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He plans to kill a select group of young women, justifying that, “There are two threads of artistry flowing through my work. The first will be the unusual positions of the body. I have chosen to pose each of my ladies to mirror one of five portraits of Venus, the Goddess of Love”. 


The subsequent search for the serial killer begins, and as if by fate, the police call in none other than Friday and Sheppard. Abelard and Heloise will be together.


These murders, he reasons, are essentially “transformations” so he decides his M.O. should follow the guidelines of 13th Century alchemist, Albertus Magnus.  He decorates the abdomen of one victim with a text from Goethe’s Faust. “Never did she look lovelier than in death, because what is life but an eager rushing towards the terrible inevitability of oblivion”.


Friday’s sexual fantasies and the murders are described in visceral detail and are not for the squeamish. To call him a misogynist would be akin to describing Bin Laden as someone who was not fond of Americans. Women are described as “teasing pussy” waiting to be “subdued”; Kissing is described as “swapping spit”.


Friday strangles his victims as they climax; “strangling is so sensual…the way they struggle…their eyes widen and bulge….I see their souls go away…..Can you get sexier than that, I ask you?


The reader wonders if the antagonist will ultimately subdue the girl of his sick dreams - as part of his violent campaign of murder - or whether his plans will be derailed and he is caught.  I’ve probably told you too much already.  If you want to really know what is The Venus Complex and look into the darkness of a psychopath’s soul, you will have to buy this book and find out for yourself.

Review: The Venus Complex

By Ray Aldridge Morris - 15th November 2013

I’m a believer in human consistency, so what would you expect from a sexy female Cenobite but a darkly humorous, erotically charged horror fest? I’m being far too astute here because there’s more than I predicted in this love story from actress/author Barbie Wilde. 


The Venus Complex is also an intelligent and literate love story. Wilde writes a Spartan prose largely stripped of epithet and adverb. There are echoes of Hemingway crossed with Chandler in the terse descriptive style - all delivered in the shape of a series of fevered diary entries by the main character. It’s a constant balance between the exploration of one man’s booming, buzzing consciousness and visceral action.


The smitten art history professor – Michael Friday - is a psychopath (as well as something of a philosopher) who becomes infatuated with Dr Elene Sheppard, a forensic psychologist on the same faculty. He comes up with what he believes is a master plan to have sex with her, or as he puts it, “to f*** her brains out on the floor.”

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