A Killer's Heart

The Story of Ed Lee Curtis

Fiction - Horror
234 Pages
Reviewed on 12/04/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

A Killer's Heart by Matthew Randolph is a horror story that will give you the chills even after you put the book down. The story follows Ed Lee Curtis, a man who never experienced love or acceptance in his life. Devastated, humiliated and hurt beyond belief, Ed had the most horrible childhood anyone could imagine. So as he grew up, Ed craved the love of anyone who gave him attention. But he never got it so he became one of the monsters that he tried to hide from a long time ago. However, he has embraced the evil inside him; he revels in the feelings of calm and serenity that he gets from inflicting pain and horror on others. He is invincible, nothing can stop him and the mess he has inside him. They made him who he is today and now anyone who strikes his fancy has to pay!

This is primarily a horror novel, but the horror goes beyond the violence and the mental shock that the reader will get. How many times have our unkindness and our derogatory remarks changed the lives of other people? Our words and actions have an impact and this story shares the consequences of one such incident. Ed could have been a normal guy with a normal job, found love, gotten married and had children. But he was shaped to become a monster by the people in his life and so he became what he hated. The story itself is strong and action-packed right from the beginning. The flow was perfect, the atmosphere of the story was phenomenal and Ed’s character will make you think about all the nightmares you've had. He is a great character though; he is smart, cunning and excruciatingly thorough in his planning. This is definitely a novel that will make you rethink what you say to other people and look over your shoulder at the same time. This dark and terrifying novel is not for the faint of heart though!

Viga Boland

Let me start by stating I am not a fan of horror: too many blood-curdling movies at Hallowe’en have turned me off. So I was stepping out of my comfort zone in opting to read and review A Killer’s Heart by Matthew Randolph. But the book description intrigued me, and I can honestly say now that I’m glad I selected this novel. Despite the horrible events depicted, the protagonist, serial killer Ed Lee Curtis, captured my imagination so thoroughly, I couldn’t put the book down!

As a result of a rotten childhood, thanks to an evil, abusive father and an alcoholic mother, Ed Lee Curtis grew up full of repressed rage. A friendless loner, desperately in need of someone to love and to love him back, as a youngster he fell in love with the beautiful young girl next door. She reciprocated but when her family moved away, his unrequited love released the angry monster inside him. He began killing, cleverly escaping detection throughout 22 murders. What brought his spree to an end? You’ll never guess, but far be it for me to spoil the page-turning plot with its graphic sex and explosive gory twist toward the end of the novel.

You may need a strong stomach and an open mind to read A Killer’s Heart. But here’s the odd part: as much as I deplored Ed Lee Curtis’ actions, I also understood and even sympathized with him. I couldn’t help but think of how many other children are suffering as Ed did as a child and could one day grow into an Ed. All along, he fought his evil tendencies, just wanting a normal life with a wife and children. Perhaps that would have made a difference; perhaps not. You be the judge. A Killer’s Heart is a riveting read with a well-developed plot and captivating characters. Yes, it’s a horror story, but it’s a good one. Check it out.

Lex Allen

A Killer's Heart is a fascinating, albeit horrific, first-person account of a serial killer and the circumstances that led him to a spree of unmitigated horror and violence. Ed Lee Curtis grew up as an only child, sexually abused by his father and emotionally abused by his alcoholic mother. He had no friends until he met Sara, his first and only friend who became the love of his life. Ed has dreams and hears voices that draw him ever deeper into horrific thoughts that ultimately lead to acting on those impulses. He's enthralled by the biographies and methods of serial killers and, in accordance with the motto, "if you do something, be the best ever," he sets out to become the most infamous serial killer of all time!

Not for the weak of heart, nor sexually prude, A Killer's Heart by Matthew Randolph will thrill horror fans. Readers that enjoy psychological tales will also enjoy this "inside story" of a serial killer, how he came to be and what he gets from his acts of rape, murder, and the dismemberment of his victims. Randolph does an excellent job of getting into the psyche and interpreting the acts of a sociopathic killer. The story comes across as authentic with a good pace, unburdened with extraneous details that often slow down a story that by nature should be fast-paced. I'm a fan of horror stories that leave nothing to the reader's imagination; stories that are vivid in detail and description. A Killer's Heart perfectly fits that requirement.

Risah Salazar

Ed Lee Curtis became the victim of a sexually abusive dad and an alcoholic mom at a young age. He usually kept to himself and is the object of bullying at school. One day, Sara Walker and her family became their next-door neighbors in Cedarville, Arkansas. He doesn't know what it is about Sara that makes him extremely attracted to her and, in return, Sara seems to fancy him as well. They find their connection deep and become a romantic couple in their teens. However, just when Ed thought everything was getting better in his life, Sara's family had to move to Texas and he is alone again. After seeing his dad for one last time to sort things out, his father says something about their bloodline that consumes Ed and changes his life forever. A Killer's Heart by Matthew Randolph is a thrilling read that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

True to its description, this book was dark and compelling indeed. I couldn't even put it down, not that I wanted to. The story was very informative and detailed as if the reader has VIP access to the main character's mind. With this, I thought I could predict the ending, but no. And Sara's revelation at the end was the icing on the cake. The only thing I did not like was the implication that just because someone was abused as a child they automatically become a serial killer in their adult life. This idea deprives us of our capability to choose who we want to be. Trigger warnings include bullying, mental illness, pedophilia, rape, murder, alcoholism, incest, drugs, gore, sex, and physical abuse. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Ruffina Oserio

A Killer's Heart by Matthew Randolph is written for fans of horror and thrillers, a tale that explores the darkness of the human mind. Monsters are made in early life and so is Ed Lee Curtis, whose childhood had been nothing but pain and abuse. He grows up a bitter person and slowly morphs into a terrifying monster. Even when love seems to temper him, it doesn't last. What can tame the devil in him? The narrative opens with the protagonist's difficult upbringing in Cedarville, Arkansas. The images of childhood with an abusive mother are vivid. The very opening line of the narrative already indicates how deeply hurt the young boy is. There is darkness, gore, and horror in this mesmerizing tale that explores the psychology of a criminal mind.

Matthew Randolph does a great job of exploring why the protagonist is what he is, looking at the familial and social aspects that helped shaped him. And the author does this without being preachy. The characters are well developed, especially Ed Lee Curtis, the central character. At times the reader feels pity for him and at times rage, but there is the faint hope that there could be a light at the end of the darkness. The story is suspenseful and the author skillfully explores themes of love, life and death, and murder. A Killer's Heart is a riveting read, a story that stands out with strong writing, an ingenious plot, an exciting and absorbing first-person voice, and compelling characters.