Book Review – Snake Charmer Blues by Keith Anthony Baird

SCB Cover

Here is yet another offering from Keith Anthony Baird, an author whose work I am a big fan of. This short story is one that is enjoyable – although you may feel a little wrong for thinking so – right up until the end when it delivers its complete and utter ‘whaaaaat?’ moment.

The story is narrated by someone with a lust for killing. This mostly unnamed narrator explains the thrill of the kill, the way the victims are manipulated and charmed, and the absolute enjoyment of seeing them suffer.

In a way it is like Dexter, with the victims not so innocent after all (well, the majority of them anyway). The killings are thoroughly, if not quite meticulously thought out, and our anti-hero is never suspected in the slightest. Planning and covering your tracks; it’s how I’ve gone undetected for so long!

Anyway, the narrator is not a character that you completely warm to, for obvious reasons. But the way this story thunders along just made me ache for the conclusion. And what a conclusion it was. I can’t say any more about it as that would ruin the whole thing for would-be readers, but it really reminded me of a certain novel with a similar twist, although I can’t give any clues as to which one I mean.

The snake charmer metaphors were expertly incorporated into the narrative with references to these slithery serpents that really held the thing together.

This is a great introduction to KAB and if you enjoy this one you should certainly be checking out his longer works, namely The Jesus Man and Nexilexicon, which I bloody loved and gave glowing reviews to.

This story is certain to require a re-read, just so you can belittle your previous self for not realising what’s about to unfold.

Check it here, y’all!!


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