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Duncan's Diary: Birth of a Serial Killer
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Duncan's Diary: Birth of a Serial Killer (Duncan's Diary #1)

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  143 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Duncan is in the throes of a mid-life crisis and searching for his own identity. His problems seem no different than other men facing the same issues, but as he struggles through a divorce and the challenges of co-parenting his children, Duncan soon realizes that he feels complete inside only when he begins to secretly explore a world of torture and death-a world that only ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published August 13th 2010 by Journalstone (first published November 7th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,574)
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I must admit novels about serial killers are not for everyone. My wife for instance is totally repulsed by my love for the suspense/horror sub-genre. It's hard to explain but there's something fascinating about exploring the seedy underbelly of the human psyche.

So I was very happy to win this self-published debut novel by Christopher C. Payne from the Goodreads First-Reads program. Yet, while reading it, I started to wonder if a writer can go over the line. This hasn't been the first time I've w
Sep 26, 2010 Jasmine rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Chuck Palahniuk fans
Shelves: american
well being that I am a book person I have plenty of friends who want me to read their book/play/short story/minor character sketch/history essay. And a bit back I came upon a moment like this in which a friend gave me two chapters of a book he was writing. My main criticism word for word: "You female introjects are fucked". Basically I told him to remove or make all the female characters in his book extremely minor because the fact was no women would read a book with those female characters. I t ...more
Darcia Helle
Written in the first person, Duncan's Diary is like opening a serial killer's journal, which begins at the time he first embarks on his new "hobby". To the rest of the world, Duncan is normal, if not somewhat dull and a little pathetic. Even his victims don't see Duncan for what he is until it is too late.

This book has some graphic scenes. I didn't find them out of place, as they are a necessary part of the first person view from a serial killer. There are some editing issues, which at times wer
Dawn Binkley
Mar 03, 2010 Dawn Binkley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror book lovers
Remember when Jaws inflicted fear in the hearts of beach goers and Psycho made woman all over the world start taking baths instead of showers. Today, Duncan’s Diary will keep you from leaving your home or answering your door.

This well depicted novel gives you a Birdseye view into the rationale of a serial killer on the loose, sucking the very breath, from his victims in search of filling a void in his life.

This book is wonderfully disturbing, you feel as though you are there, watching helpless,
Dec 02, 2010 Lori rated it really liked it
Review copy from author

This book is not for the weak-stomached. Or for those who are easily upset by graphic violent sex. Thought I would clear that up right away.

Now, for those of you can handle it - Holy F@#k! Are you in a for ride with this one!

The book centers around Duncan as he struggles to find an outlet for his feelings of hate and rage that stem from his impending divorce. According to our psychotic narrator, his wife is ruining his life by spreading horrible lies about to him to everyo
Jul 08, 2011 Linda rated it did not like it
I'll be honest. I didn't finish this book. I didn't even read past page 8. I wanted to like it. I don't remember where I saw it reviewed but it sounded really good and since I had liked I Am Not A Serial Killer, I thought I'd like this......

I knew I was lost when I read the first sentence:
Once an animal takes its first bite and its tongue has been
saturated with that initial drop of blood, is it possible to
ever go back and forget the appetizing spice of life as God
originally intended?
I'm gla
Oct 08, 2010 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book on "First Reads" and was not expecting much since this was the author's first book and it appears he didn't have it proof read . Aside from that, I did get right into it and the writer did a good job portraying Duncan, the middle aged, recently divorced accountant with 3 daughters, who is rather boring as a person and is seemingly facing a midlife crises. He decides he needs some excitement in his life and the outlet he finds to get him through is killing. The story is told in th ...more
Sierra Bamiro
Oct 03, 2010 Sierra Bamiro rated it really liked it
Man, I was so excited to win this book from the good reads giveaway! Immediately upon reading this, I became intrigued and the feeling never wavered through the book.

