Book Title: Rattle
Author: Fiona Cummins
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Fiction, Serial Killers
Date Read: 12/31/16
Pub Date: 01/24/16
A psychopath more frightening than Hannibal Lecter.
He has planned well. He leads two lives. In one he’s just like anyone else. But in the other he is the caretaker of his family’s macabre museum.
Now the time has come to add to his collection. He is ready to feed his obsession, and he is on the hunt.
Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle have something in common. They have what he needs.
What begins is a terrifying cat-and-mouse game between the sinister collector, Jakey’s father and Etta Fitzroy, a troubled detective investigating a spate of abductions.
It’s been awhile since I’ve read something that genuinely terrified me; woot and double woot! While I wouldn’t go so far as to say this counts in the horror category, it did have a Silence of the Lambs -esque feel to it. Honestly, the villain in this book makes Hannibal Lector look like a kitty cat prancing on rainbows and butterflies. While this in itself was enough to make it an all-around disturbing read, the author did a fantastic job of playing at every fear and concern I have as a parent toward my children. This went beyond the typical “Dear God-Please Don’t let my children ever get kidnapped or murdered” typical fears; no, the author introduced us to a wide array of horrifying disorders that occur in real life to worry about as well.
You should go into this knowing as little as possible. My paperback didn’t have a summary on the back, and while I had a very vague idea of the plot, I never looked it up online and went in blind. I highly recommend doing this, therefore I won’t be discussing any particular plot points here. Instead I’d like to focus on how this book as a whole made me feel and some of the things that might be triggers for other readers, as this is the type of book that needs to be connected with the right type of person. I’ll be honest, I had to put this one down a couple of times to ease my anxiety and quickly chastise myself for googling images of the particular disorders mentioned here. I found certain parts highly disturbing, especially early on with descriptions of what happens to a child with “Stone Man Syndrome” each time they have any type of accident. My heart started aching as I recalled a story last year of a little boy suffering with this and this novel gave me insight into the horrifying life his parents endure each day. None of this is a criticism; in fact, I applaud the author for not only crafting such deep, realistic characters in a serial killer thriller, but also for shedding light and awareness on such disorders that need more funding to desperately find a cure.
There are many triggers found in this book, so if you are one to stay away from violence toward children (more so implied, not graphically described), and are disturbed by bugs and unsettling descriptions of the disorders highlighted here, this may not be for you. If you can handle more disturbing and graphic books, you may really enjoy the depth and extra attention to detail found in this story. It is extremely well-written and done with respect to those who are disabled, while not painting a fluffy, inaccurate picture of what these people go through on a daily basis. I’ll be thinking about this book for a long time; I’m also interested in taking what I’ve learned here and channeling it into helping promote a charity or funding of curing these disorders and providing help to families whom this horror is a daily reality. Fiona Cummins is clearly very talented and I’m waiting on pins and needles to see where she takes us next!
*Many thanks to Francesca at MacMillan for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide an honest review.