Anatomy of a Murderer
A teenage sociopath is “fixed” after he gets an implant that’s supposed to cure him in this thrilling coming-of-age tale from the author of Willful Machines.
A year ago, Rem Braithwaite watched his classmate Franklin Kettle commit a horrific crime.
Now, apart from the nightmares, life has gone back to normal for Rem. Franklin was caught, convicted, and put away in juvenile detention for what he did. The ordeal seems to be over.
Until Rem’s mother selects Franklin as a test subject for an experimental brain procedure intended to “cure” him of his cruel and violent impulses. Suddenly Rem’s memories of that day start coming back to the surface. His nightmares become worse than ever. Plus he has serious doubts about whether his mother’s procedure will even work. Can evil really just be turned off?
Then, as part of Franklin’s follow-up testing, he and Rem are brought face to face, and Rem discovers…Franklin does seem different. Despite everything, Rem finds himself becoming friends with Franklin. Maybe even something more than friends.
But when another of their classmates turns up dead, Rem’s world turns upside-down yet again. Franklin insists that he’s innocent, that he’s cured, but Rem doesn’t know what to believe. Is someone else responsible for this new murder, or is Franklin fated to stay a monster forever? And can Rem find out the answer to this question before the killer, whoever it is, comes after him too?
Floreen's intense psychological horror story takes readers on a dark path through unconscionable loss, betrayal, and the changes wrought by growing up. Told from the perspective of high school senior Rem, the story examines the effect of change on the Boreal Five, a group of longtime neighborhood friends whose fifth member, Pete, was killed in a school shooting carried out by a fellow student, Franklin. While some blame a violent video game for Franklin's actions, others believe he's psychotic, and a new treatment developed by Rem's mother may cure him. The hope is that her team is on the path to eradicating evil, until another student is murdered. Floreen (Willful Machines) gives readers much to consider about the nature of violence and where the lines of personal responsibility are drawn, but some may feel overwhelmed by the number of issues the book attempts to address, including the ethics of Rem's mother's work and knotty sexual interconnections among the teens, as well as the confusing swirl of Rem's thoughts, feelings, and theories as he attempts to identify the killer. Ages 14 up.