Pieces: Michael Aloisi & Rebecca Rowland
Reviewed By Steve Stred
- Paperback: 284 pages
- Publisher: Dark Ink (10 July 2019)
“Abducting her had been easier than he thought it would have been.”
When this was offered for review, I read the synopsis and jumped on it. The premise is as straight forward as most serial killer stuff appears; a man kills a girl and then mails her body in pieces to people all over the country. He then mails a journalist and tells him that he has thirty days to report about and find all of the pieces, otherwise he’ll start all over again.
This read had so much potential and at the 25% mark, I began to suggest this to friends and family. At that point, I was saying it was a ‘Silence of the Lambs meets Seven’ mash-up. That description held up throughout the entirety of the book.
At first, I really dug the back and forth between finding out where the pieces were mailed too and the real-time work of the journalist and his investigation. We find out about how revered and esteemed the journalist has been throughout his career, at one point going undercover and infiltrating the mob in Chicago.
As the book progresses a subtle change begins to occur.
The focus shifts and the story following each person receiving a piece of the deceased become more and more the focal point, taking up larger and larger sections of the book.
When we hop back into seeing what the journalist is doing, those spots begin to feel like interludes. At times rushed and almost an afterthought.
I kept pushing through, as I was very intrigued by the killer and his back story, but as the book moved closer and closer to the end, that old ‘oh no’ feeling arrived. The feeling that we were running out of space to adequately wrap it up.
The ending, for me at least, was just that. A knee-jerk reaction and finish that really did a disservice to both the story leading up to it as well as the back story of the journalist. For someone who’d infiltrated the mob and lived to tell about it, the ending felt like it involved a completely different character with the same name.
I wished instead of the book wrapping up so quickly that they’d decided to push it into two or three books. The lead up to the ending was worthy of pushing it out, leaving a massive cliff hanger that would force the reader to buy book two.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the plan and it just didn’t sit well with this reader.
Overall this was a really engrossing read, let down by a rushed ending, but some of the horrific stories that detailed the lives of each receiver of a piece were fascinating and I’m glad I checked this one out.
Thirty boxes. Thirty body parts. Eighteen turned in to authorities.
A forensic technician from a quiet Massachusetts suburb does the unthinkable: stalks a local woman, abducts her, divides her body into thirty pieces, and mails the sections to random Americans across the country.
Each white postal box that Dennis Sweeney prepares contains an ambiguous note and a piece of Julie Piedmont.
Most of Sweeney’s intended recipients contact the authorities about their gruesome packages, but twelve of the parcels go unreported.
Pieces, the genre-bending hybrid of crime thriller infused with a short-story vibe, takes a closer look at the body parts that were never recovered and the possible reasons why their recipients never told anyone about their grotesque discoveries.
Weaving the accounts together is Dennis’ story as well as Jackson Matthews’, the reporter to whom Dennis chooses to document his sick game.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of the novels Invisible & The Stranger, the novellas The Girl Who Hid in the Trees, Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, and the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun.
On September 1st, 2019 his second collection of dark poetry and drabbles called The Night Crawls In will arrive. This release was specifically created to help fund the 1st 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.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here