A book is meant to evoke an emotional reaction in the reader. This is what an author strives for, correct? Martha Elliott has succeeded. My emotional reaction is irritated. Elliott, a reporter at the beginning of following of this story,  befriends convicted serial killer and rapist Michael Ross as he sits on death row fighting for the death penalty. She grapples with her own conscience and beliefs and offers a comprehensive overview of serial killing and death penalty cases.

However, I found myself thinking constantly of the victims and screaming in my my mind for her to just stop. I took a serial killer class in college many moons ago and remember the professor sharing his experience with Ted Bundy, with whom he “became friends with”. Driving to visit him, maybe under the guise of research, he pulled over in a WTF moment or what some may call a moment of clarity and never went back. Admittedly, he had been sucked in to the serial killer’s charm and normalcy. He had been sucked in to Bundy’ s game.

Is Elliot, like my college professor, being sucked into Ross’s game? Michael Ross raped and killed women and two young pre-teens. This is not questioned. His sanity and/or mental illness as it relates to the death penalty is. Does treatment, such as hormone therapy to curb sexual impulse, rehabilitate sexual killers? Elliott explores these issues while she attempts to reconcile her friendship with what she calls “the other half” of Ross with the sadistic rapist and killer he is. Read it to find out if she succeeds.

Note: this book contains graphic details of rape and murder that may be disturbing

Provided by Penguin First to Read

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