Owen, Timothy. “The Killing Cycle”, CreateSpace, 2012.
Weighing the Soul
I love a good thriller especially when it has me both thinking and turning pages quickly. Timothy Owen, author of “The Killing Cycle” is new to me but I am already a fan and that is based upon reading this terrific book. Centered on an unnamed psychopath and written from his point of view, I found myself unable to move until I finished the book. Even more interesting is that just when you think that you are on the way to figuring things out, the point of view shifts and we get a different perspective—that of the team of detectives who are after the man. Additionally, the psychopath is endearing, probably because of his innocence and naiveté. Even though he is the reason for so much tragedy, Owen has created a character that seems to say, “Cheer me on”. He had been abused as a child and now those memories of abuse are channeled into very dangerous activities. He thinks that he has powers and believes that his eyes can charm and enchant a victim. He uses his eyes to gain the trust of his victims and this works well for him. It is the way that he views the world and others that is his catalyst and he actually believes that he can do what he wants.
Aside from that, his ego tells him that he is “special” and gifted to be a psychopath and that he will be protected from revenge and harm. Murder is quite natural for him but when things do not go well, he has to find a place that will be safe for him and he goes to Alaska where he thinks he will not be discovered and that there will not be opportunities for him to continue killing. However (there is always a “however”), “the best laid plans of mice and men”, things become quite difficult and he soon finds himself in the middle of a series of events where he will have to use all of his faculties in order to survive.
Now some of you may wonder what am I rambling about and let me just say, that a book like this is extremely hard to review because it is too easy to write a review with spoilers. I love that the protagonist actually questions himself and when he thinks about who he is and what he does, he explains that he is unlike others because his soul is actually heavy (The explanation of a “Heavy soul” is fascinating). As crazy as he may seem, he has enough sense to realize that he has to stop the killing for a while and “get out of dodge”. He knows that he is being watched but doesn’t know just how carefully he is on the radar of those trying to find and stop him. His ego tells him that he can’t be caught but also that he must be careful. Darla, who heads the team of detectives who are working the case, is clever enough to realize that when the killings stop, that it is then even more important to find and apprehend him before they start again. The novel becomes a “cat and mouse” game that is skillfully rendered in wonderful prose.
You may ask if this is indeed a gay novel. Most of the victims are female and could this be the result of the protagonist’s homosexuality? Let me assure you that there are several graphic gay sex scenes and Owen lets us know about them before we actually get to those sections. This allows us to skip them and not lose the plot.
I am sure that once you read this, you will also become a Timothy Own fan. He has written another novel, “Aaron Bradley, Closet Detective” and a third is on its way and I, personally, cannot wait to read them both.