Book Review – Beautiful Victim by Claire C. Riley

by Maryse on April 8, 2018 · 0 comments

in My Book Reviews

Beautiful Victim: [THE] must-read thriller of the year.
<— Yeah. This one took me some time to come down from before I could right the review. Not because I didn’t love it. But because I was so… distraught. Lost. I needed to snuggle with sweetness. ;)

But you know me. I love my psych-thrillers, and this is one of those!!! Are you in the mood for dark? I’ve got your dark, right here. And I brought it to my Facebook crew…

Maryse: Oooooof. I just finished a reallllllly dark book. Along the lines of “You” but without any of the quirky humor. Darker, even. I’m so frustrated and exhausted. But I will NEVER forget it. Stalker, psych-thrillers with delusional villains entice me. But oh how I need a few hours of relief before I write this review. Trust me… it’s insidious in how “lightly dark” it is, but in reality, how dark it really is.

Rebecca: Cool, I look forward to your review, I’ve had my eye on this! I loved her zombie books she co-wrote with Madeline Sheehan, I’ve yet to read her own.

A. Meredith Walters: My FAVOURITE book this year!!! I’m so stoked you read it!

All I can say is HOLY. MOLY. When you’re in the mood for something, and you get it… and then so much more, that by the end you’re drained, devoured, and depressed… yet slightly delighted (I said SLIGHTLY!!! You can’t be GREATLY delighted by these kind of books can you? CAN YOU???!!! LOL!!!) but that said, if you can handle the dark emotions, and that kind of pressure, this one brings it.

This is going to be with us both forever. There is no running from this horrible, horrible thing. It binds us together.

Her and me. Me and the blood.

But it’s the right thing. In my heart I know that.

I look away from the body and down at my shaking hands. Hands I don’t recognize as my own.

Whose hands are these that can do so much damage?

Who is this person that destroys without hesitation?

I don’t know who I am anymore. Maybe that’s okay.

I didn’t like who I was anyway.

Again, I NEED TO REPEAT THIS: it’s insidious in how “lightly dark” it is, but in reality, how dark it really is.

It catches you off guard, in fact.

Dripping from the ceiling. I swim in the blood. I can smell it. I can taste it. She laughs because it means she’s free. I cower because it will destroy us.

You think he’s just a sweet, innocent, lovesick boy man that finds his high-school sweetheart again. The one, the ONLY one that he was able to completely connect to. In fact, the first one, and somehow, he imprinted HARD on her. But she was his home… and HE was HER salvation.

We were the imperfect ones. The ones that didn’t fit in.

Her, with her lice-riddled hair and abusive father.

Me, with my overbearing mother, hard-working father, and my own obsessive nature.

We were perfect in our imperfectness.

They were bonded so young, for so long, and then one day… she was gone.

Both from difficult childhood situations, neighbor children that become best friends, and while he thinks he’s lacking parental love, he sees through her, what true parental abandonment looks like. She’s suffering. Starving. Infested. Alone. And he takes her on as his pet project, bonding with her as they grow into adulthood.

I couldn’t tell you why I fell in love with Carrie Brown. It could have been because she was beautiful and broken. Or it could have been that she knew I was weird but told me it was okay to be so. Carrie made me feel accepted and understood. She made me feel both normal and weird. And she made me feel that either was okay.

Love is a strange thing. You don’t even know that it’s happening until it’s happened, and you’re ten feet deep in a puddle of love that makes you smile for the first time in a long time.

But after a grisly situation finds him incarcerated for years, and her… missing in action. His whole life changes forever. And yet, he’s still fully obsessed with her.

Then one day, by complete chance, in his very controlled, meager life… he sees her. And his whole world lights up again. He will take back what’s his and he will never let it go again…

I’m shocked that I just saw Carrie. After all these years.

I think of all the perhapses of today. And yes, I know that’s not a real word, but the realness of words doesn’t matter right now. All that matters is Carrie and the fact that she is here and she’s alive. All that matters is that I have found her when I thought she was lost to me forever.

And this is that story. Who’s the victim and who’s the villain? Well, for awhile it’s obvious… and then, not so much. Things…. change. Perceptions (while mostly ONLY via her POV) give you a good idea of his mid frame and where it all stems from as his life is revealed, it’s when she finally comes into action, that so much more comes to light.

I think of how happy she’ll be to see me again. Despite the fact that she ran away and hid herself.

From me?

I still wonder.

Did she run from me?

Or did she run from the memories?

*blink blink*

This book is exactly what I believe these true-life stalker obsessions stem from, lead to… and where they ultimately culminate.

4 stars <— I loved it, even if I cringe saying that. It’s intense devotion. Determination. Devastation. It’s horrid. It’s darker than dark, even thought it leads you “there” so gently you don’t even realize you’re being boiled alive.

Until it’s too late.

“I feel sick because you’re here.”

“What?” I say. And it’s not very polite of me. I should have said “pardon” or “excuse me,” but I didn’t because I am so shocked that she said that.

“I want you to leave, Ethan,” she says. “Get out!”

And What a f**king bitch, I think.


Get ready.

The end. :) (er… of my review. Not of this story… or is it? My lips are sealed). ;)

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