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4.0 out of 5 stars
Shame
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 1998
25 years ago a serial killer marked his victims with the word "Shame." The only woman to survive one of his attacks later interviewed him on death row and authored a best selling crime novel based on his life. This was the first of many true crime novels written by Maryelizabeth Line. Now a copycat has begun to kill in the same manner as Shame, and the evidence points to his son, Caleb Parker, as the killer. Parker has spent his life hiding his identity, not even telling his wife of his parentage. As the killings increase and the evidence mounts, Parker goes into hiding with the help of a transvestite who doesn't fully believe in his innocence. Parker contacts Lines, and the two begin to piece together the mystery which began a quarter a century ago. For pure psychological suspense, Russell has penned a heart-stopper. I was never quite as sure as Lines that Parker was innocent. The coincidences in the crimes were too high to be random; there had to be either a plot to convict Parker or Parker was Shame reincarnated. Make sure the lights are on and curl up for a scary ride.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 1998
Caleb Parker fled his home to escape his psychopath of a father, Gray. However, in spite of leaving his home, Caleb knows he can never escape his father's genes. He always worries that he will become just like his sire, an inhuman monstrosity.
However, Caleb's haunted past returns when naked corpses seem to follow Caleb everywhere he goes. The dead bodies all follow the modus operandi that Gray used over a quarter of a century ago. The bodies have the word SHAME written on all of them. Gray knows that SHAME is his deceased father's code name he used on 17 women. Maryelizabeth Line, the sole survivor of the Gray murders, believes that Caleb is innocent. This unlikely duo works together in a desperate attempt to stop a copycat serial killer from running up the murder count.
It will be a SHAME if fans of the psychological suspense and serial killer sub-genres miss this haunting journey into the minds of an obsessive murderer and his victims. The fast-paced story line is one of the best chillers in several years. However, it is the insight into the brains of the killer, his family, his victims, and his victim's family that make Alan Russell's novel a must read for sub-genre fans.
Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I'm afraid I got bored with this book about halfway through and then finishing it became a challenge rather than a pleasure
I think my problem was that I found too many anomalies in the plot which stretched credibility and coincidence to breaking point
Finishing became a matter of honour and a chore, rather than a pleasure
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2013
An ok read..... could have been done so much better though given the storyline, I felt it struggled at times to hold my interest. Still, quite enjoyable
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2013
Not a great book, worth sticking with it but I always felt as if the story was missing something. I felt the ending was rushed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2013
I must admit at the beginning of this book I wasn't sure, but it didn't take long for me to be swept into the world of Caleb...one minute I felt sorry for him, the next he annoyed me. Perhaps that is what Alan wanted! I loved the character Lola and her relationship with Caleb, but I wasn't completely in tune with Elizabeth's journey - the bit near the end, to me, being a bit far fetched as I couldn't quite imagine it happening in a real life scenario. I think Alan kept the momentum of the book going and there are a good couple of twists which I didn't see coming (however one i did!). I didn't feel that it was a fast paced book but I certainly looked forward to reading it on my commute to and from work. I'd be interested in reading any other of Alan's books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2013
It is a shame so much was left until the end. The middle of the book was not an easy read, it twisted and turned and I didnt feel I gained anything from it. The closing chapters did bring it all together but part of me wished it had been woven into the middle of the story.

It did have the strands of Silence of the Lambs, the young writer interviewing the "Hannibal" of the story but with a twist. I found the psychology behind the "son of a murderer" interesting but again it was developed late in the book.

There were times when the links were weak and it made the reader give the author the benefit of the doubt.

Like another has said, I was intrigued by Lola, good use of a character.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2014
I was looking for a good horror book to read on my kindle and spotted this on a deal for 99p. I read a few reviews, and the majority were on the plus side. I've never read a book by Alan Russell before, and in fact, don't believe I've heard the name previously. I am so glad I decided to buy it! What a fantastic book!!! I absolutely loved it, and can only say, if you are considering this book...Go for it! I'll definitely be looking at Alan Russell's other books.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2014
Having bought the Burning Man, which I thought was a terrific yarn, I persevered for only 25% of the book
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 1998
Shame,Alan Russell's sixth novel, presents an unusual premise. What would life be like if you were the son of a serial killer? Caleb Parker escapes from the Texas small town he has grown up in as soon as he can, and seeks a new, anonymous life in San Diego. What he has left behind is the torment of bullies, the sexual predation of a thrill seeking high school girl, and a decidely strange mother. What he discovers in a city of many transients and few natives is his own business, a marriage, and two children. Russell starts the book with a bang. Parker is called in for an "emergency" tree removal, only to stumble on a body, naked, the corspe marked in the same fashion as his notorious father, with the word "Shame". This starts a chain of events that draws in Maryelizabeth Line, a true crime writer and the only person to survive Shame (the father's criminal "nickname".) Line's remininscences are woven into the thread of the story. Russell can tell a story, and Shame is certainly his his fastest paced book. He does a fine job with the character of Caleb. A third major character, a drag queen, provides some humor, but also, surprisingly, some pathos. While the character of Gray Parker seems derivative at times, an amalgamation of Ted Bundy & Hannibal Lector, he is menacing and cunning. His "heir" seems less so. Russell has a fine ear for dialog. His characters are distinct. His sense of place is superb. He captures San Diego vividly, bringing to the 1990's the same sense of place of Wade Miller's post-World War II novels. My favorite Russell novel is still Multiple Wounds, but Shame is a fast-paced, enjoyable read. The original premise and the craftmanship with which is handled is enough to win a ringing endorsement.
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