. As the mutilated bodies mount and the objects collected inside them scream, sicko-- a poor little girl barely escapes, injured, collapses and lands on a cabin door in the remote woods in the snow. The man at the cabin is crippled, can barely walk; no phone, electricity and a bridge washed out. Grieving his late loving wife, and all the while an alcoholic detective cop in San Francisco is fighting against all odds, desperately trying to track down two serial killers before their next kill. Flashing back and forth with three powerful parallel storylines, crossing several genres, Black's writing is pure spellbinding!Set in the brutal cold harsh winterof snow, in a small town of Ellinson, pop. 697, outside of Colorado, two armed and dangerous men turn the Cooper family house into a blood bath. A mother, Rowena is left for dead, and her thirteen-year-old son, Josh, upstairs with his headphones listening to music, oblivious to the events unfolding downstairs. Nell, the ten-year-old daughter,happens to be outside feeding the deer, and hears a gunshot and rushes into the farmhouse, while the men are upstairs. Her mother did not have time to get to the gun to defend herself, and she knows there is no time for her daughter to save them, without being harmed. The mother tells Nell to run as fast as she can. All Nell can see is blood everywhere and the man is soon following her out into the woods- her red coat. She fears for her life. She has to escape. She has to get help for her mother and brother. She has to stay alive. She always carries her bracelet in her pocket; her mother gave her to protect herself, handed down for generations.The Old Mystery Guylived in a remote cabin across the ravine. His name was Angelo Greer. He had moved in the previous week, to the derelict place over the bridge, a mile east of the Coopers. They had not met him. The bridge was not safe and had been closed for more than two years. He walks with a stick, an author, which is grieving the love of his late wife who died of cancer. A woman is found dead, raped and mutilated with a piece of a crystal unicorn inserted in her body in the California area. SFPD homicide detective Valerie Hart links this crime and another Bay Area slaying, to a string of murders of women in several states across the western U.S., in each of which the killers—DNA evidence suggests there are two --all with an embedded object. Detective, Valeriehas issues, from being an alcoholic and a love life went wrong. Carla is an FBI agent, which does not get along with Valeria, (undermining her efforts) causing further problems, a nemesis, and her ex- fiancé cop, Nick –all to distract her. However, Valerie is tenacious and will stop at nothing to catch these cold-hearted killers. Meanwhile, most of the bookis about the two sadistic serial killers and their demons traveling across the country in an RV. Monsters created by horrific child abuse, Xander/Leon and Paulie -on a mission; to rape, torture, and murder aided by some elements where letters of the alphabet are involved. Flashing back and forth from the Xander-Leon/Paulie, to Nell/ Angelo, to Valeria/Carla/Nick, a race against time as poor Nell and Angelo will break your heart (this was my favorite part), as they try to help one another, both at a disability, before the killers come to get them for an explosive ending.THE KILLING LESSONSis one fast-paced, edgy, disturbing, twisted, and terrifying dark crime, cop, psycho-thriller combined with characters you root for, and some you want dead soon, rather than later. Mind-blowing, entertaining; film worthy and can only imagine the cast of stars. Gives new meaning to edge-of-your-seat in all categories. Loved, lovedthe author/recluse, Angelo and Nell. Priceless. The sacrifices he made to try and save Nell (she can identify one of the guys), all the while talking to his dead wife. I found myself skipping over the violent scenes with the killers, and the cops, rushing to get back to the cabin to learn the fate of these two stranded victims.“All fear was, in the end, fear of death. Once you knew you were dying, there was nothing left to fear. It gave you the last great gift; infinite courage.” I am all for reinvention;however, in this case, not needed, as no matter the name chosen for the book cover; It is Killer. It Rocks. Oh, BTW, did I mention, Black’s writing is captivating!Can't wait to see what's next. Lovemurder Coming July 25, 2017 (Valerie Hart #2). A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.4.5 Stars JDCMustReadBooks

  • Angel Erin
    2019-06-15 23:55

    My review and GIVEAWAY here!!

