Review: The Venus Complex

venus-largeBy Barbie Wilde

Comet Press, out now

Meet Professor Michael Friday – art professor and obsessive serial killer…

This isn’t a book to read if you haven’t got a strong stomach for matters visceral – whether of a sexual or violent nature. Barbie Wilde has a knack for getting inside her character’s head and taking us with her on his journey of self-delusion – in fact it’s almost the exact opposite of a road to self-discovery.

Everything from the initial thoughts about planning the murders and rapes to the final culmination of his dreams is described in graphic detail. We’re left in no doubt as to what it is that turns Friday on, particularly as it becomes ever more depraved. His determination to succeed, and to keep pursuers from his scent, is horrifyingly well-portrayed.

But what sets this book apart is the deterioration in the rest of Friday’s thoughts. The book is presented as a series of entries in his journal, and we become privy to his considered opinions on many topics, and as he descends further and further into moral blackness, so his thoughts about the world around him darken.

His new project, revealed in the closing chapters, is made all the more frightening by the ease with he seems able to maintain the façade of normality to those around him, and his complete lack of self-awareness how truly removed that is from everyday life.

Verdict: A view into the abyss made all the more chilling by the realisation that it could all too easily be exactly how such a person considers the world. 7/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order The Venus Complex from Amazon.co.uk

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