Vengeance Road - Rick Mofina

Wow. Spare, concise writing, and compelling story-telling. This is reading heaven, isn't it? At least that's how the book starts. Then, somewhere around chapter 40, things turn horribly, horribly bad. As in scary bad. What do I mean? Let me explain.

It begins with Rick Mofina and his Goodreads blurb:

Rick Mofina is a former journalist and an award-winning author of several acclaimed thrillers. His reporting has put him face-to-face with murderers on death row in Montana and Texas. He has covered a horrific serial-killing case in California and an armored car-heist in Las Vegas ...

When Mofina starts to describe details of the horrible crimes of his characters, it feels like he is describing something he has actually seen or reported on. It's sort of like reading the newspaper account of a real murder involving real people. And to tell you honestly, this spooked me, well and truly spooked me. The book stopped being fiction but seemed all too real. And that's when it became really, really bad, scary bad. The serial killer is not just imaginary but a real person who actually existed, exists. This was just too much. I was ready for a nice, neat, spare thriller but this just became too real. Then I just couldn't read another page.

The writing is unquestionably good and compelling and all that, but it can pull you too far in and you find that you're no longer in the fictional world but all the way through to a truly messed up real world. And, what is that guy with the boots in the next table at the diner up to? man in boots
You start wondering if the flakes you are reading about are the flakes you are seeing everyday. And then you can't leave the house. Spooked, totally spooked.