5 Killer Reads. Serial Killer, That Is.

shelved under Fiction

We all have our own favourite dark niche.

For some it's big toothy monsters, zombies, or vampires... Mine, admittedly, is the horror manifested by humans. With so many serial killers slashing their ways into our psyche I've compiled a list of unique characters to keep you sleepless. To better help get into these twisted minds all but one "Perfume" — are written in the first person point of view. And we get to travel through the years as well — most of the books are from a a different decade. Enjoy. :-)


The Killer Inside Me

by Jim Thompson

In this 1952 classic Lou Ford is a friendly, small town deputy sheriff who delights in inflicting boring conversations while he tries to keep his "sickness" from brewing again. Here's a taste of how Lou thinks: "I liked the guy - as much as I liked most people, anyway - but he was too good to let go. Polite, intelligent: guys like that are my meat."


Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

by Patrick Suskind

In this 1985 translation (from German), set in smelly 18th century France, we get inside the mind of an abandoned fishmonger's child with a unique olfactory sense. He grows up knowing no real human affection and has a single-minded drive to create the "ultimate perfume." The main ingredient is what eventually gets him into vats of trouble. The book is beautifully written (you won't think about your sense of smell quite the same way again) and Grenouille is a unique monster. A 2007 movie based on the book was a long time coming — Suskind refused to sell the film rights for many years. The challenge was to translate a book so entrenched in the sensory world onto film. You won't be disappointed.

This book also appears on Literary Fiction Picks from Alex Geana


American Psycho

by Bret Easton Ellis

Welcome to the flashy 80's. Yes, the movie version with Christian Bale as the slick, young, intelligent psychopath Patrick Bateman was brilliant, but trust me, the book it was based on is even more twisted and blood-filled. Excess is best in money, drugs, labels, prestige, personal primping, sex, violence, and madness. This book has all that, and more.



by Joyce Carol Oates

Released in 1995, this book won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel.

Quentin is the polite, innocuous, quiet boy next door who won't quite look you in the eye while he goes about driving his grandma to church and care-taking his parent's rental property. He visits his doctors, takes his meds, and promises to "do better this time" — all the while he continues his private hobby to perfect his ice-pick-to-the-eyeball technique to create the perfect male zombie for his sexual gratification. The prose isn't pretty and Quentin's doodles peppered throughout the book are crude, but so is Quentin's mind.


Dearly Devoted Dexter

by Jeff Lindsay

Welcome to the 21st century! Book two in the Dexter series picks up where "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" left off, with some significant differences from the now popular Dexter Showtime series based on the books. A serial killer with a "code" of conduct (if you have to kill, make sure you only kill bad people) imparted by his cop foster father, Dexter is almost sympathetic in his struggle to interpret and look "normal" in everyday life.