Written by Louise Voss and Mark Edwards — When newbie evening class tutor and sometime author Siobhan McGowan takes her first session, she little realises that she’s started a new chapter in her life that’s never likely to have a happy ending. Siobhan’s fleeting taste of literary stardom came with the publication of the cheesily-titled Tara Lies Awake, but these days she’s reduced to writing freelance articles for magazines and teaching creative writing to make ends meet. Bad move – because it’s here she meets creepy Alex, a student in her class. He’s in a dead-end job, manning the customer service phones at an internet bookselling company, but has hopes of writing a best-selling novel – and falls for Siobhan hook, line and sinker.
So far, so formulaic, but don’t be fooled. This is a book like no other I’ve ever encountered before.
For starters, the narrative is in the form of journals kept by Alex and Siobhan, and the co-authors have split the work right down the middle, with Louise Voss as Siobhan and Mark Edwards as Alex. I almost typed ‘playing’ there, because there is something almost theatrical about the way the action pans out.
And that brings me to the second example of originality, because just when you feel you have a handle on how things are likely to progress, Voss and Edwards throw a massive spanner in the works to turn the thing completely on its head. Never was the phrase ‘madly in love’ more aptly used. This is no ordinary boy-meets-girl story. Alex pursues Siobhan to the point of madness, going so far as to steal her house key, copy it, go inside and ‘borrow’ her credit card to buy her designer clothes and sexy undies. There’s a thin line between love and obsession, and Alex has certainly crossed it.
To say this is a stalking thriller is to downplay it. Yes, it is certainly a thriller and yes, it has stalking at its heart, but it is also laugh-out-loud funny. Killing Cupid took Kindle by storm when the authors self-published it more than a year ago. And its easy to see why. I’ve often found co-written thrillers a tad predictable – take James Patterson and his cast of thousands. But that is not a criticism I could level at Killing Cupid.
The action takes place in London, with a brief (and very funny) foray to Amsterdam. I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot… just to say, expect the unexpected – with bells on!
Killing Cupid is a highly enjoyable read. Alex and Siobhan are quirky, flawed and very human, and they are supported by a vertible gaggle of friends and family members. Apparently, Voss and Edwards met after she saw him on a TV documentary about aspiring writers. They formed a writing partnership and the idea for Killing Cupid came over a few drinks in London. Alcohol-fuelled or not, it was an inspired meeting of minds. And this is the cracking result. Read it!
CFL Rating: 4 Stars