Its realistic, gritty, and has a level of suspense that I thought I had figured out, but really hadn't. Always a great characteristic of a novel because so many fall into the traps of being cliche. Duncan is penned to be a form of "any man", he loves his kids, drinks too much, and has mini dramas that all of us have. I loved how it
Oct 27, 2010 Alexandra rated it really liked it
First let me say this book is not for everyone. I myself enjoyed it. I was given a lot of warning that the book is very graphic, that is very true, I did not loose sleep over it tough. I actually found myself laughing at parts of it.
A lot of times throughout the book I didn't want to put it down, I just had to know what was going to happen next. Sure some parts weren't as exciting, but when something did happen it made up for everything and was totally worth it.

If you want sick twisted good re
Aug 14, 2010 Amy rated it it was ok
I thought this book was ok. I expected it to be dark and gruesome (it IS about a serial killer) but it was kind of hard for me to muddle through it as there were some distracting editing issues, there was no redeeming qualities in any of the characters and you really can't tell how the story ends. Granted, by the time I got to the "end" I was glad it was over but there was really no resolution.
Christopher Payne
Mar 29, 2010 Christopher Payne rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Duncan is in the throes of a mid-life crisis and searching for his own identity. His problems seem no different than other men facing the same issues, but as he struggles through a divorce and the challenges of co-parenting his children, Duncan soon realizes that he feels complete inside only when he begins to secretly explore a world of torture and death-a world that only he controls. Suddenly, Duncan's life is no longer normal at all.
As Duncan deals with his newfound guilty pleasure of destruc
Feb 18, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
I liked the book over all and it was a quick read. There were a few parts though that I didn't really think needed to be there.
I got confused, because it seems like the first two homeless men he killed were talked about twice, so I was to believe that he had killed 4, so was confused when he just made two spots on his trophy shelf.
Also, what was the point of mentioning the lady dining with her out of state family? They said they'd meet back up, but it was never mentioned again. What did he do wi
Duncan is a father and soon-to-be ex-husband in his early forties, and something is missing from his life. As it turns out, that missing thing is murder. Told in his own words, we witness one man’s descent into madness, and the efforts of the police who are trying to stop him.

I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to review this book. I don't wish to be mean, but I am having difficulty coming up with anything nice to say. Aside from the many typos and misspellings, the plot is mud
"In order to be a successful serial killer, one must understand how to deal with the normal daily functions of life and project the pretense of normalcy. Normal being defined as the acceptable practices that are allowed in standard society."

This is going to sound crazy, this book was fun to read! You know I love my serial killers and Duncan was quite lovable. Yes, he murders and quite gruesomely but he is also a funny guy. Quite a decent chap too if you can look past the fact that he gets his jo
Eleanor Jethro
Dec 06, 2010 Eleanor Jethro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a book - I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though most of it was very serious. Made me stop and think and look around at all of the people that I know. Jeez - anyone of them could be a serial killer.
What a great book - Duncan as a serial killer - now who would have thought. He's your next door neightbor, your drinking buddy, your best friend, brother-in-law - Oh my. Although this book was gory at times it kept me going - I couldn't put it down - had to see what would happen next. Can't wa
Very interesting book! You follow along with a man as he develops into a serial killer. An average, everyday man who one day takes a trip and unlocks a violent murderous part of himself. A part that he accepts and calls his "hobby." There is no pattern or profile to this killer that we know as Duncan, just bloodshed and death are his only needs.
Good book, although the little twist thrown at the very end may have been a little too much in the realm of coincidence---the book held enough of that al
Jade Villafane
May 05, 2010 Jade Villafane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror Fans
Shelves: cant-wait-books, own
I love Serial Killers!! Okay, I know that sounds bad. Duncans Diary Was amazing. The only reason I gave it 4 and not 5 stars is because it was a little slow but indeed worth it. The whole story had great flow and plenty of twists. The kills were great! I really felt for Duncan in his inner struggle with the urge to kill. I also felt a little bad at how much I was enjoying the book but I got over that fast. Every horror fan should read this book, and anyone who hates there wife lol.
Oct 25, 2011 Jamie rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed readying this book and this time the first person narrative did NOT bother me, I was actually quite amused by Duncan's wandering mind and lack of attachment. At times, I found myself upset at his ex-wife! LOL. It was a nice, quick read although it got graphic at upsetting at times, it is nothing you haven't been exposed to on crime TV or the news.
Mar 02, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it
Disturbing. Graphic. Twisted. Captivating. This book sucked me right in.

