‘Simon Says Die’ is the latest book by Erika Strauss.
For the last 10 years, Angela Thompson has been living a nightmare. While motherhood was never her goal, she has tried everything to connect with her son, Max. It was supposed to be two of them against the world until Max’s behavior grew increasingly disturbing. The missing items, lost pets, and strange drawings she could handle, but now, the murder of little Tommy Marshall has the entire town of Oregon, Ohio on edge. Beaten with a large rock and left to die in the woods, the police search frantically for a sadistic child killer. Unfortunately, all of the evidence points to Angela as she begins to doubt everything and everyone around her. She swears that she would never hurt a child, but have her troubled son and loneliness pushed her too far? Her gut tells her that Max is involved, but authorities find it hard to believe that a 10-year-old boy could pull off the perfect murder and put his mother on death row. In fact, nobody believes her! But they don’t know Max like she does. They don’t know how sick and depraved her angelic little boy can be. Unfortunately, everyone is about to find out the hard way.
To be honest, I’m glad this book was only 200 pages long because the unsettling creepiness of Max was a lot to take in.
The story is seen through the narrative of mother and son, Angela and Max. Max is strange boy who thrives on causing pain to others particularly others and when a little boy is found dead, Angela knows her son did it and planted her DNA at the scene. Even though she denies any involvement, no one believes her and she finds herself on death row.
There’s something really unsettling about creepy children and the author has created such a creepy child that I raced through the book just to finish it!
It’s sad in parts as Angela tries to warm to her only son but is unable to love him due to his behaviour, she feels like a failure. Max is a strange boy, he lacks empathy and thrives on causing pain to others and his lack of remorse is shocking at times. The dual narrative also gives an interesting insight into the story.
Dark, twisted and disturbing, ‘Simon Says Die’ is a fascinating insight into a far from normal mother/son relationship that made for incredibly uncomfortable reading.
You can buy ‘Simon Says Die’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.