In the world of the über rich it’s all about image. Wearing the right clothes, driving the right car, dining at the right restaurants, being seen at the right hot spots and vacation locales. The fabulously wealthy know they are constantly being watched; that’s the point. See and be seen, the more conspicuously the better.
If only they knew he was watching them. Studying them. Photographing them. Obsessing over them. Mr. Glamour knows what matters to the jet set, understands their slavish dedication to brands and image. He understands because he wants it as well. And what better way to obtain what he wants and hurt those he despises than by taking it from them? He will build himself up by tearing them down and taking everything from them… including their lives.
When the bodies of London’s jet set being turning up murdered and mutilated, Detective Chief Inspector Flare and his partner Inspector Steele find themselves investigating what evolves into an increasingly horrific string of murders. And though it seems obvious the killings are linked, Flare and Steele are met with a wall of silence from those closest to the victims, the very people who may be next on the killer’s list.
Now Flare and Steele must deconstruct the pathology of a diseased mind in order to stop the gruesome killings. What they don’t realize is that doing so will also require them to look deep into the darkest corners of their own minds, and what they find there may be even more disturbing than what’s in the mind of the killer.
In last year’s Apostle Rising, author Richard Godwin’s full-length debut, Godwin served notice that his was a take no prisoners approach to crime fiction, and the recently released Mr. Glamour takes the baton from Apostle Rising and continues Godwin’s “shock and awe” writing campaign. Mr. Glamour is not as graphically violent as was Apostle Rising, which is not to say Mr. Glamour doesn’t get up to some decidedly dastardly deeds as he hacks his way through the London’s elite. But where Mr. Glamour really pushes the envelope, and pulls no punches, is in its sexual content. Even the most experienced and jaded reader of crime fiction will be hard pressed not to flinch at some of the brutal acts depicted in Mr. Glamour as Godwin explores the psychology of sexual impulses, especially those which have been repressed or distorted as a result of abuse or feelings of guilt and shame.
Muddying the waters even further, Godwin has made his protagonists Flare and Steele every bit as psychologically disturbed and complicated as the killer they are hunting, if not more so in some aspects. Both harbor dark secrets from their pasts which not only affect their ability to do their jobs, but which have also twisted their view of who they are at their very core as people. This juxtaposition makes for an interesting examination of the way different people handle similar shaping experiences and the resulting negative impulses, raising questions about what causes some people to channel their frustration and confusion into positive outlets while others are pulled down into the mouth of madness.
Indeed, Mr. Glamour is a bold piece of writing, one which both challenges readers’s perceptions as well as cements Godwin’s status as a master of the dark and disturbing.
Mr. Glamour is available from Black Jackal Books (ISBN: 978-0956711335).
And be sure to read Richard’s guest post, “Intoxicated Reality.”