[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: CreateSpace
Formats: Paperback, Kindle
Purchase: Amazon[/alert]

Fast-paced and jerky, Jake’s Take by D.K. Rodgers is like a wooden roller coaster: not a ride fit for everyone. Told through the eyes of a moody teenage psychopath, this novel begins with his earliest childhood kill – worms for fish bait – twisting the idea that the strongest survive. The reader is carried along the ups and downs of balancing high school, parties, parents, sports, and multiple homicides. Jake manipulates events and people, scrambles to fix his mistakes without bothering to learn from them, and leaves the reader wondering at the end if the situation actually got better, or much worse.

Predictably Jake is exceptional at academics, fiercely competitive in sports, has severe mommy issues and a penchant for sexually victimizing the women around him. He handles any obstacles with a combination of drugs, violence, and misdirection. He, of course, believes everyone is merely getting what they deserve for balking him. Any reader that is at all sensitive to non-consensual sexual activities, frequent drug and alcohol abuse, and gross bodily harm leading almost inevitably to death should just walk away. The warning sign has been posted.

The story is always moving, as the reader is pushed and pulled with the runaway cart that is Jake’s life, and Rodgers does a great job maintaining tension as Jake stumbles along barely on the rails, thinking he controls everything. Distractingly, there are regular, inadvertent fluctuations between the past and present tense, sometimes occurring within a single sentence. Also, sadly, the main character is entirely unsympathetic. Fictional serial killers have been nasty, awful, selfish, smooth, aloof, and even downright nuts, but somehow the reader needs to like them at least a little. It is truly impossible to like Jake on any level. Crass, sexist, self-serving, and violent is the world presented through Jake’s Take, and Rodgers’ novel is never out of character, never gets boring, and never feels guilty.

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