Friday 1 July 2011

Book: Sinema: The Northumberland Massacre by Rod Glenn

A video store owner decides to test himself. His mission is to exceed the numbers of victims of Britain’s most notorious mass murderers. In order to accomplish this he adopts a new identity, aspiring author Han Whitman, and ingratiates himself with the locals of a village called Haydon, then sets about systematically eliminating them.

Whitman is gradually accepted by most of the villagers and soon begins a relationship with the barmaid at the Inn where he is staying. A feeling of contentment ensues but he is determined to proceed with his plan of annihilation, whatever the cost.

This reminds me a lot of the recent Uwe Boll film Rampage (see review elsewhere here) but in that film the main character’s life was going to shit before he went off on one. In this case there is a severe lack of motivation, which may be closer to the real life horror of these types of incidents, but it makes for a less entertaining story as you cannot understand or root for this guy. Whitman’s cruelty knows no bounds and no one is safe. Man, woman, child and animal are all victims here and it can be a harrowing read.

That being said, this type of writing takes guts and Rod Glenn pulls no punches as he takes the reader on an often alarming and uncomfortable ride. When the killing starts the ferocious pace does not let up and you are compelled to see it through to the pulsating final confrontation.

This is a hardcore serial killer thriller that won’t appeal to those used to cosy whodunits. But if you can handle it you will be treated to a book that delivers a level of excitement often absent in current crime novels.

Ric’s Rating: 89%


  1. sounds too dark for me, I'd read it only if someone sits beside me and holds my hand :)

  2. Yeah sounds pretty dark and crazy. Reminds me of Dexter.

  3. ...or get them to read it to you Dez.
    Mariah, Dexter always has clear motivation and doesn't kill kids like this crazy dude allowing you to get behind him, you can't do that here making it a bit unsettling.

  4. Javier Stacherano3 July 2011 at 08:35

    I like a bit of hardcore, think I'll give this a try. Have you seen The Rock(starring King Connery)? I saw it last night for the first time and wondered what your opinion was?...

  5. Hope you enjoy it Javier. I saw The Rock many years ago at the cinema, thoroughly enjoyed it.

  6. Gotcha. Sounds interesting. What makes him "test" himself? What sets him off? I don't mean to ask for spoilers, but I'm curious.

  7. I like dark stories, whether in film or books, so this sounds interesting. Thanks for the review!

    Tina @ Life is Good
    and I are joining forces in another challenge. We're going to visit and comment at each of the participants, starting with the reflections post. We hope you'll join us!

    Shannon @ The Warrior Muse

  8. Thanks for reviewing it, Ricky. Much appreciated and glad you enjoyed it. Just to answer a couple of questions, his motivations and background are explored in the sequel, Sinema 2: Sympathy for the Devil. Thanks again!

  9. Mariah, my guess would be that by not giving the character a clear motive the author is keeping this close to real life, making it a senseless act.
    Shannon & Tina, I'm glad you enjoyed the review, I'll check out your challenge.
    Rod, thanks for taking time to stop by and comment. I hope my attempted explanation re:motive wasn't too lame. Sinema 2 is on my Kindle and I will read & review it asap.

  10. No, it wasn't lame at all - that was a key element to the first book. I look forward to your review of Sinema 2.

  11. Phew! Glad I got that right. Thanks again Rod.

  12. I haven't heard of this book, but I think I'll see if I can find a copy at the used book store. Sounds interesting...


Let me know what you think. I value all comments and fully intend to reply.