The Scar is about a serial killer in Pennsylvania and the detective who is hunting him. It begins with the killing of a priest then proceeds to tell the story of the killer and how he came to be the way he is along with the hard work the police put into finding him and getting him off of the streets.
I especially enjoyed the chapters where the killer talks about himself and why he is killing:
“I also desire more than impossible dreams. I desire a life I can call my own, but that day may never come. I have a job I must do for which I have come to believe brought me back from death: to punish those who are undeserving of life.” (21)
Our killer truly feels he is doing the world a favor by eliminating these people that he sees as evil. As the book unwinds and we learn their stories, we also see they are not the upstanding citizens that people think they are. But do they deserve to die such horrible deaths?
The characters are likable and believable. I enjoyed the interaction between Detective Seff and Captain Baron. Captain Baron wants the case solved yesterday and wants the mayor off of his back and he expects Detective Seff to comply:
“I don’t need to tell you that having a serial killer roaming the streets that we’re supposed to protect makes us look bad. Not to mention it’s giving me heartburn and a bad case of diarrhea. And I don’t like having a burning sensation from my ass, so tell me you have something we can go on.” (53)
The action does not stop and only intensifies as the book goes on. The author trips us up a lot. Just when you think you may have a handle on who it is, wham, he hits us with something else and sends us on a different track! And the ending? Just let me say WOW! I never saw it coming, and I like to pride myself on being able to figure things out. Not this time. I honestly sat there with my mouth hanging open in shock!
In short, this book blew me away! It is not a long book, only 152 pages, but those pages pack a wallop! I was expecting a typical serial killer story — murders, how he was caught, etc. — but what the author gives us is that and so much more. Mr. Weiner takes us into the the mind of this killer and manages to make us feel sorry for him and almost cheer him on. He shows us the day to day workings of a police investigation and how mundane it can be, how leads turn into nothing and how hard it is to find that one clue, one piece of evidence that breaks the case.
I highly recommend The Scar to anyone that likes thrillers. I really hope to see more by Michael S. Weiner in the future.
(For more information please visit the website of The Scar.)