  • Krystin Rachel
    2019-06-11 20:09

    The last four weeks have been so busy - birthdays and readying for the holidays - that when I started this book at the end of November, I didn't get to read it as much as I wanted to. Then, this past weekend, my 91-year-old grandmother went into the hospital with an ischemic bowel and sepsis. For days, we waited to see if she would get better. The stress, the anxiety, the grief - it was exceptionally exhausting, my body was screaming for sleep, but I just couldn't. So in the ICU waiting room, I finally really delved into this book. And I want to thank Saul Black - aka Glen Duncan - for writing a novel that transported me away from my real life heartache and into one of the most satisfying reading experiences of my life. My grandmother passed away on Sunday, Dec 6, so this is the first chance I'm getting to put that aside and do something normal, like writing a review.It might seem strange to say a novel that is a stomach-churning, violent and depressing story of murder and addiction and terror, could bring me a reprieve from my grandmother's last days - but this was such a brilliant, vibrant world that I was able to be fully distracted by the rich plot, the psychologically full characters and the undeniable need to know what was going to happen next, propelled by the poetic and perfectly unique-for-the-genre prose.My aunt had asked me, "what are you reading, dear?" So I read her the blurb on the inside cover. ...women abducted, tortured and left with a seemingly random series of objects inside them..."Oh my, who would want to read that?"THIS GIRL.It opens with Rowena Cooper...The instant Rowena stepped out of her warm, cookie-scented kitchen and saw the two men standing in her back hallway, snow melting from the rims of their boots, she knew exactly what this was ..."A serial killing duo is at large, doing some disgusting things and leaving a bloody trail of at least seven bodies, so far, in the wake of their cross-country journey. Trying to catch them is S.F.P.D Detective Valerie Hart - a drunk, obsessive and self-destructive cop with a chip on her shoulder the size of California. While Valerie stumbles through her tunnel vision, focused only on catching these killers, Black sets multiple other story lines into motion: Nell, Rowena Cooper's daughter who made it out alive when her mother was murdered; Angelo, Nell's rescuer and cripple; Claudia, the latest victim chained up in a basement cage in the middle of nowhere; And Carla, an FBI agent who is out to destroy Valerie, for reasons unknown. The police work is convincing and detailed. And the characters are fresh and raw. The gore is restrained, compared to Black's (as Duncan) other work, but still palpable and, for lack of a better word, nasty. And the perspective of each character is so real, it creates tension and horror and unease in perfect amounts. The combination of these things is an addictive read that I can only hope is the start of a series. Lovers of the mystery-cop genre may fault Black for a few police procedural oversights, or some unlikely leads that seem to come out of nowhere too perfectly, but because of the circumstances I read it under and how beautiful I found this very disturbing novel, it gets 5 stars from me.

  • *TANYA*
    2019-05-26 20:15

    4.25 stars!! Horrible serial killer. Kick butt cop. This book had me on edge the whole time. Somewhat graphic too. Very good book but my next read needs to be something happy full of unicorns and rainbows and musical forest animals. Lol.

  • Petra
    2019-06-03 23:07

    I am not even going to attempt to summarize the plot. I think it's suffice to say The Killing Lessons was an outstanding serial killer thrill ride. Saul Black aka Glen Duncan clearly has superb writing skills. The Killing Lessons was utterly frightening, tense and suspenseful. The first chapter really pulls you in. There were a lot of characters, and Saul Black did an amazing job of fully fleshing out each one, which was great. But (and I'm sure that this will make no sense to anyone but me) there was so much depth to each character, I occasionally found my mind wandering while listening to the audio version and then having to rewind, ... never a good sign. It went through phases of adrenaline extremely high and then it would even out and give you plenty of information I wasn't sure I really needed. So this is probably a book that really needs to be savored and appreciated in small installments. There were some incidents that were just a tad silly and far-fetched, e.g. that helicopter scene and the Russell Crowe thing. But overall, a solid thriller and one of the most terrifying ones I have read in a while. 4.5 stars

  • Angela DeSilva
    2019-06-11 21:09

    Good book really liked it.

