Review + Giveaway: Forgive Me, Alex by Lane Diamond

Today is my review tour stop of psychological thriller Forgive Me, Alex by Lane Diamond. I agreed to an early tour stop so that I’d be forced to read and I was a bit worried about finishing this book in time for my post schedule. Luckily, this book was an easy read and had me quite hooked after the first couple of chapters.

Read on to know more and for more details about the blog tour!

About the book:
Tony Hooper stands in shadow across the street, one amongst many in the crowd of curiosity-hounds gathered to watch a monster’s release. Seventeen years after Mitchell Norton, “the devil,” terrorized Algonquin, Illinois on a spree of kidnapping, torture and murder, the authorities release the butcher from psychiatric prison.

Tony longs to charge across the street to destroy Norton—no remorse—as if stepping on a cockroach. Only sheer force of will prevents his doing so.

“The devil” walks the world again. What shall Tony do about it? Aye, what indeed.

After all, this is what he does. It’s who he is. “The devil” himself long ago made Tony into this hunter of monsters. What a sweet twist of fate this is, that he may still, finally, administer justice.

Will FBI Special Agent Linda Monroe stop him? She owes him her life, so how can she possibly put an end to his?

Tony Hooper and Mitchell Norton battle for supremacy, with law enforcement always a step away, in this story of justice and vengeance, evil and redemption, fear and courage, love and loss.

Forgive Me, Alex is a fascinating psychological read! It kind of feels like the story behind an episode of Criminal Minds, which I absolutely love, by the way. Dr. Spencer Reid is a god. Sorry, I digress. This book offers a peek into the mind of a serial killer and into the mind of a man whose life was changed due to the killer’s actions. The story is told through two main perspectives–that of Mitchell Norton, the serial killer, and Tony Hooper, the man who lost so much because of Norton. The novel also goes back and forth between the present and the past. Each chapter is preceded by a date and the name of the character so you’d know what you’re reading about. And even though you shift from one narrator to another and from present to past and back, you don’t get lost because there’s still a semblance of order in the way the “shifts” are made. I think it’s a cool way of telling the story.

This book also reminds me of that movie Frailty with Bill Paxton and Matthew McConaughey. In that movie, Bill Paxton plays a father whose “visions” led him to kill people who were “demons” as revealed by his visions. Similarly, in Forgive Me, Alex, Norton the serial killer has a voice in his head telling him to torture random people. In the minds of these killers, they’re not crazy and they don’t believe what they’re doing is wrong. It’s crazy to think about what goes on in the head of a serial killer and this book shows us one possibility of what makes a serial murderer do what he does. This book also emphasizes another known fact–that most serial killers appear to be very normal people. Scary!

When I first read the blurb I thought there was some kind of split personality thing going on. I was thinking ahead and wondering if maybe the “devil” and the “hero” are one and the same. I’m telling you right now none of the characters have dissociative identity disorder a.k.a multiple personality disorder (oh hello there, my psych degree, you’re useful today!) and the “devil” and “hero” are two entirely different individuals, but they have certain similarities that may have been the reason why the idea of multiple personalities crossed my mind. Either that or I watch too many police or detective and forensic shows (happen to be my favorite stuff to watch, tsk).

I know, I’m kind of rambling a bit. There’s just too much fascinating psychological stuff in this book that appeal to me–the psychology of a killer, the psychology of a victim, the psychology of a victim’s family. All very very interesting. There’s also a good helping of emotions in this book, mostly on the part of Tony, so it’s not just one whole clinical or psychological ride.

I’m not sure how I feel about the twists, although they’re good enough to surprise the reader. Most of the events in the book are something you can already guess from how the story is going and the twists are at least something the reader will not really think about until right at that point of their revelation. When I read the last chapter, I thought about an alternate twist that would have made things much more terrible and heartbreaking, especially for Tony. I don’t know why I thought that. I love-hate crushing endings. If you’ve read the book, let me know if the same idea crossed your mind. Hah.

Things I like about this book: I actually like the alternating perspectives and shift from past and present. I think this style is much better than doing a whole lot of flashbacks. I also like that this book wasn’t too graphic or gory. I mean, the serial killer character did sick and terrible things, but the descriptions weren’t too much for me. Just enough.

Things I don’t like about this book: There aren’t too many things I don’t like. Maybe the final twist. I don’t know. Gah.

I recommend this book to fans of psychological thrillers and to those who are fascinated with serial killer stories. If you love Dr. Reid, I mean, Criminal Minds, you might love this book, too.

Disclosure: I received a review copy for this tour in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to give a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Dr. Spencer Reid (voiceover): “No man chooses evil because it *is* evil,  he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.” ~~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Novel Publicity Blog Tour Notes

Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of Forgive Me, Alex? Well, there are two ways to enter…

  1. Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official Forgive Me, Alex tour page.
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest! I’ve posted the contest form below, or you can enter on the tour page linked above.

About the author

I write fiction, long and short. My writings cross over many genres and focus on diverse subjects, ranging from the mysteries of the human mind, with its fragile psychological and emotional states, to the everyday joy and anguish of life on Earth. Ultimately, characters move me – as both a reader and an author. It’s all about the people. When not writing, I’m Publisher and Executive Editor at Evolved Publishing. Connect with me on my website, Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, or via Evolved Publishing.

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14 Replies to “Review + Giveaway: Forgive Me, Alex by Lane Diamond”

  1. I love your review. I didn’t think of Criminal Minds first, but the reference to Dr. Reid is awesome! My review is out tomorrow, and I can say now that I loved the book just as much as you!

  2. Great review, Leah Bear! I’m glad you got to use your psych degree. I’m always tickled pink when I find a way to use my sociological learnings in the book world–ta ha. Thanks for joining this tour and letting me coerce you into an early spot. Don’t forget to cross-post on Amazon and GoodReads!

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