Killer Asylum is about a former FBI agent who finds herself trapped in a government research facility that has been taken over by a gang of serial killers.
On the surface, "Killer Asylum" has all the earmarks of your
typical serial killer suspense thriller and indeed it works very well on just that level. There is a "pulpish" quality to the work that reminds me at time of the writings of H. P. Lovecraft and even at times of Clive Barker in his early "Books of Blood" phase.
But throughout the work also raises some very interesting
questions about madness, obsession and the nature of evil.
Alison Moire (the lead character - an ex-FBI profiler and serial killer tracker) is not just some Clarence Starling clone/wannbe. She is a mature woman of thirty-seven with a younger lover (who also happens to be Asian). She is tormented by a past that includes her having witnessed the murder of her mother, father and two brothers at the hands of an unknown assailant. There are also questions about her own sanity.
During the course of Alison's ordeal in the asylum, she is injected with a "psychopharmaceutical" that alters the chemistry of the brain, resulting in a form of "artificial" madness. It is these passages that describe what Alison "sees" that provide some of most disturbing, skin-crawling imagery in the book. The "killers" are also far from one note. Short chapters are devoted to each, to their pasts, to the thought processes they possess, to their "world views". This brings the reader deeper into the mind of a serial killer than any novel I have ever read before, and possibly deeper than many would care to go.
I found the book frightening. A bit too violent in parts perhaps (but it is about serial killers after all). Alison
is very well developed and I would love to know more about
her. I hope david writes a sequel.
This report prepared by amy K