JM Donellan’s Killing Adonis is a modern day Australian gothic novel with many bizarre and humorous touches. There is a huge mansion with many mysterious rooms, including one named “The Danger Room”; an extremely rich family with many secrets; and a not-so-frail heroine.
After answering an intriguing advertisement, Freya finds herself employed by the fabulously rich and totally intimidating Vincetti family, to look after their comatose Adonis-like son, Elijah. This leads to involvement with many mysterious and eccentric characters and some rather macabre deaths.
Donellan’s novel has a very vivid filmic quality to it, reading almost like a screenplay. In places, the style also reminds one of modern, quirky stand-up comedy. The language is clear and precise allowing the reader to experience every wonderfully strange moment. The passages dealing with coma are particularly claustrophobic, while the party scenes positively dazzle.
Killing Adonis is an easy read that is fun while managing to drop some nice pearls of wisdom at the same time. However, the added story threads dealing with Marilyn Monroe and pineapple cutters, while entertaining seem somewhat unnecessary.
Although somewhat different, Killing Adonis is great, inventive storytelling from an exciting new Australian author.
Reviewed by Brian Godfrey
Paperback $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-921997-28-0
Ebook: $9.99 ISBN: 978-1-921997-29-7