My crime writing colleague Michael Bronte (“The Tenth Caller”) has sent me a picture of him reading Dead Men and he has reviewed it on Amazon! Here’s what he writes:
Victim or predator? It’s a question that’s difficult to answer as Glargaard takes you deep into the mind of Marie Tofte-Nielsen to reveal an incredibly perceptive but insecure woman, who is at the same time a wickedly calculating and manipulative monster.
It starts at a young age with an abusive and demeaning father who killed her mother in a fit of drunken rage. He was the first to go when she lit his bed on fire. Motherless and fatherless, Marie discovered and began using her significant talents to get what she wanted from people, particularly men, who she found would demean and ridicule themselves in their attempts to gain her approval, her charms, and ultimately her body. It was an exercise of ultimate power over them.
She liked to shame them, to control them, and she grew into a hunter, using any means necessary to achieve her objective of total domination, which equated to her being the one who determined not if they lived or died, but when they died. They never saw it coming.
Like her father, the men she killed were abusive men, and she could pick them out in a minute. They deserved to die, didn’t they? Who was the sinner here? Who was violating every sense of decency? Liking the feeling her powers gave her, she became a predator seeking out other predators. They were simply predators of the opposite sex. Then why did she attract them? And live with them? And stay with them after they beat her? One after the other, they all went to hell.
When you first meet Marie, she sounds like a very logical and clear-thinking woman. Everything she says makes sense. She is someone you can sympathize with—until you find out that killing is a regular habit of hers. As a reader, that’s when you feel that she is manipulating you just like she manipulates her victims. That’s when the sympathy for her victimization starts to unravel for you and you realize what a truly horrific person she is.
Author Glargaard does a masterful job of taking you into the mind of a demon and making her seem almost normal. There are a couple of interesting plot twists, but if you like the intricacies of mind examination and character dissection, then this is a book for you.