  • Mark Edwards
    2019-05-24 19:18

    This is fast-paced, exciting and the last 50% is thrilling and genuinely scary. It's also beautifully written, as you'd expect from Glen Duncan (the author, using Saul Black as a pseudonym). However, it's difficult to review this book without being aware of the hype surrounding it, with quotes such as 'the best serial killer thriller since Silence of the Lambs' all over Twitter. It's not, mainly because it doesn't do anything new. TKL has got everything you'd expect in this kind of novel: a detective with a drink problem, a killer with an interesting calling card and a horrible childhood, women locked up and trying to escape, etc, etc. Also the investigative parts of the book are quite weak - lots of luck and sudden revelations. The thing with the Australian actor is a bit daft. HOWEVER, it is a superior serial killer thriller, it's a great read and I was fully invested in the fate of the characters so very highly recommended.

  • Teresa
    2019-05-25 23:09

    I haven’t read a decent serial killer novel in such a long time – mostly because I grew rather weary of the genre since there was a dearth of original specimens out there. Saul Black has succeeded in luring me back with this accomplished piece of writing which I devoured in one sitting.The chapters are short and succinct with lots of twists and turns to make this a really addictive read. The characters are true to life and the author takes care and time to let the reader know more about both the “goodies” and the “baddies” making them more than a means to an end.There’s a lot going on in this fast paced thriller with the main detective being victimised by someone unknown, a child witness to a murder unable to get to safety, a serial killer tiring of his sidekick.It’s a dark and disturbing tale but extremely entertaining at that…. strange but true!My thanks to Orion, the publishers, for providing me with a review copy.

  • Carol -Reading Writing and Riesling
    2019-05-25 01:51

    My View:If you love crime fiction, if you love serial killer narratives that run full pelt off the page- then this is a book for you. This book demands that you read it in one sitting – be prepared to sit and read four hundred and eight pages of pulse raising drama without moving from your chair, there are no distractions important enough to tear you away from this book.If this book was a film I would watch with my hands partly covering my eyes. Terrifying!

  • Debbie
    2019-06-23 19:14

    3 stars!How many lives does this murderer have? For the most part, I thought this book was pretty good. I cringed a lot during the murder scenes. This guy was disgusting, but I guess you can't expect much from a guy who doesn't know that L comes before M and has to carry a chart around with him.Also, I didn't care too much for the main character, Valerie. There was just something about her that just didn't hit me the right way. And Carla, I couldn't stand her at all. While there were a lot of moments of suspense, I just felt that it was just too long. That man had more lives than most cats. And the helicopter scene was way unbelievable.Thanks St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for the free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Wendy Darling
    2019-05-25 21:13

    Overwrought and overrated.

  • Lisa
    2019-06-08 19:50

    Amazing, frightening, suspenseful... had everything. A really well written novel. Enjoyed the characters (even the bad guys) and believe that they were very well developed. This book catered for many emotions and many shifting emotions. One chapter I was happy, then on edge followed up by horrified. Great read this one. Have already check out other books by this author.

