15 Minutes and Before 15 Minutes

Fiction - Literary
142 Pages
Reviewed on 05/19/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite

Linda P Young's 15 Minutes and Before 15 Minutes is a two-part story. In the first story, a predator lurks in the shadows and ventures out into the world, looking for vulnerable prey. He has a need that can only be sated by killing a person and touching them as they die. He has a thirst that can only be quenched by watching the life go out of someone’s eyes. He has killed so many and will kill many more. The second part is a love story of sorts. Anton and Camille knew they would spend the rest of their lives together the moment they laid eyes on each other. But their worlds are as different as night and day. She is an orphan living in a rundown orphanage run by nuns and he comes from a wealthy family in the village of Sitlo. Their love story is not an easy one, but they do their best to make it work. However, it seems Anton’s family being against their match is the least of their worries. Camille’s dark and terrible secret could be what makes or breaks them.

Linda P Young’s story tells us how the characters of 15 Minutes and Before 15 minutes became who they are. It is a backstory, a love story, a horror and murder story all rolled into one. This is definitely not for the faint-hearted or for those who have weak stomachs. This story is unique in that it delves deeply into the psyche of a killer who kills for the thrill of it. This book takes me deep into the disturbed minds of the murderers. It also explains how something like killing became the norm for them. The killers describe the taking of life as a basic need for them. They often described their kills with a relish that made their unique, disturbed characteristics more clear-cut for me.

Linda Young did a first-rate job of pulling me deeper into the complex plot of her book with every turn of the page. Just when I thought I had the whole story figured out, the author throws in a surprise twist that keeps me on my toes. The pacing is perfect, the plot unexpected, and the characters’ points of view are so detailed that the entire story plays out like a movie in my head. This was definitely unexpected and out-of-the-norm, but Young’s talent and writing skills have left a lasting impression on me. I will never look at ‘secret recipes’ or butcher shops the same way again. If you are looking for a morbid and unpredictable book, then this is definitely the one for you.

Trudi LoPreto

Linda P Young's 15 Minutes and Before 15 Minutes is one of the most unusual stories I have read in forever. At the start we learn that “he” had to kill and it was something he had been doing for many years, starting as a little boy with a neighbor’s dog. His choice of victim and how he killed each one, as well as a description of where he killed them, is shared with the reader as well as the fact that so many people were missing and had never been found. We then meet a restaurant owner who is interested in opening a new restaurant as well as buying a farm outside town. The restaurant owner and his brother also open a butcher shop as their parents had had one for many years and they both grew up learning the trade. All was good in their lives. We next meet Captain Ritnmeyer who is trying to find the missing people and who is responsible. The answers he finds took me totally by surprise.

When the second half of the story begins, we meet Anton and Camille and learn about their lives in Sitlo, a small Italian village. Camille lived in an orphanage and liked taking the smaller children into the nearby woods and killing and burying them so that they would never be found. Anton came from a rich family that did not approve of Camille or the love he felt for her. This did not stop the young couple and they married and soon moved to America. They opened a shop and enjoyed the benefits of living in New York City. The final ending is one that is impossible to see coming and brilliant writing by Linda P Young makes 15 Minutes and Before 15 minutes amazing, containing all of the ghastly, grisly, gruesome things you can imagine in a story that is impossible to put down.

Charles Remington

Interestingly, 15 Minutes is the name of a small, fictional American town where a popular chef retires from the big city to open the type of restaurant he had always dreamed of. He also buys a small nearby farm so that the meat and produce for his restaurant are fresh, local and, as far as possible, organic. The farm is managed by his brother Jacob and together the brothers create a very successful local business. Linda P. Young's 15 Minutes and Before 15 Minutes has a second, more sinister thread that follows the dark movements of a serial killer who refers to himself as the predator. The protagonist’s gory killings are described in some detail so the book is not for the squeamish. The book is also in two parts; the second of these, Before 15 Minutes, describes the life of Camille, a young orphan girl growing up in a convent-run children’s home in Sicily, and Anton, the young man she marries and with whom she emigrates to America.

It is difficult to give too much detail about the plot of 15 Minutes and Before 15 Minutes by Linda P. Young. There are a number of twists, turns, and surprises in the storyline which would be a shame to give away. Slowly the various threads unite and the narrative culminates in an unexpected and dramatic ending. The narrative moves along at a steady pace, in the first part alternating between the creation of the town’s new restaurant and the brothers becoming integrated into the local community, while the second concentrates more on the life of Camille, a pivotal character in the overall plot. I can say that it is suitably gory and substantially horrific. The activities of the ‘predator’ reminded me of the callous and unfeeling character Patrick Bateman from the famous novel American Psycho. But perhaps not quite as nasty.