BRWC is 2: Killer on the Road, A Novel by James Ellroy

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC BRWC is 2: Killer on the Road, A Novel by James Ellroy

My third BRWC 2nd Anniversary Piece!

“A brilliant, twisted mind driven by a heart of blackest evil. A mad genius coming of age in a seamy world of drugs, flesh, and perversion. An unstoppable psychopath with an insatiable hunger for blondes… and blood…

From the secluded love nests of L.A. to the snow-covered slopes of Aspen to the affluent estates of Westchester County, New York, a bizarre serial murderer embarks on a nightmare journey of unspeakable carnage that spans three decades. From coast to coast, he is spoken of in terrified whispers- “The Shifter,” The Richmond Ripper,” “The Sexecutioner.” But Martin Michael Plunkett has only one real name- Death…

The killer is on the road. And there’s nowhere in America to hide…”

THAT would be the pulpy plot description detailed on the back of the book. And, while it’s fairly accurate, it does the abject seriousness and reality of the novel a disservice.

If you ever want to crawl into the darkest recesses of the human psyche. The violent, primal parts that exist inside all of us, never allowed out, by common sense, decency and morality… then Killer On The Road is for you.

The novel is like a first person diary of insanity. You could fully believe a Dennis Rader or Gary Leon Ridgeway wrote this while on a years-spanning murder spree. It is truly that deep and it is truly that disturbing. This, like a lot of Ellroy’s work, is not for everyone, or those who are faint of heart. The novel is extremely graphic, in a first person way, about it’s violence, sex, sexual violence and the psychological components of the novel’s central character. You get inside this man, this monster’s head… and what is truly disturbing, is you’ll feel for him at times.

At the beginning of the novel he is a boy, a lonely boy, who’s natural beastliness is brought out and amplified through tragedy and trouble. As his life goes on he becomes a whacked out “anti-hero”, who’s initially small time criminal exploits escalate until he becomes a violent mass murderer.

Honestly there’s little else I can say (that wouldn’t spoil each chilling development), other than that Killer On The Road is a truly chilling page turner. Not something you want to read with the lights off.

If you’re into true crime, this work of utterly disturbing fiction will be right up your alley.

10 out of 10 Psycho-Sexual Serial Killers

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