Fatal Attraction: When love turns to murder

by Mike James

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A true crime library, Fatal Attraction was first written in the year 1992 by Mike James. It is a compilation of 20 short stories, more so a documentation of 20 gruesome crimes of passion, committed due to love and rage.
Stories touching upon various human emotions like money, love, lust, rage, jealousy etc this book has series of stories written by different writers. This non fiction documentation is a subtle reminder that we are not just diving into another world through the leaves of the book, but going through real life incidents that are very much a part of our society.
 
A softly whispered “I love you” can melt the hardest hearts. They can also prove to be the most dangerous words in the English language. For love and hate are the opposite sides of the same coin; and passion runs eternally along the borderline of madness.

Cover page

With a red and black jacket showcasing a few faces involved in the crimes documented within , the book has been published with two different cover pages.
With the title in bold gold letters sprawling across the cover, the use of red is a clear indication of passion, love and rage that are the driving force for all the stories and the theme is pretty straightforward and apt for a nonfiction documentation of true life events.

Characters

Enclosing 20 different crimes, Fatal Attraction has many characters that are involved in these crimes. However, as the book follows a theme ie; “crimes of passion”, most people involved are spouses, and an additional love interest outside the realm of marriage which often is the reason for the crimes to have been committed. However, this is not the exact same pattern in all the stories, but predominantly so.

Content

These 20 stories are selected based on the theme followed for the book . All the crimes that have been documented are a display of how love, lust, rage, jealousy, money etc lead these people into taking the sinister route.
Most people written about are not habitual criminals, but those people who resorted to crime out of desperation, in a fit of anger, for vengeance or due to sheer jealousy.
The content being a documentation of real events throws light on how humans operate when exposed to unexpected turn of events and how extreme emotions when not handled well can lead to sad and unsettling consequences.
My pick out of the 20 stories would be “The lonely hearts killers of Horsepond Road”, simply due to its disturbing content.

Language

Written by different writers, the language through the book is simple, crisp and is a narrative perspective. Mostly talking in past tense, some writers have opted to keep it simple and explain events as they happened, while some others have opted to go back and forth in their narration swaying between the trail and the events that lead to it.

Good points

Everything about this book screams careful and smart planning. Considering that it is a series of short stories, and real life events at that, the stories listed stick to the theme all along and the mix of stories is done so in a comforting way. Putting it simply, the stories are organised in such a fashion that one very gruesome story is followed by a less terrifying one just to give respite to the reader who might be overwhelmed by the reality of it all.
The language used, the simple way of narration adopted by all writers will barely have you wondering if it’s all written by different people.The uniformity in the content and the style is very pleasant and easy to attune oneself to.

Bad point

Written in a very crisp and orderly manner, there is not much to point out to as it is a documentation of real life events. There is nothing that can be said about the plots or characters that have been written about as they are unaltered facts, presented in a blunt fashion without making a biased conclusion.

Overall

I cannot exactly say I enjoyed the book, simply because unlike other tales that talk about crime that are mere fragments of the author’s imagination, these are real life events and it is unsettling to know that simple, ordinary people who make up a large part of the society we live in are capable of such heinous crimes. Having said that, it does not mean the book is bad, but a rather clean and unbiased presentation which makes it a good read.
Gripping and at the same time unsettling, lovers of this genre will breeze through this book as the crimes are gory enough, presented very straightforwardly and are fast paced without beating around the bush.

Who do I recommend it to?

Bibliophiles who thrive on thrillers and murder mysteries , you are sure to enjoy these. However, the vividly described crimes may not go to well with the faint-hearted.

Quotable quotes

I bless the hour that brings me death
for the hour that thou wert mine!
The higher up one is in the social scale, the more one is responsible, the more vulnerable.
There are people who, although giving every appearance of being normal, are like kegs of a dynamite. They wear ordinary faces, lead commonplace inconspicuous lives. There is no way you can know them for what they truly are, for human nature is not to be melted in a crucible and tested in the laboratory. Yet, in the secret recess of their emotions, a power train has been laid – built up slowly, grain by grain, of stored up hate, goading vengefullness, or consuming jealousy. Then the spark falls and there erupts a shattering explosion of berserk human violence.
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