There are two kinds of “disturbing” novels, the kind that splashes blood and depravity around for cheap shock value, and the other kind- a novel so delicately contstructed that the reader goes willingly into that dark night. And such is the case with this novel, A Blade Away. The journey, while disturbing, reads honest and true. The details maybe gruesome at times, but what other than horrendous acts of violence could give birth to a serial killer who doesn’t even realize that’s what he’s become. Not to sound like a PSA, but serial killers are people too, though society often forgets that. Wallen has given us a complex bad-guy with deep battle scars and a warped sense of purpose. Serial Killers may not think like the average person, but they do think and feel just ilke the rest of us. Wallen is that good… I found myself both repulsed by and empathetic towards the twisted Doctor at the same time.
In the other corner, battling against evil and a narrow-minded boy’s club is Detective Jamie Davenport. Along with her unofficial partner Skip, Jamie is plunged headfirst into Louisville transgendered community. Whle battling a downright frigid work environment, her neglected libido and potentially complicated relationship issues, Jamie must track down the killer before another person falls victim – or before the Chief busts her back down to desk work.
I’ve said before that the hallmark of a good book is two-fold: If you’re tired the next morning from staying up late to read just one more chapter (and then another, and another) and if your mind revisits parts of the novel days, weeks, or even months later, like remembered reaility instead of a fictional account. A Blade Away had me on both counts. If Wallen can handle serial killers, the transgendered, cross-dressers and the suspense genre in such a creative, finely-tuned, and insightful way as he’s done with A Blade Away, then I can’t wait to read his other novels!