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Something Down the Road    by B. K. Smith order for
Something Down the Road
by B. K. Smith
Order:  USA  Can
Livingston, 2002 (2002)
* *   Reviewed by Anise Hollingshead

There is Something Down the Road, and it's a killer. In fact, it is a serial killer, one that the reader is immediately introduced to as the murderer at the beginning of the story. Billy Raston has snapped, and the women of Sweet Springs, Alabama are paying the price with their lives.

Several women have been killed using particularly gruesome methods in this small town in Alabama. From the beginning, the reader knows who the culprit is; the mystery here is why Billy feels impelled to kill. The story begins with Billy on the run from the law. It then jumps back in time to the first murder and from there proceeds up to the present point. Billy's motivations and feelings are explored, as well as other characters' perspectives, like those of his former highschool sweetheart Holly, and of the wife who left him before the killings started.

The murders and accompanying rapes are described in graphic detail from the point of view of Billy, which may be offputting for many people, myself included. While I've read quite a few books that have included brutal descriptions of murders complete with sexual details, I haven't read many that sound more like a porno story than a mystery. Also, the author seems to be trying to portray Billy in a sympathetic mode, since Holly and his wife feel sorry for him up to the end, despite the horrific nature of his crimes.

The author's language is compelling, and the storytelling is powerful. It's a shame that the nature of the story itself and the wholly unpalatable anti-hero detract significantly from an otherwise competent mystery.

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