#BlogTour- Will Carver- Psychopaths Anonymous @will_carver @orendabooks

Having previously reviewed Will Carver’s The Beresford this year, we are being spoiled in true ambassador fashion with another from the mercurial mind of a truly unique- some would say warped- writer. It’s always a singular challenge when reviewing Carver’s books to put your thoughts into some kind of coherent order, and then find the right words to express these thoughts in an equally coherent order.

Which begs the question of where the hell to begin with this one?

Let’s begin with Maeve the central character, who regular readers of Carver may recognise, now given her time in the spotlight, and boy, does she own it. It’s not easy to give a straightforward summary of Maeve, her likes, her dislikes, her hopes, her fears, because as a high-functioning psychopath- yes, you read that right- her world view is slightly on a different trajectory to the rest of us. To all intents and purposes, she is a normal young woman with a steady job, and a seemingly normal existence. Sure, she loves drinking, and sex, and reality television, and more sex, bemoaning the state of the world, railing against the things in society that cause annoyance or bewilderment on a daily basis, and dissing the Almighty, much like the rest of us, but Maeve is special for rather more nefarious reasons.

“It’s not his fault that I’m going to kill him. It doesn’t always have to be something heinous. It doesn’t have to be retribution. It doesn’t require some deep motivation. Sometimes a person is just in my way. Sometimes it’s for fun. Sometimes, it’s just that it’s been a while.” 

As Maeve loves killing. And dissection. And being introduced to new, streamline body disposal methods. What a gal. As she cruises the world of AA meetings, not only as a crusade against the mealy mouthed God-centric simplicity of the programme of steps to overcome addiction, but to scope out potential victims to sate her favourite extra-curricular activity of killing, Carver immerses us in a world of darkness and murderous intent with such a matter of factness that you quickly become immune to the horror that lies within these pages. Instead at numerous points within the book, Maeve becomes like a touchstone, as her world view encapsulates the very notion of freedom, with her calmly overturning all the conventions and rules of polite behaviour that we are all so conditioned to adhere to. She questions everything, she challenges everything, and has a wonderfully laissez faire attitude, as the quote above says, to who she should terminate, whether for revenge, convenience or just because she feels an itch to do so. As she sets up  her own support group for those with similar psychopathic tendencies, the story takes an even more deliciously dark turn, and interestingly we discover that Maeve is not completely infallible. Along the way we see her one weakness- a weakness that leads to a beautifully twisted fairy tale ending, that warms the heart.

Weirdly.

No Will Carver book would be complete without the tangential ranting against the absurdity of modern life, and the attendant stupidity of the masses that defines it. In Carver’s world, stupidity appears to be the new opium of the masses, and once again, you find yourself surreptitiously nodding in agreement as the tirades against religion, the love/hate relationship with reality television, social media, greed, vanity, the quest for happiness and just the sheer- insert anguished noise here- of modern life, rain down throughout the book, either through the words of Maeve herself, or in the very obvious passages of authorial intrusion. This commentary on the aspects of society that define our lives, or influence our behaviours and beliefs is highly irreverent, darkly funny, strident and bold, so if you are of a weak disposition it’s probably best to look away now.

And the serial killing bits and the graphic animalistic sex are probably best to be avoided too.

I don’t know what it says about me, but I loved all of the above, and think we should start a movement. Not just #FriendsOfMaeve but #BeMoreMaeve.

Just don’t get caught….

A totally recommended read as always.

____________________________________________________________________

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Will’s latest title published by Orenda Books, Hinton Hollow Death Trip was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize, while Nothing Important Happened Today was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.

(With thanks to Orenda Books for the ARC)

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