Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Profiler (Fang Mu, Eastern Crimes Book 1) Book Review

Profiler (Fang Mu, Eastern Crimes Book 1) by Lei Mi

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Three young women are found dead one after another in Jiangbin City, each horribly murdered and disemboweled in her home. Police investigations reveal that the killer is a monster who likes to mix milk together with human blood - and then drink it. Is he some kind of immortal vampire, straight out of legend? A series of four rape and murder cases surface in Changhong City. All of the victims are white-collar workers between the ages of twenty-five and thirty. A graduate student at the top of his class suddenly goes mad and begins attacking his friends and fellow classmates. After a succession of seemingly unrelated homicides occurring not far from the city, the police are still completely at a loss. A television viewer called Fang Mu sends in a letter with a sketch of what he claims is the murderer's face.

The sand is slipping down the hourglass. Any doubt just how personal the case has become is erased when Fang Mu manages to piece together a message left at the crime scene by the killer. A message addressed directly to him, "You will be my last victim."

Review by Brittany:

I downloaded this book when it was on a free promotion because it was compared to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which I loved.

The first thing to note about this book is that it is gruesome. From the very first few pages, there are graphic images described that were enough to make me wrinkle my nose in disgust. It got a little hairy, even from the beginning.

Another thing to note is that this is a translation, so some of the phrasing is a bit weird. There are times when words aren't quite right and some of the punctuation is a bit off. This doesn't detract from the story too much, but it is something to be aware of if this kind of thing bothers you.

The timeline in this book is a bit ambiguous, and it often left me feeling a bit confused on what had happened when. This does take away from the reading experience some because I felt like I couldn't quite keep up with what was happening all the time. There are also times when Fang Mu is dreaming or having near hallucinations while awake, and some of those are also difficult to keep up with. By the end of the book, the timeline was much more clear, as were the divisions between reality and imagination.

There were moments in the book where the author incorporated some personality and character development, which was interesting but often felt out of place. The rest of the book was so clinical and to the point that these scenes were out of character for the author and didn't fit with the rest of the book very much. By the end of the book, the parts that were more personal and that developed characters felt more seamless.

All of that being said, this book was really intriguing. Fang Mu works with the police to help profile serial killers, and of course he gets it right every time. His skill set is impressive and when he explains how he came up with each part of the profile, I nod my head along with him because of how logical it is.

I don't think this book is quite on par with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but it was worth reading. If you are interested in crime books, you should consider picking this one up.

Notable quotes:

Actually, life really is full of happiness - it's just that I never felt myself worthy of enjoying it.

With some things, make one mistake and you can never take it back.

It was good breeding not to knock over one's tableware at dinner. But when someone else knocked over their tableware, it was even better breeding to pretend not to see.

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