I know there a lot of you who read this blog who are big fans of dark crime stories. Today you are in for a treat. It’s hard to get as dark as The Scribe.
The Scribe* by A.A. Chaudhuri tells the story of a sadistic serial killer targeting former students of The Bloomsbury Academy of Law. Each victim is female and is gruesomely butchered according to a pattern corresponding with the legal syllabus. The killer also likes to play with the police by sending riddles about their next kill to Chief Inspector Jake Carver.
Lawyer Madeline Kramer is a former classmate of a number of the slain who is helping Carver track down the killer. However, this leaves her in mortal danger. Can Maddy unscramble the complex riddles, and save her own life and those of others destined to die?
I’m just going to jump right in with one of my favourite aspects of The Scribe: we also get chapters from the perspective of the killer. This is great for two reasons. One is that we see just how disturbed his person is. They are cold and calculated and have planned each murder down to the smallest detail. These chapters plus the descriptions of the murders meant that this is a character that actually sent chills down my spine.
I also loved that this was not a predictable story. At the same time, the conclusion wasn’t too out there. Don’t you hate when the killer is someone who barely appeared in the book and their motive is not feasible at all? There are many build ups of suspects and it literally could be anyone. For example, we have Professor Stirling whose story of told through present day and flashbacks to the past. We also have his wife Elizabeth who is fed up of her husbands cheating. Was it either of them? You have to read The Scribe to find out.
There were many other details that made me love this book: the character of Maddy, the pace, and the satisfying conclusion. However, there was one thing that bothered me a little. Sometimes the portrayal of women was a little bit too stereotypical; jealous, bitchy, using looks to get by. While no doubt there are women out there like that, it felt a little bit overkill.
Saying that, maybe I misinterpreted. Maybe the author made charterers like that to show that women can also be as strong as men and enjoy a fruitful sex life. But at the end of the day, they still got murdered for it. I’d love for you to read The Scribe and tell me how you interpreted it.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.