What's Done in the Dark | A Book Review on In My Father's Basement by TJ Payne
Updated: Jul 8, 2022
Author: TJ Payne
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Fiction
Page Count: 298 pages
Guess who's back? Back again? Booky Babe's back. Tell a friend. 😂 Hi friends. I'm back with another hot take on the latest books I've been reading. I've been cranking these bad boys out this month. Trying to break my record of reading 10 books in one month. So far, I've read six. This book was one of the ones I've read. It is another book by TJ Payne.
If you aren't familiar with him, well then buckle up buttercup because we are about to get into this creepy book. His other book, The Venue, quickly became one of my favorites. Is that weird? It might be, but we won't think too hard about it. If you want to check out the review I did for that one, you can find it here. That one was a doozy, let me tell you. The first bit of In My Father's Basement was in the back of The Venue so basically, I stood no chance in turning this one down. It really doesn't take much to get me hooked, I'm finding out. So yeah, let's get into this story. Secure your wigs, children.
Excerpt from Amazon
Out of nowhere, a retired 60-year old handyman goes on a murder-spree, abducting healthy young people and torturing them with hand-tools.
After he's caught, a media fascination in The Handyman swells. People want to know why he snapped. They want to hear all the grisly details.
But he'll only tell his gruesome story to one person - his estranged son.
Again, let me reiterate, it really doesn't take much for me to get hooked. The fact that the first part of the book was in the back of the previous one didn't help my case. The first chapter was a lot of whacking and slashing. It grabbed me by the braids and wouldn't let go. I really didn't stand a chance. Man. Am I this easy to market to? SMH. Anyway. Kudos for originality with this story. Definitely an interesting way to recount the actions of a serial killer.
What I Liked About the Book
First thing, the originality of the plot. Which I just said. I do enjoy that this was a little different than your regular ole run of the mill storytelling. Walter was simultaneously complex and not complex at the same time. If that's even possible. People speculated and made theories about his motive for years and he remained tight lipped about it all. The amount of restraint it takes to be able to remain silent when people are trying to tear apart your every move is a level of restraint that not many people possess.
I liked the fact that it all boiled down to one simple reason for doing everything he did. That part is important. From all of the serial killers I've read up on, and there have been a lot, (don't judge me, judge ya mama) the motive for what they do is usually rather simple. Some wanted love. Some wanted control. Some wanted to feel powerful after living a life that made them feel weak and vulnerable all the time. Etc. At the end of the day, Walter was not as special as he tried to make himself seem or feel. He was just like the rest and it took his son calling him on his BS for him to realize that.
There were a few twists in here that I didn't see coming. I felt bad for Isaac throughout the book. Trying to find your way through life after your father is outed as a serial killer is a definitely a hard road to travel. I appreciated this because it's so rare that we see how the decisions made by someone can impact the ones around them. We always talk about the killers, but rarely do we talk about the families that are expected to navigate through life as if nothing happened. I'd like to think, that in SOME cases (not all, because some people came from terrible backgrounds and in those instances, the families got what they deserved) the family of the killer is just as much a victim as the family of the people they murdered. We never talk about that though. I don't think you guys are ready for that conversation just yet.
What I Didn't Like About the Book
As good as the rest of the book was, the ending seemed a bit rushed. Like honestly, it caught me by surprise. Had to sit for a second and realize "that was it." so that was a little disappointing. Considering the slower pace of the rest of the story, this ending kinda snuck around the corner and bopped me on the back of the head. One could argue that the abrupt ending was a nod to the fact that life sometimes ends abruptly. There's so much left to do and say, but when it's your time to go, you outta here. One could argue that, but I never promised to be philosophical, I just promised to review the books I've read.
Recommend or Nah?
If you can't tell, In My Father's Basement by TJ Payne is 100% Booky Babe Approved! Give it a go. It's well written and entertaining. Took me about two days to read through this book, but don't let my reading speed dictate whether or not you pick up this title. It may take you more time, it may take you less. Who knows? Who cares? As long as you read it. If you decide you want to check it out, you can find it on Amazon by using the button below:
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Well there you have it, ladies and gentle-dudes. I can't wait to know what you think about this title. What's your opinion of Walter? What'd you think of Isaac? Be sure to come back and let me know what you think. Until then,
Happy Reading Babes! ❤