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The Serial Killers Club [Mass Market Paperback]

Jeff Povey
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

Price: $20.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Book Description

June 1, 2007
When our hero finds himself in the path of a serial killer, he somehow manages to defend himself, and give the blood-thirsty madman a taste of his own medicine. But when he goes through the dead man's wallet, he finds a mysterious personal ad inviting him to join a party hosted by Errol Flynn. What begins with passing curiosity soon becomes uncontrollable obsession, as our hero becomes acquainted with 18 killers. Their game: to share the thrill of the hunt and to make sure no two members choose the same two victims. To protect their identities, they have all chosen names of old Hollywood stars, and before long, our hero becomes Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. But he has no intention of following the rules. With a government special agent on his trail who will soon become his partner in crim, "Dougie" plans to knock off the killers one by one, from Carole Lombard to Chuck Norris, to Laurence Olivier and Cher. But what happens when the "stars" notice their numbers dropping?

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

British author Povey, who has written for such TV shows as the BBC's Eastenders, makes a real splash with his first novel, a darkly comic spoof of the serial killer genre. When the anonymous narrator, who combines a blithe Bertie Wooster–like innocence with a psychopathic taste for slaughter, "accidentally" kills a mass murderer, he assumes the man's identity. An odd set of personal advertisements lure the narrator to Chicago, where he encounters the club of the book's title. Since the club's members adopt the names of movie stars as aliases, he decides to become Douglas Fairbanks Jr. "Doug" quickly moves from shock and fear to preying on his fellow club members, attracting the notice of a bizarre FBI agent, who offers to let him off the hook if he finishes off the rest of them. This satirical black comedy won't be to everyone's taste, but many will find it a refreshing change from the paint-by-the-numbers profiler vs. psychotic fiend offerings. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

It didn't take long for Jeff Lindsay's Darkly Dreaming Dexter (2004) to spawn an imitator. Povey's first novel features a nameless narrator who falls in with a group of serial killers who have adopted the names of celebrities: Richard Burton, Raquel Welch, Chuck Norris, Errol Flynn. They call themselves "skillers," too, a portmanteau word that does not exactly roll off the tongue. Anyway, our hero joins the group, calling himself Douglas Fairbanks Jr. It's the best time he's ever had, the only time he's ever truly felt a part of anything, until an FBI agent comes out of the shadows and gives Dougie an ultimatum: you kill the killers, or we put you away for a very long time. It's a clever idea for a novel, and the author executes it fairly well, although we never really feel the bond with Dougie that's necessary to get to the emotional payoff. Not a complete success but well worth a look. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446616648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446616645
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,714,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Trash...and not the good kind August 17, 2006
Okay, so I wasn't expecting "The Serial Killers Club" to be a brilliant work of fiction, not with a title like that. It was summer, I was in need of a fun book, and this one looked right up my alley. A cool premise, thrills `n' chills, a strong dose of black least, those were the things promised by the enthusiastic sound bites on the back cover. Now I suspect that the people who wrote those blurbs were forced to at gunpoint. I am so glad I borrowed the book instead of buying it, but I'd still like a refund on the time I spent reading this wretched, wretched novel.

Back to the "cool" premise. Our narrator, a generic working-class shlub, is attacked by a stranger in an alleyway one night. He accidentally kills the guy in self-defense, rifles through the corpse's wallet, and is shocked to discover that he's killed the feared serial killer, Grandson-of-Barney. (Like Son-of-Sam....get it? This is only the first example of the book's pathetic attempt at humor.) He also finds a dinner invitation from actor Errol Flynn, who you may recall has been dead for years. For no reason other than that the plot requires it, our hero flies to Chicago and attends the dinner, only to discover that he's stumbled into a club of serial killers. These "skillers" meet to compare past kills and plan future kills, and they all have movie-star aliases. (Richard Burton, Chuck Norris, Cher, etc.) Once again for no real reason, our hero joins the club, calling himself Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., or "Dougie." He covers up his lack of a body count by telling the other members that he has "killer's block" (are you laughing yet?), but some of the skillers become suspicious of him anyway, so he kills them. All this is explained in the rushed and awkward prologue.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Eye Rolling to the End July 30, 2006
For those that thought this book was clever, funny, and a good read, I have yet to confirm that they were reading the same book as I. Not only did it not make me laugh, but I found myself actually rolling my eyes at the characters. They are shallow, with little development, which causes the reader to establish absolutely no relationship with any of them. The writing style is just shy of adolescent, with no literary charm at all. This was a total waste of my time, and the only reason I gave it one star was because it was about serial killers to begin with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Book May 26, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well, this was a good book.

It's not great literature, but it was pretty funny.

I got a kick out of the satire.

