When I finished work to go on maternity leave I ended up bed bound for the last few weeks of the pregnancy due to the baby threatening to come too early. Whilst I was laid up in bed there was only so much daytime TV I could stand before I felt my brain turning into soup. Luckily for me my grandma came to my rescue with a bag of books. After a glance over the books I decided to read this one first as I have a dark side that pulls me towards books that scare me. A morbid interest in anything sadistic. I can't understand why people do things that they do but I am drawn to read about it and then pass them on to another unsuspecting reader who will have the same thoughts as me until they come across a book that stirs even more emotions.
Now this probably wasn't the best book to read when your bed bound as I must be honest I did have the occasional nightmare after I finished reading it. I found myself huddling up to my partner to make myself feel better when I woke up in the night. The book is a gripping thriller that will keep your attention from start to finish, the unexpected twists and turns make it difficult to put down. I kept finding myself saying 'just one more chapter' until I had read the whole book in the space of two days.
===== The plot =====
A brief description of what happens as not to ruin the book for any willing book worms out there - Suzanne Perry is having vivid nightmares that someone is in her bedroom with her. She can't move and is relieved to wake up in the morning to find herself in her own bedroom, unharmed. However it soon becomes apparent that she wasn't alone all night, in fact someone was in her room but how did they get in, what does he want and will he return. The only sign that he was even there is a chilling Polaroid photo taken of Suzanne whilst she slept with the disturbing message of 'I'm watching over you' written on it. This thought alone is enough to make a heavily pregnant bed bound woman slightly concerned. I kept glancing at my wardrobe in fear that someone would slide open the door and come out.
As well as Suzanne's traumas there is also a serial murderer on the loose, a sexual sadist that mutilates young women to a state of being unrecognisable. Young women have been going missing, some turning up brutally murdered other disappearing completely. It falls on DI Phil Brennan and his crack pot team of detectives to find this sadistic killer, what links the girls and who can be trusted? Will the missing women be found in time and where are they? So many unanswered questions and so little evidence to work with.
As well as the main plot about the murderer and the missing girls you also have side stories regarding the characters. A more personal insight into their lives and what makes them tick. This book mostly shows you a glimpse into the life of Phil and his partner Marina, how this young family who seem to click like two pieces of a jigsaw to the outside world really don't fit together that well at all. Can they work out their differences for the sake of their daughter? Or will work block any chances they have at reconciliation?
=== My Opinion=====
I must admit I found this book absolutely gripping. It was a good easy read that kept me entertained for hours without me realising. Each chapter brought to light another glimpse into what the outcome might be. This changed constantly and you could never say for certain that you knew what was going to happen.
What I liked most about the book is that some of the chapters were written from the characters point of view. The chapters I found the most gripping were when Tania wrote from the killer's point of view (The Creeper). I find it a brilliant skill when a writer writes from the point of view of a murderer so convincingly that you start to feel some sort of empathy towards someone that you would usually class as almost non human.
This book is defiantly worth a read if you enjoy crime thrillers that have twists in every chapter. The only negatives are that it didn't feel long enough and that there is a book that was released before this one. If I had know how good this book was going to be I would of read them in order so I could have a better understanding about the characters as it is obvious as you read that there is history that you have missed by skipping to book 2. I plan to read 'The Surrogate' next as I enjoyed this book so immensely. I would highly recommend this book to anyone - a brilliant read.
Suzanne Perry is having a vivid nightmare. Someone is in her bedroom with her, touching her, but she can't move a muscle.
When Suzanne wakes she is relieved to find she was dreaming and glad to put her nightmare behind her, she goes to open the curtains. It is then that she notices a polaroid photograph stuck to the window of her lying asleep in bed, taken during the night. Underneath the photograph are written the words: 'I'm watching over you'.
For Suzanne, the nightmare isn't over. In fact, it's just beginning...
Detective Inspector Phil Brennan of the Major Incident Squad is on the hunt for a killer. A killer who stalks young women and then ultimately tortures and murders them. As Phil and his team investigate, they soon find themselves caught up into the twisted psychology of the killer, and Phil realises that it isn't just a serial killer he's hunting, but someone infinitely more calculating and also a lot closer to home than he could have imagined.
