"Spinner" Book Review
Written by Dustin LaValley
2012, 102 pages, Fiction
Released on October 24th, 2012
Pacing. In the world of literature, that word is as important as any other. Sometimes a good story is bogged down by the author's painfully sluggish pace. In other instances, a swift, slick prose takes a solid narrative to the next level. In the case of Dustin LaValley's Spinner, the breakneck speed, short chapters, and lean, mean prose make a serial killer story something akin to a literary bullet.
Henry Spinner is a notorious serial killer with an unquenchable thirst for blood. Luckily for the general population, Henry is locked up...or so they think. The killer gets a little help from his girlfriend and escapes while being transferred. With the detective who put him in prison following his tracks and getting close, Henry is forced into hiding in the Adirondack Mountains. The couple's plan takes an ugly turn and soon they have to trek through the secluded woods on foot, which turns out to be a very bad thing for some young campers. Blood and mayhem ensue, but Henry will soon come upon a strange obstacle: a strange elderly man living in the woods. The old man seems to have discovered the fountain of youth, but the discovery has turned him into something much like Henry and, when the two come face to face, deadly violence will be the only way to settle things.
Spinner is a story about a serial killer on the run, but it goes beyond that by shining a light on depravity, sadism, fear, and the strange dynamic of a relationship in which both partners have serious mental problems. Those looking for some sadism and gore will be satisfied, but what makes this one special is that those searching for a deeper narrative and a layered text that keeps their brain engaged will also have a great time reading Spinner.
The first word of this review was pacing, and now we have to go back to it because it's one of the elements that make LaValley's prose so enjoyable. Everything in Spinner screams speed and force. Every word matters, every sentence is necessary, and every chapter gets its job done in as few paragraphs as possible. I've read enough to know that prose like this isn't easy; it's a mix of talent and dedication. LaValley probably wrote the book and then went in armed with the tools and skills of a great surgeon and removed every ounce of fat and gristle. The result is a story that demands to be read in one sitting, trying hard not to blink.
Spinner is a thriller, a horror story, and an adventure narrative. It's also a lot of fast, bloody, violent fun. If you're a fan of killers, Spinner has to be on your shelves.