Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Through the Eyes of Criminals: Thoughts on The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter by Malcolm MacKay

Earlier this month, I went to the annual Big Bad Wolf Indonesia event in BSD City, Tangerang. In case you don't know, it is an annual book bazaar in Indonesia where books are sold with insanely low prices. This year's event was the second time the event was held. I went there with my friend Nofi on the first day of May. Unlike last year, I was really prepared for the book hunt this year haha. I prepared enough cash in my wallet (they only accept payment using cards issued by certain banks and my card isn't from any of those banks...) and made a list of books that I would want to buy.

As I haven't been in the mood for romantic stories, I thought it might be good for me to buy some crime or mystery books. So I did a research and came up with some titles and went on a book hunt. I ended up buying five books that day, and all of them involve murders and deaths hahaha.

My new books!
One of the books that I bought at BBW is The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, written by Malcolm MacKay. The book is the first installment in the Glasgow trilogy. The story takes place in Glasgow and takes its readers to the criminal world of the city. A huge criminal organization hires a freelance hitman named Calum MacLean to kill a drug dealer named Lewis Winter, who is believed to be a potential threat for the organization. While reading this book, readers will be able to see what happens before, during and after the murder through the eyes of the people involved in it, who mostly are in the criminal world.

The most surprising thing about the book that I found is how it could make murder feel so... casual. The main character of the story, Calum, is a hitman who sees killing as nothing but his job. In fact, he even sees it as a career path. He repeatedly admits that it still makes him feel nervous, but he doesn't feel guilty about it at all. It is just strange to see it that way because I personally see nothing justifiable about killing people. However, I find this interesting at the same time. It got me thinking, what if your talent, the thing that you were born to do, is killing other people like Calum?

Besides Calum, the book also takes readers into the lives of criminals and police officers. From this story, I learned how unsettling their lives are. The criminals like Jamieson, Young and Calum constantly feel worried about their safety because they might get caught by the police, be betrayed by their partners or get shot by a hitman sent by their rivals at anytime. Life is also frustrating for the police because it turns out to be so difficult to reveal the truth behind a crime as people can be quite manipulative. Again, I find this surprising and interesting. I feel like I went to a different life through this book.

Among the male characters that dominate this book, there is one female character that stole my attention: Zara Cope. Zara is definitely not a lovable woman. She is manipulative and opportunistic, but also beautiful, smart and fragile. She only thinks about herself; she even abandons her own daughter. She lies and constantly hides the truth to protect herself. However, she admits that she cares about Winter while nobody else does. It is also crazy to see how she gets through the brutal police investigation all by herself with no one to trust, which shows how strong she is. She is just complicated. If she returns in the next two books in the trilogy, I bet her journey would even more intriguing to follow.

So, I'm definitely going to buy the sequels of Lewis Winter. This book seems like the opening of a much bigger story, so I definitely must check out the rest of the series.

Rating: 4/5

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