I live, or lived, a pretty normal life in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
Oh, I guess I should tell you I was murdered.
Crystal Lake's not much of a place, but at least it's got more than Algonquin, I mean it's bigger if nothing else. I'm not too far from Chicago and sometimes some of the guys from work, we all get together, or used to get together, and go to Cubs games.
When I got a car I never had a problem getting people to go they just wanted to get out of Crystal Lake. Now, well, Cub games are a thing of the past. Before it happened, I spent most nights at the Market. I was just bagging and stocking but all I really had to pay for was the car. It wasn’t that exciting, but I liked my life.
I heard about that girl name Diana from Algonquin who went missing and just a few days before another kid named Alex had gone missing too. He turned up dead, murdered. That was weird. I mean Algonquin is in the sticks and nothing ever happens there so a murder and a kidnapping in just a few days. Wow.
So I have to admit I was a little shocked how things went the other night. I’d just gotten off work and was walking to my car and BAM everything went black.
I woke up in a tiny shed. There was a girl tied up in the room and a man. He wasn’t very nice. He was actually really, really bad. If I'd just been terrified when I woke up in that shed that would have been one thing, but the man in the shed wasn't a nice guy so I passed terrified real quick.
We won't talk about all the things he did to me.
After it was done and I was dead, well, don't ask me how, but I actually know what happened with everyone and everything else after that.
I'll tell you a little bit about it. I'll even tell you how you can find out all about it for yourself.
See, I was just another victim of a serial killer. But I wasn't the only victim. Far from it.
I died in 1978, but a lot of what you'll learn about happened almost 30 years later in 1995. Tony Hooper was in the middle of it in 1978 and again in 1995. That kid that went missing and was killed, Alex, well, Tony is his brother. Turns out Tony is a really great and amazing guy, but all the things that happened in 1978, with his brother, and girlfriend, yeah, his girlfriend was Diana, that girl taken by the serial killer. Anyway, Tony was really messed up from all of it. For a while the police even thought he was the killer.
Oh, and the guy that killed me, Mitchell Norton, he went to jail, but even after killing all of those people, he got out in 1995. Can you believe that? And get this, he came back to Algonquin when he got out of jail. That caused some problems, big problems. Sorta like digging up bad memories. But I won't tell you about it, I'll let you find out for yourself. That's what you'll read about.
This guy, Lane Diamond, he's from Algonquin and he must have known Tony and the killer and maybe some of the other people, because he knows it like he was there, but anyway he wrote a book about it. It's called Forgive Me, Alex for the kid Alex who was killed.
Anyway, he makes the story come alive, it's like you’re in 1978 one minute and 1995 the next. One minute you're inside the killer's head and one minute you're inside of Tony Hooper's head. I'll let you in on a little secret. Both of those guys are more than a little messed up, but Diamond really knows them because when you read about them, you'll feel like you know them too.
It probably sounds like I'm dropping spoilers about what Diamond's written and the story and all, but that's another thing about his book, you know a lot of what happened just from starting to read it, what with the murders and the killer being a serial killer and all, but even knowing that, as weird as it sounds and as much as you start out knowing there's loads and loads you don't know and that almost makes the pages turn by themselves.
Of course I wish I hadn't been killed, but one thing that’s for certain, I'll live on in Diamond's book and the another thing that's cool is that I'll be shocked if a lot of people don't read Diamond's book and learn about me - it's that good. Though if they make a movie, I'm really curious who'll play me.
I read a lot before I was murdered so I'm certain if you like mysteries, thrillers and suspense you'll love Forgive Me, Alex.