I'm not a fan AT ALL, of gory, creepy, "hang people on a meathook" slasher flicks. And yet, I don't mind the genre at all book wise. Brother by Ania Ahlborn is just that type of book. ( Which probably indicates that I am seriously twisted in many ways....)
In Ania Ahlborn's "Brother", we meet Michael Morrow, and his completely batshit crazy Deliverance meets Psycho meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre family. Michael was kidnapped as a very young boy by the Morrow family, and brought into this horrifying household. His older brother, "Reb" is just a sick and twisted as "Momma Morrow", and gleefully joins into the family business of kidnapping and murder. His passive/aggressive/enabling father, Wade, is a terrifying, yet almost a wee little touch sympathetic. (Or is that pathetic??) There are also two Morrow sisters, Michael and Reb's sisters, who both add some small amount of humanity to the family. The brothers participate in the *ahem, "family business", which involves stalking, kidnapping, torturing, murdering and dismembering victims for Momma's pleasure. (I'm not exactly sure what they do for actual jobs that keep the electricity flowing...and yes, practical weirdo that I am...I did wonder....)
It's interesting how the family dynamic is developed. Although individually, pretty much every member of the family is warped beyond our understanding, we still manage to find shreds of humanity in each one. (Ok...Momma and Reb might just be completely inhuman and thoroughly terrifying creatures....) The author manages to weave a narrative that explains this family, but manages to never excuse them. There are a few surprising twists, one of which I sort of speculated about prior to actually getting to that point in the book.. (see above...seriously twisted reader...). I suppose the fact that I was thinking about the book when washing the dishes probably indicates my interest level! Brother is creepy, gory and hideously disturbed and disturbing in very many ways. But it was different, and it kept my interest. And even though I wish it had ended differently, I really can't think of a different ending that would have worked for this story.
If you have a low tolerance for mayhem, murder and gore, you might want to avoid this one. If you aren't too creeped out by loads of violence when it's central to the plot, then you'll want to pick this one up. It's a disturbing, but interesting read.
(Review copy provided by Gallery Books via Net Galley. The opinions provided by yours truly!)