Now and then you just have to lend your heart out to the psycho killer. Before it went bad it was all so good. He loved his girl and was able to keep the nightmares at bay. That was until someone did something so wrong, so unforgivable, and so criminal that anyone would spin in a tizzy when seeing the punishment so lenient.
So it starts with yet another serial killer. Everyone knows you never forget your first time and that there is always a first time for everything. It wouldn’t be so bad if the repressed memories weren’t getting evermore vivid. Things would be more likely to go as planned.
C. Kevin Provance brings us a novel entitled, Prisoner of the Game. Because after a while it all seems like one crazy game, doesn’t it? But some games, like relationships, identities, fake identities, and body counts, tend to get difficult to merely quit. So it seems with a story begging to be written.
While this tale is peppered with a small handful of editing errors, they’re minor and do not distract from the flow of the story. Actually, this demonstrates this novel hasn’t been picked at by persnickety editors, leaving it raw. That’s quite a good thing since this is quite the story. It’s just that our story’s narrator, a troubled soul eventually known as Carter, is not the sort one can easily relate to or understand.
While anyone can recognize that this fellow was dealt an unfair hand quite early, it gets difficult to justify many of the following decisions over time. But that isn’t as much of the point as it is to understand what led to the issue and subsequent results. But if we have anything to fall back on and take as a sign, it’s that our narrator is still coming to terms with who he is, which seems common for this demographic while in Maryland (as Maryland factors into the story). Perhaps Dr. Lecter is assisting this chap with those demons; that is, if he isn’t intent on having him for dinner.
Provance clearly devoted a lot of time and thought into this clever and diabolical tale, and it shows in the story. Because of the unlikable aspect of our narrator I came close to dismissing this story and forgetting about it. But there was just too much to know. We have numerous hints to the evil that created Carter, but where does it go from there? Does this game reach its timely end? Would he discover some new revelation regarding this game that consumes him so? I did finish the book and I am glad I did so, but there are questions mayhap to be answered in the future. Perhaps a sequel?
I recommend this read to those who find this review and I have to hand it to Provance for creating a compelling and creative tale. I particularly like the realistic additions at the end! But know this is not a story told by a character we hope to like, such as we did another Baltimore institution resident. But it is a glimpse into the head of someone we all desire to understand more, because we have all asked that question after the fact of tragedy. That is, what makes someone so evil? What drives a person to be like that? Provance offers some food for thought. And if there is a lesson to be learned here, it is simply be good to your children.
So, take the time to get a little uncomfortable and sit down in a dimly lit space and get to know Carter, particularly while the download is free. But keep in mind, you’ll feel motivated to know the rules.