True Crime: Samantha Kolesnik
Reviewed By Steve Stred
When a debut release by an author gets as much love as a book like ‘True Crime’ does, you say to yourself ‘self, we should read this, yeah?’ So, Steve answered himself (god how lame is this!) and snagged this book from Amazon and dove in!
‘True Crime’ is a two-part story; a before and an after. It is peppered throughout with some back story, but for the most part, we follow our characters along in the before and the after.
The before opens the story up. We are introduced to brother and sister, Lim and Suzy, trying to survive life with an abusive mother. We see just how awful the mother is to these teens and how they try and cope with her actions.
Then one day, Suzy snaps and after dealing with their mom, the two take off. They flee from their past but also from the knowledge that they’ve stepped over a line – and that they both enjoyed it.
They then begin a crime spree filled with some fine moments of the ‘ole ultra-violence.’ Most of the moments that follow happen with little rhyme or reason and at times I didn’t fully grasp the ‘why.’ Kolesnik lays it out well, but a few of the moments still didn’t click with me.
The after, or part two of the book follows what happens with Suzy once their spree ends.
I wished for a bit more here, especially with Suzy. Some of this was suspension of reality – if we are to believe the court systems in the world of this book, they believed Lim kidnapped Suzy and that she wasn’t a willing and active participant, even though Suzy says she was involved. We also need to suspend the belief that Suzy is then sent into a foster home and doesn’t appear to be involved in any sort of counselling.
This was my one issue with this book. I didn’t mind that the start appeared to be a brother and sister version of Natural Born Killers. Those can be completely fun, bonkers books. My issue was the lack of ‘real world’ intervention in the second part.
I enjoyed the work-life of Suzy afterwards, seeing her interact with the creepy friend of the owner and how she felt both stuck being this guy’s only friend but also longing for interaction from someone who had similar thoughts as she did.
Overall, this book was a lot of fun, and it’s a great debut. As I said, I wished for a little bit more in the ‘real world’ stuff, but it wasn’t a detriment to the story (although it may have helped Suzy process some stuff better!).
I can see why so many folks have been raving about this one! Definitely give it a read when you can!
Suzy and her brother, Lim, live with their abusive mother in a town where the stars don’t shine at night. Once the abuse becomes too much to handle, the two siblings embark on a sordid cross-country murder spree beginning with their mom. As the murder tally rises, Suzy’s mental state spirals into irredeemable madness.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of three novels, a number of novellas and four collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
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