Only 3 stars because I felt the main character could have been 'fleshed out' a bit more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars H - O - R - R - I - B - L - E !! January 1, 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm not sure I've ever read such drivel in my life. Or maybe it's because in the past I would have thrown the book out long before the end. But I stuck it out because I wanted to share this review and I won't review a book unless I read the entire thing.

I picked this book up because it's up my alley and it sounded like an interesting premise. I also thought that - in the right hands - it could be one awesome book. Well, it most certainly wasn't in the right hands.

"Felixpath's" review covers most of my own disappointments with the book, so I'm not going to waste my time going into the details of how this book is such a piece of garbage. Where I don't agree with fellow reviewer Felixpath is where he suggests that Povey is a competent writer. Where other reviewers here suggest the book was an "easy" read, well, that's because the writing is at such a basic level. There's nothing intriguing or even polished about Povey's writing. It's serviceable at best, and sometimes that's okay if you actually have a decent plot or interesting characters.

But this book has nothing. It's seriously the worst joke I've read in years, and only serves to confirm for me that the publishing industry is becoming seriously screwed up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and unpredictable July 24, 2006
The premise of THE SERIAL KILLERS CLUB, the darkly comedic debut novel by Jeff Povey, seems a bit far-fetched at first: a group composed of serial killers --- membership by invitation only --- meeting at a nondescript tavern in Chicago? It's a concept that, at first blush, would strain one's suspension of disbelief. But Povey, a skilled scriptwriter perhaps best known for his work on the BBC's "EastEnders," is onto something here. Human predators, by the very nature of their repetitive actions, are attuned to a different, amoral frequency. What if, in fact, they are all listening to the same one? Would they not feel the need to gather, to socialize, among their own kind? THE SERIAL KILLERS CLUB explores this premise, as well as the proposition that it would carry within its inception the seeds of its own destruction.

The novel is related through the voice of...well, we never do learn his real name. He is known to the members of the Serial Killers Club as "Douglas Fairbanks, Jr." --- each member takes the name of an actor as a pseudonym --- but his qualification for membership is a sham, at least at first. "Fairbanks" finds out about the club when he accidentally kills a serial murderer nicknamed by the press "Grandson of Barney," or GOB. GOB was attacking him, and he turned it around on GOB, much to the surprise of them both. In going through GOB's minimal effects, "Fairbanks" finds the invitation to the club and decides to go in GOB's place. The problem is that "Fairbanks" isn't really a killer. Well, at first he's not, but he learns that a couple of members are suspicious of him, so he has no choice but to eliminate them.

His problems increase when Kennet (no 'h' on the end) Wade, a very strange FBI agent, attaches himself to "Fairbanks" and encourages --- nay, commands!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Take Dexter, and divide by Ash, then add to Desperately Seeking Susan,...
After accidentally killing, and assuming the identity of local serial killer 'Grandson of Barney', the narrator follows a personal ad in 'his' wallet and finds himself in a room... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Shadow Girl
3.0 out of 5 stars ok for the price i paid
i wanted to like this book so much more than i actually did. i loved the premise but the interest just sort of died off for me somewhere around the middle of the book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by bookbabe31
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read =)
Friend recommended this book and thought I'd give it a try. Did not regret it but it was a pretty fast read and I usually like to savor my books.
Published 9 months ago by Laura
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible
This book is confusing, and just garbage, do not buy this book! I couldn't make it through the first two chapters!
Published 11 months ago by joe
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheap Entertainment
I agree with many of the reviews posted about this novel identifying it as less than amazing, but neither is it a waste of time. Read more
Published 14 months ago by UTSKI1
1.0 out of 5 stars Skip it
If you are expecting something along the lines of Dexter meets Fight Club, this is not the book. The other reviewers have nailed it regarding the lack of character and story... Read more
Published on May 11, 2012 by J. Boothe
1.0 out of 5 stars pretty bad
My friend told me about this book and I liked the concept. The book itself is pretty bad. Its boring, the story feels rushed. Read more
Published on March 23, 2012 by cstokes123
1.0 out of 5 stars God Awful.....
I have no idea why anyone would distribute this. Characters were awful, story was awful. I put it down after a couple of chapters and will hopefully and most likely forget it... Read more
Published on June 26, 2011 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time
This book was boring and lacked any and all emotion. You can see whats going to happen long before it does. Read more
Published on September 8, 2010 by Lynzi Gras
3.0 out of 5 stars Terribly over simplified.
Hmmm. Was I supposed to laugh while reading this book? The characters were terribly cookie-cutter and shallow and I got the feeling while reading this that it was right around... Read more
Published on April 10, 2010 by C. R. Phelps
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