Indie Spotlight Review #4 You Will Pay (by Sian Rosé)
Happy October and soon-to-be Halloween to all you lovers of spooky, scary, and all-round gruesome goodies!
It's with gory relish that I introduce this month's Indie Spotlight feature - You Will Pay (by Sian Rosé), a horrifying, gory, and thrilling book about how far two people will go to avenge the loss of their only daughter that covers everything from kidnap, manipulation, gaslighting, torture, murder, and Facebook in a story that should delight fans of bloody and violent tales.
You Will Pay is a taught and often gruesome story about an estranged husband and wife team who, after a terrible tragedy strikes their family, find themselves united by a common goal against those responsible, which develops into a twisted, and often darkly funny story of moral greys and the terrible things people are capable of when they believe they're doing them in the name of love.
Without giving any more of the plot away, You Will Pay is an unflinching story, and not for the faint of heart. Oliver and Lacey's descent into their dark, insane mission of vengeance is bloody, vivid, and unapologetic. Within a tight page count, the author manages to explore the results and roots of their broken and abusive relationship as these two characters combine their worst impulses and unleash them on their enemies (for long spells with the reader's full support) throughout a roller-coaster ride of a revenge fantasy, torture, murder, and everything in-between.
The story is written in the rare (these days, anyway) omni-present POV, meaning the reader is allowed to see what every character is thinking within a given scene, bouncing from one head to another, as the vicious plans of the protagonists come together. It makes the story tight, efficient, and lets the reader peek out from behind the eyes of the victims as well as the killers. But you'll have to pay attention or risk getting lost with regards to whose eyes you're peeking out from behind at a given moment.
What makes the book really sing is the things the author has to say about wider subjects in the story aside from the bloody violence and sadism, which resonate long after you've turned the final page. The role social media plays in abuse and bullying of today's youth is a major talking point, as well as the detached responsibility felt by those who persecute from behind a keyboard. It also cleverly holds a mirror up to the reader, and in some ways modern media, reflecting how we react to violent crimes, particularly against children, and the revenge/punishment fantasies often spouted so casually when we imagine those dark "oh... if I just had five minutes with guilty party" scenarios.
This book explores those ideas ruthlessly, as Oliver and Lacey, the would-be victims, quickly succumb to their worst and darkest natures, before becoming greater monsters than those they hunt.
The one downside are the "villains" of the piece - there are five targets in Oliver and Lacey's sights, and we only really get development for two of them, the others acting as plot devices to advance the "heroes'" fall into madness and escalating impulses. By the end, some of the villains' personalities are a bit interchangeable, which was a minor negative.
All in all, You Will Pay is a fascinating and often absorbing read - perfect for horror fans and impossible to put down.