  • Chester Dean
    2019-05-24 19:16

    La letra con sangre es un libro que te llama la atención desde la portada. Después de leer la sinopsis supe que quería leerlo. Me gustan mucho las novelas policiacas y estaba segura que me iba a gustar. En físico, la portada se ve aún más genial, tiene el uso perfecto del rojo sobre blanco que te invita a observarla. Y el contenido del libro, increíble.La historia comienza con el asesinato de una familia, en el cual, la hija pequeña de sólo diez años logra escapar dentro del bosque nevado. Por otra parte, en un estado completamente diferente, la policía investiga el caso de un asesino serial de mujeres un tanto particular: Éste asesino, siempre les deja algún objeto en el cuerpo (boca, vagina, intestinos) ¡Imaginen qué macabro! Obviamente, yo quedé prendada al libro desde las primeras páginas. Tenía miedo que ésta emoción de saber qué iba a suceder después fuera menguando con el paso de las páginas, ya que me ha sucedido que un libro comienza súper interesante y luego ¡PAF! baja su calidad de forma exorbitante. Pero ese no fue el caso de La letra con sangre. La historia tiene varias historias simultáneas, al principio es un poco confuso porque tenemos que llegar a conocer a todos éstos personajes, su historia y trasfondo, pero no crean que ese detalle lo convierte en una lectura lenta o con relleno, porque no es así. De hecho, cada historia nueva lo convierte aún más interesante. La forma en que el autor estructura a sus personajes es perfecta, ya que el lector (o al menos así me sucedió a mi) siente que los conoce a todos de forma personal. Tiene personajes bastante peculiares, en primera, el dichoso asesino serial. Ese hombre es un ser humano perturbado (como sería lógico si se dedica a la profesión de asesinar mujeres) pero tiene un porqué, su historia es una de las más interesantes, y aunque no apruebas lo que hace, en cierta forma comprendes el porqué. Además contamos con una agente policiaca bastante disfuncional que además de luchar contra el crimen lucha contra sus demonios internos, esa es otra historia bastante interesante de leer. Su intento obsesivo por llegar al final de éste caso que se ha alargado con un casi nulo avance por años mientras su trabajo corre peligro.Además, los capítulos son bastante cortos, cuando mucho de cinco páginas, pero todos los capítulos terminan en un cliffhanger que te obliga a leer un capítulo más, pero ¡Sorpresa! El siguiente capítulo no continúa en lo que querías leer, pero te deja con otro cliffhanger, y se convierte en una historia interminable de "Un capítulo más" así que les recomiendo no lo lean antes de dormir o no dormirán en días, simplemente los capítulos no les darán la oportunidad de soltar el libro, mis ojeras y mis dos desvelos se los confirman. La letra es un tanto pequeña y el texto está apretado, yo tengo muy mala vista, así que eso me desanimaba un poco porque al final del día, yo quería seguir leyendo pero mis ojos no daban para más y tenía que dejarlo. Pero si ustedes gozan de una vista óptima, no creo sufran ese problema. De resto, el libro es perfecto. El libro a mi me pareció perfecto, sin relleno aburrido que vuelva la experiencia en algo tedioso, sin personajes secundarios que sólo sirvan para llenar huecos por momentos y luego desaparecer en el olvido, con un cierre a todas las historias, además de tener un ritmo que nunca —¡NUNCA!— pierde su constancia. Lo recomiendo ampliamente. No, no lo recomiendo, les pido por favor que lo lean, necesito a alguien con quién hablar sobre el libro que siento la emoción me estalla en el pecho y ya pasaron como cuatro días desde que lo leí (jajajaja).

    2019-05-29 01:09

    Everyone knows my love of serial killers and this one was very very good. A creepy killer and his partner, well written characters that you care about and although he kept 3 stories going I was never confused and he tied it all together. Loved it.

