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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Idol Worship by Rhonnie Fordham, The Mayberry Murderer, the most feared serial killer of our time, has struck again with her trademark brutality. Her latest victims dared to enter the notorious Crane farmhouse in Stanwyck, Georgia, the scene of a brutal murder over thirty years ago. When Erika Lee, a TV news reporter from Atlanta, and her team, along with criminal psychologist/novelist, Dr. Celeste Newton, are given the opportunity to interview the elusive killer, they immediately head toward the Crane house to meet them. As they come face to face with the killer, Erika discovers shocking truths about the Crane house and the infamous murder. Erika and Celeste uncover a series of disturbing events from the killer's childhood that could have sparked their killing spree. When the interview is over and the truth is exposed, will the killer allow her interviewers to leave or will they become the next victims?
I was absolutely gripped by the dark and eerie plot from the outset. The descriptive narrative was exceptional and really transported you into the disturbing atmosphere of the Crane house. I loved how the author created such three-dimensional characters, even the minor ones who did not survive the Mayberry Murderer. Every personality was unique, vibrant, and interesting. The scenes where Celeste's questioning became confrontational toward the killer were absolutely amazing as I wasn't sure how the killer would react. The entire storyline was compelling and filled with tension as the psychological game of cat and mouse between the interviewers and the killer unfolded. The revelations around the killer's childhood were hard to read at times because they were so appalling. I thought the exposure of how childhood abuse can affect a person into adulthood was handled with total sensitivity. I also thought the plot highlighted the issues of misogyny, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and racism with incredible empathy. The tension and suspense throughout were amazing and the twist at the end was pure gold. I will never hear the song 'Eyes without a face' without feeling chills again. Idol Worship by Rhonnie Fordham is an absolute must-read.