First Time Killer
By Alan S. Orloff
Reviewed by Wayne L. White
Sneaky. Deceitful. Lying first time killer is only a first-time killer the first time. But the psycho bastard keeps on killing and killing. If you're a fan of talk radio and hinky horror stories, step into the studio at WTLK syndicated talk radio with Rick Jennings, silver-tongued slick talker who controls the mayhem on the Afternoon Circus with a dubious balance between his quiet manners and the dump switch. Nice guy. Red-blooded American. Justice, baseball and apple pie, drove my Chevy to the levy kind of decent radio show jock. The kind of guy you'd give your chaste daughter a thumbs up to date. Trustful. Intelligent. You know damn well he'll have your daughter back before midnight with not as hair on her head out of place. However, he is a bit more mature than that. A satellite radio show is in the works for WTLK, it's full cast of engineers, producers and station masters, and most of all―it's full complement of shock-jocks, if―IF― they can get their ratings up and keep them up, they'll all share in the multimillion dollar bonanza.
First time killer gives them exactly what they need to keep their listeners Krazy Glued to their sets. As a first-time caller to the Afternoon Circus, he directs Rick to a garbage can where, while on the air, they find a severed human arm. Dump switch! Radio call-in kooks come and go like flies on watermelon, but no one has ever talked to a killer on an open mic. The show is a sensation and Ricks producer insists that they milk the killer thread for every scintilla of ratings possible. Rick disagrees, especially after one of WTLK's shock jocks turns up dead after ripping First Time a new one on syndicated air to 42 cities. We're inciting him to murder, Rick says. We're giving him the audience the psycho bastard needs to fulfill whatever sick fantasies he has.
But the ratings go up and Rick battles with his conscience and the show's producer. The police enter the mix hoping to shut the show down, First Amendment rights be damned.
Put on your earphones, ear buds. whatever you've got and tune in to Afternoon Circus and Alan Orloff's quick wit and grasp of the technicalities of talk radio broadcasting. Be forewarned as the cast of Orloff's brilliantly conceived characters leap from the page to gnaw on your patience and sense of humor. You'll scream and beg Orloff to expose the heinous killer long before he does. By the way, Alan's a damned good writer, too. Get your copy of First Time Killer before he loses it and gives them all away.