Imagine waking up to the sound of incessant beeping and, in the distance, a horrible tune being whistled. You don’t know who you are and everywhere you look you see nothing but shadows. Worse yet, when you look in the mirror, you don’t see a reflection. This is the opening of Dexter Morgenstern’s creepily addictive book, Eternal Victim. It starts with an edge-of-your-seat style of writing that carries throughout the entire book until a satisfying ending that, for me, was unpredictable.
Eternal Victim is a unique story for the reason that the reader doesn’t find out who the main character is until the very end. She is only known as the Witness and although I had my suspicions throughout about her true identity, I was not entirely sure until the end and I saw how all of the various characters were tied together and in what way. Most of the characters are ghosts (or maybe all of them are!) which also made this a strangely interesting read. It’s difficult to say much about the main character, the narrator, because the reader doesn’t really learn a lot about her other than that she has a lot of perseverance for not giving up after repeatedly witnessing horrific deaths over and over. For reasons unknown to her, she must witness these deaths at the hands of sadistic serial killers through time and in different places in the world. She’s also pursued by decaying ghosts, the victims of the killers, called preta, who want to pull her down into their murky depths. She knows she must solve a puzzle each time in order to escape that particular horror but to what end, she doesn’t know. Each time, escaping becomes harder and harder.
It would have been quite easy for this book to become tedious and unenjoyable but in this case, the pace was fast and the book was kept short so that there was no need for the reader to become bored and give up on the twisting story. It’s eerie in a way that a good horror story should be and I enjoyed every page.
I read this in digital format and other than a few minor editing errors, it was presented well. Normally, I wouldn’t have liked this type of cover but in this case it worked well.