The story opens with an introduction to Suzanne. Aged 26 and working as a speech therapist at the General Hospital in Colchester, Suzanne lives alone in a flat and since breaking up with her boyfriend a few months back she just wants to enjoy herself.
Lately however, Suzanne has noticed little things which have puzzled her when at home in her flat, such as ornaments slightly out of place, a damp towel in the bathroom that should have been dry, or a cup on the draining board she could have sworn she had put away in the cupboard. They weren't things that were causing her to be worried, but then she has what she believes at first to be a nightmare, until she opens the curtains and sees the photograph stuck on the window.
Suzanne calls in the police, but as they delve a little into Suzanne's past they find that this isn't the first time she has complained of a stalker.
The Creeper is the kind of book which draws the reader in from the first page with a tense opening chapter. After this the story tends to alternate for a little while between Suzanne, Detective Phil Brennan and his team who are dealing with the finding of a body of a young girl and also a sadistic killer.
Because of the doubts cast over Suzanne's claims after finding out some past history, I found this added to the intrigue of the story as whilst there is undoubtedly a killer at large, I did not feel that Suzanne was next on his list as you would initially believe, as you find you are doubting her credibility as the past is slowly revealed. Indeed it was little twists like this one which made reading The Creeper an enjoyable one, as there are a few things which don't quite add up and thus prevents the reader from coming to conclusions and working out exactly what is going on and who is responsible.
Whilst I did begin having suspicions and some of them turned out to be correct, I couldn't quite figure out the reasons why until near the end when it all began to come together and I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense of it all.
The character development is good, particularly that of the killer and also Detective Inspector Phil Brennan who I did feel sympathy for, as his team were more than a little inept at times, making his frustration understandable. For example, there's a wrong conclusion regarding a victim's identity and sexual deviance and lies amongst some of the police officers and I wondered if many would survive the story with their jobs intact! I do think that the author introduced a good blend of characters however, there are some you will like, some you won't and some who will intrigue you.
What I didn't quite understand however, were the small parts of the story featuring Phil's wife Marina and his baby daughter. Marina disappears, leaving him a note and taking their daughter with her which causes a lot of heartache for Phil and I found it somewhat unbelievable at times how he carried on working when he had no idea where his wife and child were and Marina wasn't answering her mobile when he tried to ring. The author describes his despair very well, so well in fact I did think that there was no way he would be able to go into work and give the case his full attention, yet somehow he does?
There were also a couple of things which didn't quite make sense regarding his wife and whilst it became clearer later in the book what had happened, I have also since found out that Phil and his wife feature in the author's previous book, 'The Surrogate' and their relationship here 'follows on' from that book.
So whilst everything is explained eventually and it did not detract from the main story or cause any real confusion, I feel that the author could maybe have explained things and gave a little background information earlier in the book just to make things clearer.
I enjoyed the writing style and the way the suspense builds throughout and by halfway through I found I couldn't put the book down and had to keep reading until the end, which has quite an action-packed climax as everything begins to make sense and fall into place.
At 468 pages, The Creeper is an average length thriller and one I am happy to recommend. I have also since purchased the previous novel I mentioned, 'The Surrogate' and whilst it isn't necessary to read them in order I do feel that this is something worth pointing out that the police team here are first introduced in the previous novel.
Suzanne Perry is having a vivid nightmare. Someone is in her bedroom, touching her, and she can't move a muscle. She wakes, relieved to put the nightmare behind her, but when she opens the curtains, she sees a polaroid stuck to the window. A photo of her sleeping self, taken during the night. And underneath the words: 'I'm watching over you'. Her nightmare isn't over. In fact, it's just beginning. Detective Inspector Phil Brennan of the Major Incident Squad has a killer to hunt. A killer who stalks young women, insinuates himself into their lives, and ultimately tortures and murders them in the most shocking way possible. But the more Phil investigates, the more he delves into the twisted psychology of his quarry, Phil realises that it isn't just a serial killer he's hunting but something ? or someone ? infinitely more calculating and horrific. And much closer to home than he realised ...