The Wannabes

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   The Wannabes by FR Jameson

                                   Reviewed by Heidi Hirner


When someone offers to take you – Constant Reader – by the hand, and lead you into a space of horrors … make sure that your guide is a good one. 

If you’re like me, then you probably check the end of horror books first, just to make sure that it’s safe to dip in your toe.  Because you don’t wanna dip in your favourite tootsie and lift out a bloody stump – nobody does a decent pirouette on a missing main piggy.  So we gingerly test the water, you and me, and if nothing in the dark deep end lops off our tootsies, then we wade in. 

We probably like Stephen King the most, because we feel safe with him.  We’re happy to let him take us by the hand and lead us down those dark paths because he knows where the monsters lurk, he’s dealt with them before, he knows how to twist them into knots before they get ya.  Stephen – we both know - is a good guide.

And so is FR Jameson.  We have a new good guide.

When John Clay returns to London after a two year absence, he is drawn to the flat of three beautiful actresses, and into the boudoir of one of those actresses – Belinda, his flame-haired ex, a beautiful but self-absorbed woman who is nothing but “bad news.”

After a night spent indulging in various sins of the flesh with his recovered ex-love, Clay dreams an exceptionally vivid and violent dream, a dream that involves his old friend Raymond.

The next morning he discovers all that now remains of Raymond is his burned and bloody carcass.


Is Clay having pre-cognitive dreams? And what motive could anyone have for wanting Raymond dead?  As Clay investigates the death, he discovers that a lot has happened to his group of friends during his two years away from London; secrets and resentments and murderous motives have knotted and clotted the relationships of the group he calls the Wannabees, a group of actors, musicians and artists drifting perilously on the wrong side of thirty, their naļve dreams of Hollywood morphing slowly into nightmares of garish reality, the truth of decaying London flats and unglamorous sagging flesh.


As the murders continue, Clay travels deeper into understanding the mysteries of his friends, the enmeshment that characterizes their unhealthy relationships.  And as he comes to understand them, he comes to understand himself.


A book that is like a magnet – absolutely unputdownable from the moment you pick it up.  Puzzle pieces that are electrical, characters with their own unique attractions, charged tension.  A fantastically magnetic read. 

FR Jameson is an excellent guide through the land of horrors, the kind of guide that we can stick with.



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