Cats Like Cream by Renee Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Being a successful employee at a real estate agency, Elwin strives to help people find their dream homes - but as it turns out, they get more than what they bargained for. With strategically installed cameras, he's able to watch the new residents settle in and, oftentimes, witness them at their most private of moments. But he can't touch, no matter how much he wishes to, as touching only leads to bad, and bloody, things.
(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)
I decided to read something shorter than my usual, as my mood craved a story more direct and to the point; you know, with less time to invest in but without sacrificing that valuable punch. I’m therefore glad I picked up this one, as despite my personal distaste of the cover, the tale within was incredibly unsettling. I always find it considerably more disturbing when the monster isn’t supernatural in origin, but very much human. The mere thought of just how much a person’s mind can figuratively short circuit, to the point where they consistently justify their depraved behaviour, well, it’s downright scary, but also deeply fascinating on some level.
This is the second time I’ve had the (dis)pleasure of reading about trichophagia, which is essentially the compulsive disorder of eating hair. Certainly not for the squeamish, as even with having a strong stomach it nearly had me gagging. Miller was able to portray Elwin in such a way that depicted him a victim to some inner demon that craved gratification. The blame for his misdoings was thus placed upon this evil entity, with little to no responsibility falling upon Elwin himself. With intimate knowledge of his troubled thoughts, some more relatable than others, I couldn't help but appreciate the work put into his psyche. However, even though I consider myself an empathetic individual, I found him to be a vile beast of a human being with little to no redeeming qualities.
Being approximately fifty pages long, the pace didn't loiter. It was difficult for me to tear myself away for this very reason, as the situation just kept getting increasingly more thrilling. When that ending finally arrived, it was hard to accept that it was over.
In conclusion: I very much enjoyed this venture into the life of a serial killer. A quick but satisfying read, and one I won't soon forget.
The beast clawed at the underside of his lungs. Elwin told it to be patient. It roared in reply.
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