  • Siobhan
    2019-06-07 00:15

    I’ll start by saying this is a low four-star rating. There were a few moments throughout in which I considered giving three stars, yet in the end I had to opt for the four. It is far from the strongest four star rating I have ever given, but I couldn’t bring myself to drop it down to a three star rating as I enjoyed it too much for that.I’m not one hundred percent sure about how I feel about this one, though. As I said, I enjoyed it too much to give a three star rating but it wasn’t quite a four stars. Mostly, it’s because I did not engage with the story as much as I would have liked to.I’ll start with the writing style. I’m a lover of individual writing styles, the type that works as an identifier. I can safely say such is the case with this author. They have a writing style that is very much their own. However, I’m not one hundred percent sure about how I felt towards the particular style. It’s not bad; it simply wasn’t something I would go out of my way to read more of. Partly, I believe, this is due to the same words being used over and over again. Not just any words, though. It was as though the author occasionally used a thesaurus and realised they had a new favourite word. It reminded me far too much of the ‘word of the day’ and how people will go out of their way to use it far too many times in sentences.The story itself, however, was really interesting. I was gripped to see where things would go, enjoying the way we followed many aspects of the story. I do feel, though, that Nell’s aspect of the story was a bit of a let down. I had expected more of a struggle for survival. When it became obvious that Nell wouldn’t be getting the attention the blurb had me believing she would, it became clear how the ending would play out. We knew she played a vital part, and with the way things were working, we knew it was only a matter of time before certain aspects came to be. I would have liked more from this aspect of the story, but other than that I did enjoy the way we followed many different characters.Despite this, I couldn’t bring myself to connect with any of the characters. None of the stories really stood out for me. Mostly, their individual backstories and side stories bored me. There wasn’t anything overly original. The cops were clichés. The criminals were clichés. The reasoning for actions were clichéd. I’ve seen them before, and I’ll probably see them again.Even though I did enjoy it, I’m not sure whether I will continue on with more stories following these characters. I guess we’ll find out when we have conformation as to whether or not the talk of a series is true. Perhaps I will pick up the next book, but I cannot say for sure.Overall, a decent enough read.

  • Tien
    2019-06-05 21:48

    There seems to be a flood of psychological thrillers these days since Gone Girl. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of that book and so, I feel a little ambivalent towards this genre. In saying that, it still hasn’t stop me reading one or two and I thought this was one. Fortunately, it’s not! And fortunately, I have absolutely enjoyed this reading this book –even if my heart was permanently in my mouth from start to end.The book began with a chilling scene. It’s a scene which grabbed my attention straight away from the contrast of a nice safe homey feeling (with smells of baking!) to the intrusion of sinister strangers. This is all in one (1) sentence. Yes, the very first sentence! My heart began to race and did not stop until right the very end. The tension of the chase and the pace of the tale was maintained exquisitely throughout the telling.The Killing Lessons was so much more than the book blurb. It wasn’t just about the little girl who survived nor the detective on the trail of these murderers. There were a number of other perspectives which took a little time to get used to but which I fully appreciated later on. It’s almost like hearing a story from everybody’s points of view so you’d get the full picture of what’s happening. I could not put this book down. It was an electrifying ride reading from the points of view of victims, murderers, and detectives. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to all thriller lovers and I’ve fallen in love with this author too! I think I might even try his fantasy works Thanks to Hachette Australia via The Reading Room for Uncorrected Proof in exchange of honest review

  • Michelle Only Wants to Read
    2019-06-19 02:12

    2.5I'm so disappointed. There was so much promise to it! I can't even describe it. I think this reviewer summarizes my thoughts about this book better than I could ever do it.I would have given it a higher rating if the "Carla" subplot had been eliminated. Unnecessary. What was the point?

  • Rhian
    2019-06-23 02:05

    Solid 3★ book, I could pick a few minor faults but they can be forgiven because it is very good for a debut, look forward to more from Saul Black in the future

  • Chelsea
    2019-06-07 21:18

    The Killing Lessons was a captivating and unpredictable thriller from start to finish. The crimes committed in this novel are absolutely horrible and very graphic, so be aware if you consider picking this up. In my opinion, the thriller aspects were phenomenal; I couldn’t put the book down. I, however, wasn’t a fan of some of the other elements in The Killing Lessons, such as the ableist language. You can read my full review on my blog!content and trigger warning for rape, murder, sexism (language such as ‘cunt‘ and ‘bitch’), mutilation, very graphic descriptions (of rape, murder, torture), ableist language, miscarriage, child abuse, graphic sex scenes, alcoholism, slut shaming, stalking, kidnapping

