Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-61923-281-5
Oh, this is fun. We have Peter Blades, an ordinary Joe who is laid off at the start of this story by the jerk boss that many of us would have come across in real life. A voice keeps telling him, via the PC, mobile phone and such, that he needs to kill that boss.
There is even a self-driving Mustang, complete with creepy female voice coming over the GPS – a bit like the bastard automobile brat of KITT and Christine – to take him to where he needs to be. The mysterious voice seems to have taken care of everything too – Peter doesn’t have to worry about logistics and getting caught, he just have to show up when and where he is told, and wield that magic sword he has been given to chop off heads and other body parts.
First it is his boss, and then a variety of criminals, low lives, terrorists, and more. Throughout it all, Peter begins to wonder whether he is going crazy even as his nerves rebel. Who is this AO that is ordering him about? Why is he killing anyway? And what will happen to his wife and daughter?
I rather smugly assumed at first that I know what the twist is, but when it shows up, I’ve to confess that the author caught me by surprise. I like the twist, and I like the whole gory and fiendish fun that is this story. Peter is actually a relatable and sympathetic protagonist, and I must admit that there is some vicarious thrill to be had by following Peter’s trail of carnage. Who hasn’t dreamed of sticking it back to the Man and more, anyway? Don’t lie – nobody is telling, just read this one and enjoy the fun.
This is a novella, but I actually feel that the story would be even better if it had been shorter. The killings start to drag after a while, although the author fortunately brings on the twist just when I am feeling a yawn coming on.
Still, I Kill in Peace is a short but fun read that just lets everything loose – woosh! – and it’s a most enjoyable joyride. I really like this one.