Sample Coverage: (Cont'd):  Thrill of the Kill / Page 5

COMMENTS (Second Page)

The author adeptly changes the point-of-view, creating suspense by delaying the disclosure of the identity of "the watcher," and uses the point-of-view device also as a "plotpoint initiator" since, as an identity of the watcher is revealed, we narrow our own sights in regards to possible suspects. All the bases are covered in regards to screenplay craftsmanship: scene causality, heightening of pace and tension, the paying off of setups (which are cleverly disguised), well-placed mental flashes (the author inserting some with such brevity that a subliminal effect is produced), an adeptly-camouflaged dream sequence (which plays double duty as a hidden harbinger of what is to come), tight match-cuts and effective voice and sound scene-bridges, off-camera sightings. Red herrings abound, keeping us disoriented just enough to make it difficult to pinpoint the killer. The author masterfully places the protagonist in a situation where she doesn't know what direction the next threat will come from, keeping her (and us) anxious. The denouement unquestionably brings the tale to a definitive conclusion, providing us an emotional emancipation (although we recognize that justice in regards to the storyline was not fully served, being that it is not shown why the protagonist deserved such a horrifying experience). The general picturesque milieu works well as a counterpoint to the wickedness which is operating within it, including fall being an appropriate season for the narrative. Some of the writing is not perfectly clear (especially concerning location denotation), manifesting in some awkwardness, which hampers the flow of the piece.

Characters are represented as realistic players, displaying conflicting emotions and strong aspirations. The protagonist, Kelly, is a resolute, contemporary female with a wide spectrum of emotions, allowing us to relate to her in many ways, a woman who courageously triumphs on her own (without the assistance of any man). Graydon is a fascinating villain whose charming yet understated and wry personality-facet wins us over before we know it (to the point that we find ourselves considering him a good match for Kelly!), and the calculating, despicable predatory side of him makes our blood run cold, prompting us to genuinely have mixed feelings about this obviously perverted soul whose ingenuity we can't help but admire while we abhor his depravity. Our hearts go out to Hank, a love-struck mercurial Lenny (Of Mice and Men) who embodies our protective feelings towards Kelly and whose unchecked, adoring nature becomes his Achille's heel. Senator Shoemaker is believable as a self-absorbed politician who could cross the scruples line far enough to effect a murder.

Dialogue is trenchant, often being employed to establish pervasive intrigue, to exhibit nuance, character's motivations, and is well-suited to each individual. The opening voiceover sets the inauspicious tone straightaway (although its message is cryptic to the point of untoward confusion).  Graydon, in his writer's persona, speaks as a cloaked Greek chorus to us, indirectly telling us what he is planning to do. The sinuous and frisky exchanges between Kelly and her friend, Linda, are very "Sex in the City"-ish. Kelly's brash words in the face of danger and authority are estimable and endear us more to her, but her sporadic crude ones turn us off just as quickly. Graydon's verbalizations highlight his supposed unassuming, compassionate, and droll disposition as much as they expose his deadly, degenerate, authentic one.

"Thrill of the Kill" is aptly titled, drawing us who are oblivious into the disturbed mind and world of a cunning clinician of death, the grist for a thriller aficionado's mill.

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