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Psychopaths Anonymous by Will Carver

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Crime/Thriller

By Mairéad Hearne (Swirl and Thread)

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Psychopaths Anonymous by Will Carver is published with Orenda Books. Described as a ‘dark, unpredictable, electrifyingly original new thriller’, be prepared for the most quirky and wicked read of your life.

Maeve is completely unstable, a person you would never wish to cross paths with. A successful and confident business woman living in a beautiful home, Maeve appears to have it all. But Maeve leads a double life. Behind this façade of accomplishment, she is an addict. Maeve drinks copious amounts of alcohol, has numerous sexual encounters and loves to fantasize about, and actually enact, the brutal killing of men. She takes a dislike for multiple reasons and decides the world would be a better place without that particular male still in it, so fuelled on adrenaline and an alcohol rush she kills.

Maeve is well aware that her actions are not acceptable in normal society. She was born into a regular family and suffered no traumatic experiences growing up. Nothing in her past can explain her psychopathic traits so Maeve has always longed to find others like her, people that she can call her own, but how can she do this? Initially Maeve attends numerous AA meetings and her internal monologues are scathing of the people who attend these groups. She is frustrated with religion and God being the one solution on the programme that is a common theme across all groups. So Maeve being Maeve decides that she needs to step up and start her own group for psychopaths and, to keep things simple, she calls it Psychopaths Anonymous. Selling it as a ‘mental health’ group she slowly gathers a motley crew of rather despicable characters. All are reluctant to share at the initial meetings but after a few weeks the personality types are revealed a bit more and Maeve thrives in their company.

At work Maeve continues to excel and one day she crosses paths with Seth. They have a very strong initial connection and it’s not long before Maeve discovers that she is in fact falling for Seth, a complication that she had never foreseen. He is handsome, enjoys a drink or three, is up for a laugh and seems to understand Maeve. Obviously Seth is completely unaware of her parallel life and Maeve intends to keep it that way. But Maeve is struggling to keep a line drawn between her two lives. She craves the kill, she craves the buzz, she misses the excitement. When Maeve steps back from her extracurricular activities, she senses a shift in her relationship with Seth. She feels distanced from him. She feels that she is different, boring, predictable. How can she keep the magic alive?

Psychopaths Anonymous is a disturbingly violent read yet, as Will Carver is the magic behind it, it is utterly addictive, completely insane, at times seriously stomach-churning and just plain outrageous. There is no let up in the pace of this book as Maeve’s behaviour jumps between being completely insane and strangely loveable. Her erratic and totally unorthodox approach to living is downright bizarre. To be honest I would run a mile if I ever had to shake her hand but there is an underlying kooky appeal that strangely gets under your skin.

Psychopaths Anonymous is a book I recommend BUT with a few caveats for the squeamish among you


(c) Mairéad Hearne (Swirl and Thread)

Order your copy online here.

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