Literary serial killers are a strange conundrum for readers. On the one hand we should be repulsed by their actions. On the other hand they make for excellent character studies. It’s rare to find serial killer characters that capture the public’s attention (Dexter and Hannibal Lecter come to mind). Barbie Wilde’s The Venus Complex delves deeply into the neuroses and mental degradation of a serial killer. It’s a bold but flawed work and I found myself enjoying the novel for the most part.
Recently I reviewed Hellbound Hearts, an anthology series of short stories related to Clive Barker’s Hellraiser setting. Barbie Wilde’s story “Sister Cilice” stood out from the bunch due to its strong connection to the deeply sexual themes explored in Barker’s original tale. My significant other informed me that Wilde had written a full length novel. Wilde’s first novel continues her exploration of the twisted depths of human sexuality and the connection sexual desire has with horror.