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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How To Build a Killer - Five-Star Review!

5.0 out of 5 stars Society's Role In Creating Murderers From Throwaway Children, February 12, 2013
jt kalnay (cleveland, ohio) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How To Build A Killer (Kindle Edition)
The life of Tommy Pitt, aka Ethan Pierce, started in a dumpster where he'd been discarded by his 15 year old mother, who had been impregnated through incest. The next 21 years were spent in and out of foster care, in and out of detention, & in and out of all the corners of hell that a throwaway can experience. Like his eyes, which can shift from gold to green, Tommy, "like all helpless things, abused children, and battered wives and mistreated pets, learned early on to read and react quickly to the slightest nuances in the moods and expressions of his captors." After being convicted of murdering his father, Tommy spends months seducing his prison therapist and encouraging the reporter and attorney who have decided he needs to be helped.

How to Build A Killer is an extremely disturbing story that includes graphic descriptions of the horrible things that happen to the most vulnerable amongst us. This book is not for the faint of heart, or for anyone who doesn't want to have a light shone on a sordid corner of society. You'll want to believe that this is all fiction, but in the end you'll realize that the crystal clear mirror that Vicki Williams holds up to society reveals truths that few of us want to admit. Tommy describes how "humans want to believe there is a guiding force that controls everything and cares about them, but so far I haven't seen any proof that if there is a supreme being, he or she or it gives a damn." Tommy goes on to describe how "God tosses life out with a wildly profligate hand and if much of that life ends up as collateral damage, he appears perfectly comfortable with that."

At its heart, this book addresses the classic question of Nature vs. nurture. Would Tommy/Ethan have turned out differently if he'd been loved instead of tossed in a dumpster? A psychiatrist in the story wonders "how much of who Tom became was innate and how much was causation? Did society share a large part of the blame for literally creating a killer by failing so spectacularly to protect a child?" One possible conclusion is that "an uncaring and negligently society deliberately molded him and shaped him into what he was and then punished him for being their own creation."

I recommend this book, but warn the reader that it contains graphic sex, graphic violence, and disturbing imagery of child abuse.

Purchase your own copy at amazon or smashwords

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