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The Monster Within
The Monster Within is the latest short story to be checked off my to be read list. I don’t normally read much true crime, but I do watch true crime documentaries on television. So this was a new one for me. But I enjoy trying new things, and that was my goal with this book.
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Have you read The Monster Within? Come on in and let me tell you about it!
About The Monster Within
Prostitutes and animals could no longer satisfy Peter Kürten’s sexual deviancy. During a burglary of a local tavern, he stumbled upon a nine-year-old girl asleep in her bed. He strangled her, slashed her throat with a pocket knife, and orgasmed upon hearing her blood drip to the floor.
His crimes were halted by World War I and an eight-year prison sentence but he unleashed his urges with a spate of brutal murders in 1929 earning him the nickname “The Düsseldorf Monster”.
No one was safe. He committed ferocious attacks, sexual assaults and murder against men, women and children. He used blunt objects, sharp implements or his bare hands, before drinking their blood for sexual satisfaction.
The Monster Within is a chilling account of Peter Kurten, one of the most terrifying serial killers in true crime history. Ryan Green’s riveting narrative draws the reader into the real-live horror experienced by the victims and has all the elements of a classic thriller.
CAUTION: This book contains descriptive accounts of abuse, extreme violence and animal cruelty. If you are sensitive to this material, it might be advisable not to read any further.
Thoughts on The Monster Within
Fourteen percent into this story, I wanted to throw up, and it just got worse from there. Yes, I finished it for the purpose of leaving a thorough review. But this is not for the faint of heart. It is brutal, graphic, disgusting, and will set off basically every possible trigger warning you can think of. It takes a lot to stomach this story.
Normally I kind of blow off trigger warnings and cautionary blurbs. Because I’ve never needed them. It’s great they exist for people who do, but I just breeze right past them. In this case, I am here to tell you, it is absolutely necessary and I am glad that it is included in the description. I wasn’t prepared for what I was reading.
The Monster Within is short, at a whopping 131 pages. I honestly thought I could get through it in a couple of hours on a rainy Wednesday afternoon when I was bored and between other books. It took me a week, because I had to take breaks just to stomach what I was reading. It was that bad.
I texted a buddy of mine and told him I needed to bleach my brain. Which should be a thing. If only that was an option and would work to erase what I had read from my memory. From there, there is nowhere to go but to watch cartoons like Barney or Spongebob while cuddling a teddy bear, just to go to the opposite end of the spectrum and think about anything else other than what I read. Seriously, if you read this book, I highly recommend having a warm fuzzy backup book to go to next. Or failing that, some sort of cartoon to take your mind in a totally different direction.
The fact that this is a true story and people actually endured the abuse depicted in The Monster Within makes it even more horrific to me and certainly added to my disgust. It is really easy to see how the story progressed from a child who grew up to be a monster. Which I think should be a cautionary tale even today.
Final Thoughts on The Monster Within
This is the first story from author Ryan Green that I have ever read, so I have nothing else to compare this story to. What I will say is that Ryan Green is a talented writer. His writing is clear, concise, and cohesive. He has a way of drawing the reader in, driving home certain horrific points at just the right times. Please don’t take my rating as meaning he is a bad writer, because that isn’t the case.
The problem with this story is that the subject matter is almost impossible to handle. I thought I had a pretty strong stomach until I read The Monster Within. Now, I’m not so sure. It has been said before that facts are stranger than fiction, and I think The Monster Within drives that point home.
Will I ever read another Ryan Green story again? I’m not sure. At the moment, no, hell no. But at some point in the future, I may give another one of his stories a try. But I’m not ready for that yet. The Monster Within is not for the faint of heart. Read with caution.
I’m rating this book 3 of 5 stars. I chose this rating because I despised the subject matter, but I can’t ignore the talent that Ryan Green clearly has for writing. The Monster Within is actually a really tough book to rate, in my opinion. How can you rate a book when the writing is excellent, but the subject is tough to read? It is impossible to love it.
Have you read The Monster Within or any other writing from author Ryan Green? Are you a fan? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
About the Author
Ryan Green is a true crime author who lives in Herefordshire, England with his wife, three children, and two dogs. Outside of writing and spending time with his family, Ryan enjoys walking, reading and windsurfing.
Ryan is fascinated with History, Psychology and True Crime. In 2015, he finally started researching and writing his own work and at the end of the year, he released his first book on Britain’s most notorious serial killer, Harold Shipman.
He has since written several books on lesser-known subjects, and taken the unique approach of writing from the killer’s perspective. He narrates some of the most chilling scenes you’ll encounter in the True Crime genre.
Purchasing The Monster Within
If you are interested in buying the paperback version of The Monster Within, click here.
For the hardcover version, click here.
Click here for the Kindle version.
Click here for my favorite Kindle I currently own.
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