  • Orlanda Machado
    2019-06-17 01:11

    Original Blog Review: https://myescapebookscoffeetea.wordpr...My Blog: http://myescapebookscoffeetea.wordpre... My Instagram: the same edition I got on BookDepository: Affiliate Link: Actual Rating: 5.5 StarsThis book was so good I can’t even cope with it… SERIOUSLY… I gave to this amazing book 5.5 Stars because it is one of those books that if I could I would totally give to it 6 or 7 stars… it was really spectacular. The last time I felt this way was when I read “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn.I bought “The Killing Lessons” because I saw it some times on Goodreads and on Instagram and I loved the title of the book and I really got intrigued with it and with the cover but I saw some ratings on Goodreads and they weren’t straight fives or even straight fours so I just got kind of worried because I thought “OK, maybe I will not love it… a lot of people didn’t like it so there’s a remote possibility that I will end up not liking this book”… I need to tell you now that I was totally wrong… I LOVED this book.This book is a really fast read in my opinion, it was not boring at all, not even a single time… it was really awesome and even if I was “confused” sometimes I feel like that was part of it… it was supposed to make people to getting confused because it is a mystery thriller and you shouldn’t know anything about it until the end of the book or at least half of it.Some parts of this book were pretty disturbing because of the “assassins” ok? DON’T GET ME WRONG… I really love when a book shows me the point of view of the “bad guy”, of the killer and I had nothing against that in this book… I am just saying that if you are more sensitive maybe you’ll need some time to cope with some chapters of this book and with the insanity of some characters… BUT, I’ve read “worst” when it is about describing crimes and all of that “gory stuff”.ABOUT THE CHARACTERS: as I said before some characters are insane… and you’ll probably be confused sometimes while reading this book because you’ll not understand everything and you’ll not know every character right at the beginning of the book… you’ll have to take your time until you start putting together all the pieces and until you start making all the connections.I don’t really want to spoil you and I feel like if I continue writting I will totally spoil this book for you… SO I WILL JUST SHUT UP and recommend this book to EVERYONE of course…

  • Ethan
    2019-06-08 02:05

    "The world was a wonderful place. Full of nightmares"Detective Valerie Hart is no stranger to the nightmares that fill the world. Unable to cope with the pressure of solving an impossible mystery, Valerie sabotaged her relationship with the only man she ever loved and fell into an alcohol laced depression. Her friends and colleagues worried about her wellbeing, but Valerie was too stubborn to accept any help. Even worse, her personal demons caused the force to question her ability to properly do her job. With a new string of murders surfacing, Valerie continues her downward spiral of overworking and personal neglect and faces the most sadistic serial killer that she's ever encountered.Five days away from Christmas, ten-year-old Nell Cooper is facing a nightmare of her own. Her older brother is dead, and her single mother lies in a pool of blood downstairs. The two men who entered her home and caused all of this misfortune still don't know that Nell is there. Her mother uses her last breath to desperately urge her young daughter to run from the house and to find help. As one of the murderers becomes aware of the girl's presence, Nell escapes the terrors of her home to the equally inhospitable rural forest that surrounds the estate.Xander King's whole life has been a nightmare, but he's beginning to put those days behind him. After years of going through life unnoticed and unloved, he's finally found a cause that he can put pride in. This cause . . . capturing, torturing, and murdering innocent women. What started as a solo endeavor was soon made more complicated by the addition of an accomplice who doesn't share King's vision. Now as he exacts his reign of terror, King struggles to maintain the composure and stealth that has kept the authorities in the dark about his true identity and intent. In The Killing Lessons author Saul Black, a pseudonym for British author Glen Duncan, crafts a masterful story of intrigue and suspense. While the story follows many conventions of the genre, a detective on the verge of professional and personal collapse, a raging serial killer, etc, Black infuses it with enough depth and originality to make it stand out from the pack. Substantial time is devoted to the development of each character, allowing them to brim with a life and reality that keeps the reader engaged throughout. I've read many books featuring insane serial killers, but Black's character is written with a restraint and backstory that makes him one of the most terrifying villains that I've ever read. The Killing Lessons is the rare thriller that manages to be as smart as it is entertaining, and I highly recommend it.