One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach.
Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.
At the beginning of this review I want to say that this is a book like no other. It's a quite disturbing book that requires a strong stomach. One that you just have to read fast, at one go and with the lights on. It is addictive, dark, twisty, sexy and terrifying. A character-driven story full of lies, sex, secrets and bleach and with a number of shocking, sickening scenes.
"Hey, it's Seth. I can't sleep. Want to talk?"
Seth is an insomniac who spends his nights drinking coffees and phoning strangers. He dials random numbers hoping for some connection and warmth. One such call puts Seth through to Hadley Serf, a suicidal young woman who's trying to contact The Good Samaritans in the hope that someone would listen to her. Hadley doesn't realise that this is a case of a crossed wire and that Seth is not really one of the Good Samaritans. Seth doesn't tell her either and he just plays along. He's just happy to have someone to talk to, happy to listen to her as she pours her heart out. From just her voice, he's immediately attracted to Hadley even though he is aware that she's troubled and has never seen her. She too enjoys talking to him and they agree to call each other again. Soon Seth becomes obsessed with Hadley and the two decide to move things forward and meet in person. But that will set the scene to one of the darkest stories I've ever read. Is Hadley the girl Seth thinks she is? Is Seth really what Hadley imagines he is? And who else is aware of Seth's little transgression?
It's really very difficult to review this book without giving any spoilers away. I'll just say that I've never read anything similar. The story revolves around a number of pretty f****d up, unlikeable individuals. Characters I hope I never come across in real life. There's also a very creative killer in the mix, dumping bleached bodies around, as well as a troubled Detective Sergeant desperate to put an end to these murders.
Thanks to the author's original, fast writing style, I found myself immersed in the story from the very beginning, following these messed-up but very engaging characters, and I didn't come up for breath till the very end. The suspense in this book never lets go and there are quite a few WTF moments. I felt tense throughout and I ended up gnawing my fingernails to the quick.
The book includes a lot of hot and steamy sex scenes and references to sex, so if you don't like such scenes it's better if you don't read this book. Other scenes we come across can best be described as shocking and nauseating but this in no way means that this isn't a good book. On the contrary, I found it quite intriguing and I really enjoyed the author's writing style and 'voice'. He certainly didn't leave anything to the imagination, just went on and explicitly gave us every shocking minute detail.
So if you're in for a dark, tense story, are not squeamish, not easily upset or shocked and love explicit sex scenes, I highly recommend this book. I enjoyed reading it. I enjoyed the breathtaking suspense, the original plot and even the hot stuff. One thing is certain. After reading this book, you won't look at the bleach bottles in your cupboard under the sink the same way!