Recommendation: You could…

Where to read: Nowhere near someone you’ve just started dating

Read with: One of those sick bags they give out on planes

In brief: Hangman is bloody ridiculous but at least it actually delivers on gore.

Oh look, there’s a preview online.

Full disclosure, I bought this on sale in a post office while hungover as fuck and finished it that afternoon. It is therefore plausible that my queasiness was caused by overindulgence in pinot rather than the book… but I wouldn’t bet on it.

It starts with the main character eating the skin and nails off his own hands and gets worse from there. He’s a murderer and a cannibal with a patently absurd relationship with the FBI (think Hannibal Lecter but even sillier and with less justification) and it’s his job to help find missing kids.

In terms of the plot (without giving too much away) – kids go missing, shit goes fucking sideways, backways and just about everyways, our antihero takes an unreasonable amount of damage without bleeding out, going into shock or dying and there’s some child abuse chucked in for good measure.

To top it all off, the hot FBI agent inexplicably decides she likes the cannibal. Now, I will freely admit to liking some fairly substandard men in my time, but I’m a little bit over the “gross dude gets the chick” trope. I take that back, I am really fucking over it. I get that it’s male wish fulfilment and that romance novels could be regarded as a counterpoint (the caveat to that minute concession being that male characters in female-driven romance novels are usually forced to improve as human beings in some way) but it’s so fucking pervasive and I’m not interested. This kind of stupid, dumbass lack of standards is why THIS is a thing.

Now, I get it, this is a silly place to be having this rant but this is a book where the CANNIBAL gets the girl, who he wants to murder and eat (and not necessarily in that order). And who said love was dead.

Also, the ending… little bit shit. I can only hope it’s meant to set up the rest of the series.

In fairness, I did mostly enjoy (if that is the right word) this book and should probably go take my anger out on some dumb action movie or an original Bond or something.