The editing was very sloppy, even for a self-published piece. I was able to get past that, however, due to the story. I couldn't stop wondering about the next victim and how it would happen. It was also interesting to hear from the case investigators, though I thought that Payne dove a little too deep into their profiles; after all, the focus of this book is the unraveling mind of a serial killer.

I have to say I was rather
Jul 03, 2010 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this title extremely interesting. This was the first title by this author that I read and I found it fresh and it has some great perspectives on things. The way it was put together was quite clever and I enjoyed it very much. I would definitely recommend this book and would look forward to other reviews on this title as well.
Anne Miller
Apr 25, 2010 Anne Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
This story is told from the perspective of a serial killer. Unlike many serial killer stories, this one does a great job of including the "normal" everyday aspects of the killer's life. The author also does well with portraying the progression of the killer's emotions and aberrant behaviors over time.
Jan 01, 2011 Ruth marked it as to-read
"This book contains graphic violence. It is about a serial killer. Please do not attempt to read it unless you are fully prepared for death." - that really caught my attention!
Oct 11, 2010 Blazic rated it it was amazing
Whoa this looks crazy and insane... maybe bloody and too violent but I will find a way, i mean there's a severed head on the cover page!
Eunice Shepherd
Oct 01, 2010 Dylan rated it it was amazing
Harrowing! a spellbinder!
Feb 20, 2015 Jeremy rated it did not like it

This book is bad. I mean, really bad. The writing is so terrible that it makes it hard to get into the story, which is mediocre anyway. If I’m not mistaken, the author published this himself, or started a publishing company in order to publish it. Here are just a few choice examples of the writing:

I personally believe that most people are capable of doing things that are horrible. They end up not doing them because of the time frame in which they have to talk themselves out of it.

“Laura’s Hot Mo
Alexis Zuñiga
March 17, 2011
The name of my book is “Duncan’s Diary: Birth of a Serial Killer” by Christopher C.Payne. Duncan’s Diary is about a middle-aged man in the middle of his mid-life crisis, trying to find himself. He has many of the same problems other men in this time have, but while facing his- such as his divorce- he realizes that the only thing that makes him feel good is a secret world of torture and death. . Throughout the story he feels bad for some of the things he has do
I have mixed feelings about this book. As other reviewers have mentioned, it does seem a bit hastily edited, and that can be distracting. The author's somewhat obsessive use of the past-perfect tense was distracting, as it felt as though every other word was "had". Once I got over the 'hads' and settled into the novel, I quickly got caught up in Duncan's story. Only to be ripped out when the narration changes from the first person, memoir style to a third person omniscient narrator. Okay, well, ...more
Sep 29, 2010 Ubik rated it liked it
Shelves: own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nick Cato
Nov 24, 2010 Nick Cato rated it liked it
DUNCAN'S DIARY reads like a semi-memoir of a middle aged man who--now divorced with joint custody of his kids--begins to try and find himself. As quickly as he begins to date again, he discovers that murder gives him a sense of self-control and sexual fulfillment he had never known before.

Like a combo of DON'T GO IN THE HOUSE and HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, DUNCAN'S DIARY gives us a look inside a serial killer's mind, at times tempting us to side with him (and at times the reader just mi
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Christopher C. Payne was born in January 1967 and grew up in DeSoto, IL. He received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, graduating in 1990. Currently, he lives in San Francisco, CA. In his spare time, he enjoys biking and snowboarding with his two daughters and an amazing wife.

Chris dabbled with writing in his spare time before deciding he would be be
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