cover image Butterfly Skin

Butterfly Skin

Sergey Kuznetsov, trans. from the Russian by Andrew Bromfield. Titan (, $14.95 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-783290-24-6

In the arresting opening chapter of this serial killer novel from journalist Kuznetsov, a murderer describes fantasies he used to have as a child, including one involving a “place in the subway where hell seeped through into the tunnel in a thin layer of horror—and the trains passed through it so quickly that only really sensitive people noticed.” Despite this hint of the supernatural, the horrors that follow are all of the excruciatingly physical variety, in particular the graphic images of violence against women that run through the murderer’s mind. Meanwhile, 23-year-old Ksenia Ionova, the news editor at a small online Moscow journal, is into sadomasochism. Those expecting the paths of the killer and Ksenia to cross won’t be disappointed. The fainthearted had best stay away. (Sept.)