Robertson, Craig - 'Random'
RANDOM, the first novel by Craig Robertson, grabs you by the throat right on its very first page and holds you firmly in its teeth until spitting you out, exhausted, at the end. Absolutely awesome. And with enough twists and turns to keep even the most hardened crime fiction fan satisfied.
RANDOM is the story of The Cutter, a Glasgow-based serial killer, and the police that try to catch him. What makes it different is that it is written in the first person, from the perspective of the killer himself. He starts off describing how he goes about selecting his victims and seems so normal and human that you can't help but like him, despite what he is doing. He slowly gains your confidence and, when he is ready, reveals his terrible personal anguish, along with the reason for doing what he is doing and how many deaths there have to be. He sends clues to the police and to the newspaper but still they have no idea of his motives or methods. Glasgow is in a panic and our murderer, an outwardly unassuming taxi driver, is tickled pink by the chaos he has caused.
Things get a bit tricky for a while when he accidentally selects an employee of Alexander Kirkwood, a local crime boss, as one of his victims. Kirkwood is out for revenge and at one point gets too close to The Cutter for comfort but it all works out fine - apart from a few bruises, that is.
The closing stages of RANDOM are very cleverly worked out. The Cutter finally seems to find some semblance of peace after successfully finishing his killing spree. In a very clever twist it even seems that he might get away with it. Right at the end the pace picks up again and the ending is…well…simply perfect.
RANDOM is published in April 2010 and should be a debut best-seller for its author. Craig Robertson is another gifted, Scottish, crime fiction writer. I am eagerly awaiting his next offering.
Read another review of RANDOM.
Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland