Review: 13 Reasons for Murder: Meathead
By: Amanda Byrd
Publisher: Blacksheep Press
Pages:Publication Date: Jan 26, 2020
Basking in the afterglow of her latest kill, and the ease of her casual relationship with Detective Sweet, Britney Cage has begun to size up her next kill. Where her last victim, Alex was unnaturally polite, her newest target, Brock is an inconsiderate, unhygienic, meathead. Brock is the gym that never re-racks his weights at the gym nor wipes down the equipment. To make matters worse, Brock is also a registered nurse. Brock and his inconsiderate gym bros are next on the chopping block for our local serial killer. Uncontrollable rage is starting to grind down on the edges of Britney’s patience and she does not understand why. Her anger is affecting her ability to function at peak efficiency and is becoming more noticeable with sleepless nights and nightmares.
13 Reasons for Murder: Meathead picks up right where Politeness Kills left off. Britney has had enough of an inconsiderate group of gym bros that do not put weights away or wipe down their equipment. For the un-indoctrinated to gym etiquette, these are two major complaints at public gyms. It is a rule to wipe your sweat off equipment with sanitizing wipes for the next gym goer for hygiene and politeness reasons. Whenever you use weights, kettlebells, etc., you are supposed to put them away so people do not have to go on a scavenger hunt when they want to work out. Both of these things aggravate me as well as someone without the benefit of a full home gym. If you only have an hour to work out, you cannot spend 20 minutes of it trying to find the weight you need to train.
Britney is fraying at the edges. She is seeing a therapist, getting angry with her friend with benefits who keeps pushing her personal boundaries, having nightmares and having a hard time staying on her game with sleepless nights. It makes me wonder if she is detaching from reality or if her ability to compartmentalize is starting to strain. Perhaps, she is not as much of a sociopath as she thinks and killing these people is actually bothering her.
As this novel is in the first person, I would take everything Britney says with a grain of salt since she is expressing her opinion and thoughts. Certain things are excluded from the narrative if Britney thinks they are insignificant. The ending was interesting and unexpected, so I am curious to see what happens next.
True Crime fans will enjoy the Hannibal, Dexter, and Mind Hunters references, though, if you have never heard nor watched these properties, the selective omission of the names might lose you. I do find it interesting that Mind Hunters gets the name drop for the series but Hannibal, Dexter, and another book / show adaptation she mentioned were not. It reads to me like a clue to Britney’s psychosis that I have not interpreted; perhaps, it is a key to her past.
Hannibal Lector killed people who he felt were rude and ate them. Dexter targeted criminals out of a sense of vigilantism. Many of the serial killers interviewed in Mind Hunters were sexually motivated killers acting out fantasies. So is Britney just adopting a hybrid of these personas as her desire to kill?
While this took me a while to read due to work, this book reads well as a second novel in a series in that there is not too much time devoted to re-describing the events of the first book. The kill chapters have an appropriate level of gore and are short. Britney’s process leading up to the kill is what I find fascinating about this series. I look forward to the next installment.
A big thank you to Amanda for sharing an Advanced Reader copy of this book with me for a review!
4 of 5