Blood Dahlia by Victor Methos
Embarking on a year-long quest to explore books beyond my usual preferences, I delved into Victor Methos’ “Blood Dahlia” from Kindle Unlimited as part of my 2024 reading journey. The promise of an intriguing plot and the lure of a Pennsylvania setting initially drew me in, but the novel, unfortunately, fell short of my expectations, warranting a three-star rating.
The narrative unfolds a decade in the past, introducing a copycat killer in the Lancaster area, pursued by an astute sheriff and an unlikely duo consisting of a psychic Amish girl. While the storyline had potential, the author’s portrayal of Pennsylvania, the Amish, and local institutions lacked accuracy. The Amish speak differently, but not in a manner resembling Hillbillies, and their children are certainly not named after celestial bodies like “Star.” Additionally, the misrepresentation of Penn State’s locations and the logistical implausibility of the antagonist commuting from State College to Philadelphia, a distance of 193 miles, left me perplexed.
Fast-forwarding ten years, the once-psychic Amish child is now a bartender in Philadelphia, sought after by the FBI to assist in a new case. The narrative loses its footing with erratic timelines, confusing geographical movements, and overlooked clues. Despite knowing the identity of the killer early on, the plot drags as the characters catch up, with undue blame directed at the psychic protagonist. The suggestion of her joining the FBI, despite lacking a formal education, stretches credulity.
Despite its flaws, “Blood Dahlia” sets the stage for a sequel, prompting my decision to continue with the second book. However, readers should be cautious, as the book contains explicit and disturbing content related to serial torture and murder. Those sensitive to violence against women may find certain aspects of the narrative challenging to navigate.