Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favourite
In Hidden Danger by Kathleen Harryman, Rita Jackson is 16 years old and has been a killer for 8 years. She toys with her victims and revels in their fear, just as much as she enjoys her father's pleasure in witnessing each of her kills. To Rita, her victims and her weak-minded father are prey to stalk, play with and then kill. Their home at Crossroads Farm is remote and perfect for Rita, whom the police have named 'The Gas Man', to feed her addiction for death and misery. She has captured 40 people and, one by one, plans to watch them slowly die. As their screams go unheard, Crossroads Farm will be the resting place for 37 victims. Only three people will walk out of Crossroads Farm alive. Will Rita be one of them? Can she once more outwit the police and continue her killing spree?
Hidden Danger by Kathleen Harryman is such a captivating psychological thriller that will draw you into the warped mindset of Rita immediately. I thought the technique of writing in the first person was a brilliant touch, as it gave you an insight into the mind of serial killer Rita. The detailed way the story examines different human behaviors when faced with their impending death is spine-chilling. The scenes where Rita toys with her victim's minds and revels in their terror were totally riveting. The descriptive narrative, along with the excellent dialogue of each character, really exposed the weaknesses and strengths of the human psyche. I wanted to sympathize with Rita because I needed to rationalize her deranged mind. I found the relationship with her father disturbing and wanted to blame him for Rita becoming a killer. The story really brings into question the nature or nurture argument. There are amazing areas of conflict throughout and the twists in the plot were faultless. Will there be a sequel? I hope so.