Come. Come here. Come closer. Let me whisper in your ear. Let me tell you my secrets and take you on a journey that will chill your very soul. I want to invite you into the life and mind of a serial killer. My story may fascinate you or it might disgust you, but only you can decide. My name is Jayden Edward Scott; a killer with no remorse, no guilt and no fear of retribution. I am too clever to be caught, too meticulous in my method of killing and too smart to care. At thirty years old, I am a self-made millionaire; businessman, entrepreneur and venture capitalist with copious amounts of money to spend on a lavish lifestyle. My story starts seven years ago on a foggy night in Edinburgh – my victim unaware of his fate. With one swipe of my blade, the knife slit his throat with precision. I bundled him into the boot of the car. He stared at me with familiarity before I slammed the door shut. I left him there to bleed to death. He was my first kill, but certainly not my last. So… come with me. Let me tell you my story. It is a tale of revenge, murder, death, sex, love and intrigue.
I wanted to read Out Of The Dark as, like a lot of people, I am intrigued by serial killers and their psychology. What is it that makes them kill and is it as a result of nature or nurture? The synopsis for Out Of The Dark promised an insight into this very topic.
Out Of The Dark is the first in The Revenge Series following serial killer Jayden Scott. Told in first person perspective, Jayden tells us about his childhood and what led to his first murder. As the title of the series suggests, Jayden kills people as an act of revenge for their behaviour. The perspective changes through the book as we also hear from the detective investigating one of the murders and Jayden’s girlfriend and childhood friend.
I really liked Out Of The Dark’s prologue. It is kind of Jack-the-Ripperesque, if there can be such a thing, with Hughes building up the tension and atmosphere with his descriptive prose. The prologue successfully whet my appetite and had me wanting to read more.
From there we meet Jayden who lets the reader into his life and the reasons behind the acts he has committed. Out Of The Dark is a slow paced book as it concentrates on the whys rather than the hows and its focus is on the character of Jayden. Generally I like books that are character driven and slow burning but I feel that there were areas Hughes could have developed a bit more to make Out Of The Dark more compelling and dark. I didn’t feel convinced about Jayden as a remorseless killer as at times he did seem, to me, to demonstrate a bit of remorse. I would have liked to get more of a sense of how those aspects of his personality that allow him to kill come out in his business life and in his relationships and their impact on these areas.
It is my understanding that this is Hughes’ first novel and while the idea is good a little help with the execution may have helped to make it more pacey and darker. We are aware from the outset that Jayden is a multiple killer however the telling of the other killings felt rushed.
I liked the structure of the book and the different perspectives given throughout. This made it more interesting as the impact Jayden has on others can be seen directly from their point of view rather than just relying on Jayden.
Hughes has ended Out Of The Dark well with a real cliff hanger moment and, despite some of my reservations, I am intrigued enough to want to check out the second in the series.
My thanks to Marshall Hughes for my copy of Out Of The Dark in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
You can buy your copy HERE.