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Spotlight on: Single White Psychopath Seeks Same by Jeff Strand

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Single White Psychopath Seeks Same by Jeff Strand Jeff Strand, Single White Psychopath Seeks Same (An Andrew Mayhem Thriller)

The second entry in author Jeff Strand's highly popular humorous horror series from Mundania Press starring Andrew Mayhem, Single White Psychopath Seeks Same, takes up Andrew's adventures eighteen months following the events of Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary), with his agreeing to do another favor for another strange woman he meets in the local coffee shop (will he never learn?). Word has gotten around about his exploits, which led to the previous book, which, in turn, made him rich and famous (the former of which was quickly turned around by a bad investment strategy), so $600 for playing bodyguard for a night sounds pretty good (at least when compared to getting a real job).

After his ineptness makes that career path moot, and while trying to improve his marriage with a little parking-lot nostalgia, Andrew and his wife Helen find themselves face-to-face with a serial killer known as The Headhunter and his scimitar. During the struggle, Helen shows herself to be quite a hand with a car jack.

The Headhunter's eventual defeat brings Andrew in contact with Craig Burgin, whose wife is missing. He wants Andrew to accompany the private detective hired to pose as The Headhunter to New York. When Andrew bring Roger along for the trip, Roger gets to play hostage when a last minute mix-up forces Andrew to pretend to be The Headhunter.

Things really get going when Andrew and Roger arrive at the Alaskan mansion of Daniel Rankin, independently wealthy homicidal maniac and entertainer. Rankin's home has been designed as a hedonistic center of slaughter, where he and his friends can kill with impunity, and Andrew is expected to join the fun -- unless he wants to be part of the show. Andrew Mayhem gets to be quite a bit more heroic, and somewhat less bumbling, in this one. Single White Psychopath Seeks Same is slightly less funny, but considerably more horrific than Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary). The tension is always high, as Andrew is determined to save the hostages even while he is trying to stay on the good sides of a group of bloodthirsty pleasure-seekers. I think it's actually a better novel all around.

I can see why it took Strand three years to follow the first Mayhem book with this one. There is an amazing amount of detailed planning and imagination present in Single White Psychopath Seeks Same, most of it involving the setup at Rankin's house -- if you can call a structure that has forty-eight bedrooms and is surrounded by a twenty-foot-high electrified fence a "house." Everything from a gladiator arena to a theme park is present here, and each one is described to the last detail, even the ones that are not yet complete (an extra bit of inspiration). While I was reading, I really believed that such a place could possibly exist. On the negative side, some of the situations were less believable than others, and the choice to shift to Roger's POV occasionally breaks up the flow and doesn't offer much of interest, but these are minor complaints of a book that I read in a single twenty-four-hour period. Now I just have to get my hands on a copy of the third volume, Casket For Sale (Used Only Once) -- I guess fans balked at the lack of parentheses in the second book's title -- and hope that Strand continues to write more books about this incredibly likeable and surprisingly relatable character.

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