Can you bloody believe it? (the optimal word being ‘bloody’) Halo Scot has done it again. Not content with delivering some of the finest fantasy horror stories read in modern times with The Rift Cycle, Scot is back with another thrilling and addictive read in I Will Kill You.
Meet Alessandro ‘Alex’ Osman, who is psychotic. He knows this and he embraces it, enjoys it and uses it to get exactly what he wants. All in the self-pitying belief that he is doing all of this so his daughters can have a better, and free, life.
You see Alex is a single father and part of his madness seems to have come from the loss of his wife. A woman he didn’t just love, he outright worshiped the ground she walked on. Taken by cancer, it left Alex afloat and not capable of being responsible for two young girls. His internal struggle to keep afloat results in him doing the most extreme of things.
This is the private side of Alex’s life. The public side is something much more intense. Where he is the head of a multi-million-dollar enterprise; loved, respected, and feared. Do not get in the way of Alex’s plans, you will regret it.
Alex has convinced himself that the empire he has built is for his daughters That every dirty, criminal job he takes is for their benefit. He has no fear, except when it comes to loving again. That’s something he swears he just isn’t capable of. No matter how much his housekeeper/nanny/general all-round helper, Georgina tries to encourage him to try.
Alex would rather get drunk, high and fuck anything that moves. Or in one incredible moment of bad taste, even for Halo Scot, something that doesn’t. Alex is a damaged and wholly sick individual. Yet… he’s very easy to love.
Just ask Emma. A woman that enters Alex’s life and seems to have the measure of the man. She seems to know things about him and seems to understand just what his problems are. She finds him fascinating; he finds her fascinating, but together, they’re a powder keg. Could they ever have a future together? Especially when Alex gets the offer of one more job that would buy him and his daughter their freedom from this life.
It should comes a no surprise that Halo Scot has delivered a gripping read with characters that are beyond investible. Similar to the major players of The Rift Cycle, Scot has created a character who is both detestable and desirable in equal measures. You know you should hate Alex but you might find yourself a little bit in love with him.
Part of that comes from the writing style. Which takes on a form of POV with Alex talking to himself, an imaginary friend, aka us – the reader or as he likes to call us, Bob. This really does make it feel like we’re hitching a ride in his head and experiencing the madness, grief, and fear of this man constantly. It can be disconcerting, especially when he is so flippant about his crimes. Which are many.
Yes, Halo Scot does not pull any punches when it comes to blood, guts, and other bodily fluids. If you’ve not got a strong stomach, be warned, this story has some genuinely graphic content. Yet it never feels like too much, aside from one moment that might have pushed things to the limit. Alex’s mind and the world he resides in is a horrific place. So, expect horrific and brilliant things.
Unlike The Rift Cycle, I Will Kill You isn’t as initially engaging though. Readers may struggle to get into it at first, partially because the world feels so non-descript but also because Alex’ narration is unkempt. Once things begin to flesh out and the mind adjusts to the style, it does pick up and from that point on, it’s a wild ride. That’s about all the negatives we can muster here. I Will Kill You is gory, abrasive and draining ride of a psychological horror/thriller story.
Have we mentioned before that we think Halo Scot is one of the best writers of the modern times? That’s not hyperbole.
I Will Kill You (Halo Scot)
The Final Score - 8/10