I first read about Arthur Shawcross as the Genessee River Killer many years ago after bodies had started turning up in New York and he’d become notorious and a book had come out about him. But this unusual book is written by Brian Whitney and John Paul Fay. Fay is kind of a screw-up that’s going down the tubes. He doesn’t want to work at a real job, so he can drink booze all the time and do drugs now and then. So he sells murderabilia on Ebay when he can remember to ship it out on time and keep his feedback ratings high enough to keep his customers returning.

Then out of the blue, he gets a letter from Arthur Shawcross after Arthur hears that one of his drawings has been sold on the murderabilia market, and tracks down and writes to the dealer of said item, John Paul Fay. He tells him that he’s aware of the sale and he’d like a money order for it and gives him another drawing to sell. Fay is floored, having always been a twisted sort of admirer from afar, wondering how he found his home address. But he’s also excited and flattered and accepts the position of salesman of the killer’s art.

John Fay writes back to him to try to let him know that they are much alike in many ways, and should really be friends. Letters pass back and forth between the convicted serial killer and the alcoholic, mentally ill Fay who has desires of doing wrong but has never killed anyone. They do become friends after a time, and Fay began writing this book based on the letters that went back and forth between them. Fay has a very distinct writing style and plenty to say about his life before he even began exchanging letters with Shawcross about how his life is so messed up and spiraling. This is one bizarre book on a sleigh ride to hell as they become best buds, and Arthur gives him all kinds of twisted advice and suggestions.

I was provided with a free advance digital copy by NetGalley, the authors, and WildBlue Press in return for my honest review. Publication date is Feb. 13, 2018

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