The Screaming Synopsis: What causes an adolescent – straight A student Brandon P Marshall – to walk downstairs naked, armed with a pair of Glocks, and go all Charles Manson on his family? This is only one in the horrifying trail of incidents that brings together Detective Sergeant Dale Franklin of the Kansas City Police Department and his poster-boy rookie, Steve Abrams.
Meanwhile, across the pond, Dai Williams, in Battersea London, safe inside his improvised Faraday cage, is coming to terms with his special talents – talents that will take ‘getting-into-the-mind-of-the-killer’ to a whole new level.
Al-Qaeda? Drugs Cartels? Internet freaks? David Graham’s The Screaming leaves no possibility untouched as Dai enters a bizarre and horrifying world where kids scream. – Goodreads
The Screaming Review
Something about this book set me on edge, even as I devoured the pages relentlessly. The story is very, very good, but the writing is almost crude at the same time. Its not badly-written, per say, its just that the particular style the author chooses to write in is a little too much at times. The Detective Sergeant’s rookie partner/love interest annoyed me. He was so over the top that he was the veritable caricature of a gay guy, and by halfway through the book I was swearing that if I ever heard any sort of phrase involving “Cute as cupcake” again, I was going to have an unexplained incidence of violence myself. I think what bothered me the most though was that the relationship between the two men was so …sophomoric. They’re old enough to be on the police force, but, I kid you not…
“I’d like it real much if you could be my boyfriend.” – David Graham, The Screaming
That’s just an example of the dialogue you have to put up with, internal or external, when it comes to those two. Now, the character might have been being deliberately goofy right there, but given the rest of the dialogue, its just easy to argue that he’s dead serious. Its that bad. Not to mention a complete lack of professionalism once they finally engage in sexual relations.
Now, the story itself was good. If it wasn’t for the unnecessary romance, I most likely would have liked the novel a lot more than I did. Graham propels the story forward at an almost breakneck pace, and manages to keep you fully invested in the story…at least for the first half. Unfortunately, as good as the first half was, the second half was equally as bad. It felt like the author had grand ambitions, but didn’t have the ability to confidently carry his ideas to completion, so he took the easy way out. There were a couple times in the second half where I rolled my eyes and/or scoffed because I just couldn’t suspend reality to the point the author was asking me to.
Overall, the idea was fantastic and the first half was great, unfortunately the book sort of collapses in on itself after that and becomes a weak echo of what it could have been.