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Serial [Kindle Edition]

Jack Kilborn , Blake Crouch
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (591 customer reviews)

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14th Deadly Sin
Third in the Women's Murder Club series: As violence sweeps through San Francisco, Detective Lindsay Boxer and her friends must risk their lives in the name of justice—before it's too late. Read more about authors James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Book Description

Remember the twin golden rules of hitchhiking?
# 1: Don't go hitchhiking, because the driver who picks you up could be certifiably crazy.
# 2: Don't pick up hitchhikers, because the traveler you pick up could be raving nutcase.
So what if, on some dark, isolated road, Crazy #1 offered a ride to Nutcase #2?

When two of the most twisted minds in the world of horror fiction face off, the result is SERIAL, a terrifying tale of hitchhiking gone terribly wrong. Like a deeply twisted version of an "After School Special," SERIAL is the single most persuasive public service announcement on the hazards of free car rides. Beyond a thrilling piece of horrifying suspense, SERIAL is also a groundbreaking experiment in literary collaboration. Kilborn wrote the first part. Crouch wrote the second. And they wrote the third together over email in 100-word exchanges, not aware of each other's opening section. All bets were off, and may the best psycho win.

Product Details

  • File Size: 281 KB
  • Print Length: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (May 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002AJ7X2C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,079 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
152 of 155 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ironic ending makes this a great novella May 25, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a quick read- 3 chapters but had me riveted. Graphic content is probably not going to be for everyone. The story is about two serial killers and the tale is a cautionary one. Don't hitch a ride because the person who might pick you up could be a psychopath, and don't pick up hitchers because he/she might be a psychopath.

But what happens when one serial killer picks up another? An enticing freebie for the kindle!

I loved the collaboration effect- the two voices were distinct but not jarringly so and added interest to the writing. I wouldn't want to be in a car with EITHER of these serial killers!!

What it boils down to is if you like a bit of a thrill, can stomach the macabre and like to see a couple of very bad people get what's coming to them- you'll enjoy this quick and riveting read. If you have a weak stomach for mayhem and madness, don't bother downloading it.

One thing: I would love to see more from these authors as the characters really did come to life in a very short span of time and to me that signals good writing, even if the content isn't palatable to everyone.
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93 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serial - Great short read! May 31, 2009
By S. Lynn
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't usually read horror so tghis was a new experience. It was way more graphic than I am used to, but the authors' distant/3rd person writing styles made it ok.

I can understand why some people disliked the story, but the blurb is pretty clear about th ekind of book it is. They received fair warning.

The story was exciting throughout and very well-paced. Towards the end, I was on te edge of my seat wondering who would win/how it would end. Perfect ending in my opinion. I hope the authors collaborate again.
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109 of 133 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars brilliant concept brilliantly poor execution August 7, 2009
By A Customer
Format:Kindle Edition
I was attracted to this title solely because of the method of writing the authors employed. I was further intrigued by the story of dueling serial killers met on the road but sadly the promise of these two unique ideas utterly fail to be realized in this very short story. The plot runs so predictably after the initial introduction of the characters it could have been plucked from any 90's screamer film chosen randomly from your local blockbuster and the prose, while not completely wretched, seems underdeveloped and rushed. To top it off the authors spend almost as many words patting themselves on the back and shamelessly promoting their other works as they use on the entire story. The end result of which, for me, was a complete disregard of anything published by either author. In short, free is too high a price for this junior high level collaboration and I'd appreciate a refund on the minutes of my life I wasted hoping and waiting it would get better.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Stereotype killers kill. Stereotype victims die. The only thing interesting about this short story is the premise: Two serial killers trying to make eachother their latest victim. Nothing else is at all interesting or original in this gratis gore gag. Competent nuts and bolts writing is undermined by unimaginative characters and a predictable story.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good. June 11, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thank goodness I didn't pay for this pile.

This is the first book that I've felt so strongly against as to write a review.

I got it thinking it'd be a really good, gorey, horrifying, terrifying, scary story.

It was, in fact, no good at all. Besides the fact that this is not a "book" and being more like a short story, there was no plot. The two stories were very short and the third was even shorter. There was no suspense, there was no development, there was nothing. There was gore, but it wasn't "pointless and needless gore," as I saw in another review. It just had no place. There was no build-up to make the gore worthwile.

I would not recommend this book to anyone. Judging these two authors by this one book, I would say they are not very talented. I will not be purchasing another book by either of them.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible June 12, 2009
By D. Kerr
Format:Kindle Edition
I downloaded it for free and still feel like I was robbed. Written by two authors, the different chapters fit awkwardly together and the prose is incredibly forced. I couldnt imagine worse work coming out of a community center's creative writing night class.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst thing I've read in years. Maybe ever. February 16, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the worst possible tripe there is. Not much of a plot. Serial killer #1 kills someone. Serial killer #2 kills someone. The two meet and kill each other. At the end, there are several pages of conversation between the authors, congratulating themselves on a job well done.

I can think of no redeeming qualities of this book. I can think of nothing that can be learned from it, except possibly that the authors are quite shallow thinkers. I wish I could erase this completely from my Kindle, and I wish I could give it a zero rating rather than a one.

I'm ashamed that I spent 20 minutes or so reading it.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Back to you authors... May 26, 2009
By D. King
Format:Kindle Edition
To the authors I first want to say a big thank you for offering this for free. It pushed me to try out the Kindle application I had downloaded for my iPhone.

I couldn't help notice that the reviews posted by the both of you seemed at the same time to be somewhat arrogant with a tinge of facetiousness thrown in. It is rather hard to tell if you are really being serious in your statements about this book being "Perhaps too disturbing" and containing "horrific thrills". I can only assume that you are attempting campy type advertising to accompany a campy type story. Regardless, your warnings are laughable and again without knowing if your sentiments are meant to be genuine or humorous, I can't say for sure how I feel about them.

Anyway, I guess I am spoiled by the likes of Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker, David J. Schow, Rick Hautala, Neil Gaiman etc. and the incredible stories they weave. I read a massive amount of horror and speculative fiction. Some bad and some good. What I find in common about the good horror fiction is that the blood and splatter come secondary to the underlying story rather than being the primary source of the story. I still remember the first time I read Salem's Lot. Even as an adult, I had to keep my light on for a while because what Stephen King had written was so utterly terrifying . To me, the aforementioned authors are masters at the suspension of disbelief.

Serial comes essentially nowhere close to being either a good story or particularly scary. It has what I would call indulgent descriptions of brutal acts that, while giving the reader a good understanding of the sheer depravity of the characters, does not lend much to the overall character development. Who are Donaldson and Lucy and why do they kill?
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