Primed For Vengeance

Fiction - Thriller - General
226 Pages
Reviewed on 08/02/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite

A troubled young man targets specific women for murder, and with nothing but a few enigmatic rhymes to follow, the police must stop him before it's too late in the thriller novel Primed For Vengeance by Gill D Anderson. Butch suffered violence and abuse from early childhood, and the only person who gave him any comfort or consideration during his formative years was his neighbor, Kate. After witnessing his father murdering his mother, the authorities place Butch in the Woodlands Residential Care Unit. There Sarah gives him the care and attention that Butch has always needed. However, when Sarah takes a leave of absence shortly before he reaches age and moves from the facility, Butch feels betrayed. Another woman has rejected him: first Kate, and now Sarah. Butch resolves to get even.

Set in the stunning city of Adelaide, Australia, Primed For Vengeance by Gill D Anderson is an unsettling thriller that makes your blood run cold. This disturbing story, shown from multiple points of view, realistically depicts the devastating effects of childhood trauma due to severe abuse. With a heart-rending plot, exciting scenes, and a larger-than-life antagonist, the enthralling story held me captivated from the first page to its shocking conclusion. The antagonist's psychosis has a terrifying realism that is hauntingly memorable. This book will thrill true crime enthusiasts and fans of thrillers who relish a story with actual people woven into a fictional setting. There are some triggers that the author clearly states at the beginning of the book, including violence, murder, and mental health issues, to name a few.

Shreya Vijay

'Primed for Vengeance' has to be one of the darkest books I've read in a while. It follows the story of Butch, a kid who seeks revenge on a girl he feels has wronged him. Unlike many other books that foster a mental illness angle, this book does it exceptionally well. Owing to the fact that it was set in Australia, this book was a different & captivating read for me.

Granted that this is a thriller novel, the absence of the whodunit flare was shining. The reader was thrown head-first into the story and introduced to the slightly deranged perpetrator - Butch. Being a Psychology student, I was intrigued by the portrayal of Butch and found myself gravitating towards understanding his motives (which weren't always clear) and his perspective.

The pace was insane; the action sequences blew my mind. The narrative of the author was vivid and deftly lucid. The monumental amount of research that went into polishing this book is apparent. Gill has shown enormous promise in her writing and story-telling skills. She was audacious enough to venture into the slightly obscured & blurred themes of child neglect and abuse and how it affects the victim later in their lives.

I won't sugarcoat anything; the book is a delicate & triggering read, especially for those who suffer from mental illness. But, the dexterity with which Gill has presented her work to the world is commendable. Despite this being my first book by Gill, I can easily see myself reading more of her work.

In a nutshell, I adored this book. I would be recommending it to all who find themselves intrigued by the human psyche & undeterred by mentions of sensitive themes like abuse & neglect.


I read this on a recommendation and wasn’t initially sure if I would enjoy it—it seemed quite formulaic for its misogyny and violence. However I was quickly impressed by the quality of the writing in general, and that the antagonist’s "incel rage” was portrayed realistically and also without glamorising it at all. Nor, for that matter, was the violence sensationalised at any point.

What we got, in fact, was a surprisingly human tale—and noteworthily, Anderson not only did each characterisation superbly well, but the dialogue and internal monologues also. It wis braw tae see a wee bit o Scots tharein an aw!

I try to find some good and bad in any book I review, and some books make that easier or harder than others in one way or the other. In this case, if I had to find any criticism I might say the post-ending wrap-up seemed a little quick—but really, as the climactic tension had been quite (well) drawn-out (will his final victim be saved or not? No spoilers in this review), so even that is at best a tenuous effort to find something to criticise.

One could argue that it doesn’t do folks with DID any favours. But then, it does cast a light in places that light needed to be cast in terms of historical social care (which the author note has changed now, and is no longer the way described in the story), so I’m not sure to what extent blame can be shared.

In any case, what is clear is that this is a very well-written story, engaging from the start to the finish

Bob Henderson

I found this book morbidly fascinating. I was captivated by the dark mind of the killer and the psychology behind his motives. Gill is a talented writer and has obviously utilised her child protection knowledge.

Lin P

Thank you Gill D Anderson for the Kindle edition in exchange for an honest review. Butch grew up in a house of violence and neglect. A concerned neighbour reported her concerns. When Butch ended up in care his old neighbour provided respite care for him for a while. He ends up in a residential unit with other volatile youths. The manager supported him but left suddenly without giving a genuine reason. Butch feels let down by both women and is out for revenge. A brilliantly written dark thriller about a troubled young man.

Luke Duncan

A pacey murder thriller set in the very same coastal town I grew up holidaying. What more is there to say! Quintessential for Anderson’s writing, Primed for Vengeance is heavy, gritty and brutal, and as with her other books, explores the darker sides of the human psyche.

Her career in social work shines through in the detailed and disturbing display of the confronting nature of youth accommodation in the social system. The novel’s main antagonist, Butch, has been portrayed marvellously as a product of both an abusive home and a broken care system. Despite his psychopathic narcissism and his lust to kill, you can’t help but feel sorry for the guy.

What Anderson does so well is look into complex character development. While many authors brush over character building in an effort to move the plot along, Anderson juggles both, leaving the reader feeling like they actually know the characters. The empathic social worker Sarah, the Detective Mathews that can't catch a break and the likeable Scotsman Jock all make their mark as the story progresses at a perfectly executed pace.

The twists keep you on your toes and the final crux of the story has you flipping the pages with wide eyes. Possibly my favourite novel from Gill D Anderson so far. Be sure to check it out!

Jade Maree

I picked up this book when it was first published and I tore through it! However I must admit that life has gotten in the way and I hadn’t had time to sit down and write a review. More specifically, over the last year and a bit I’ve been embarking on a whole new chapter of my life - the chapter where I’ve become a mum! Reflecting on this book made me think about both the challenges and joys of being a parent - but also how lucky I am to have support, and to be somewhat naive about the realities faced by vulnerable children and families. This book is a gritty and raw account of what can happen when extreme trauma takes place and doesn’t have the opportunity to heal. The characters are complex and real. You can tell that the author know what she is talking about, and although at times the actions of the characters can seem extreme or difficult to understand I think that this is handled in a way that is believable and shines a light on a dark side of our communities that we don’t always see. There are also moments of hope - where we see characters who are committed to giving of themselves and making a difference - although this doesn’t always pay off. My favourite character was undoubtedly Jock, and I think that the author’s dedication to her late friend is beautiful.