There will be spoilers for the manhwa series Interview with a Murderer.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to animal neglect, animal death, murder, death, violence, sex in exchange for favors, nepotism, mental illness, obsession, attempted breaking and entering, blackmail, manipulation, drink spiking, implied child abuse, corruption, child abandonment, homomisia, and arson, as it appears in the manhwa.
Clark is a reporter. He doesn't like working all that much, but he does enjoy one aspect of his job when he can partake in it off the clock: gathering macabre and interesting stories about criminals that intrigue him. He has an extensive collection of stories stored away for his eyes only. There's a new story on the horizon that Clark is determined to get his hands on. There's a serial killer on the loose, known as the Triage Killer, who has killed three people thus far. There's no evidence of his identity, so the odds of Clark encountering him are slim to none.
That is until his friend and ex, Oliver, reaches out. Oliver is a psychiatrist, and as it turns out, his patient, Alex, is none other than the Triage Killer. Oliver wants Alex to form meaningful relationships, and he feels that being interviewed by Clark will start that process. While Clark doesn't believe his presence will help Alex, Clark is all too happy to jump at the chance to meet the one and only Triage Killer. When they do meet, the killer is much more normal than Clark would assume, and his only explanation for why he kills is a simple one: love.
In order to get more information out of Alex, Clark must give himself over to the killer. A small price to pay for what Clark craves: interesting stories. But when Alex becomes enamored by Clark, will Clark come out of it alive? Or will he become the Triage Killer's next victim?
The art is not to my taste. It's very inconsistent, and the characters all have very long faces, but my preferences don't mean squat, especially in the case of this piece. I feel that the designs and the style used are perfect for the mood of this series. This is not a romance, and having a bunch of stunning manhwa characters, while it wouldn't be wrong to have them, would take away from the dark aura. That doesn't mean the characters are ugly. On the contrary, Clark has got that aloof sexiness to him, and Alex is very cute and bubbly a lot of the time. Oliver, unfortunately, is the odd man out in all of this, but for reasons beyond his looks. We'll talk more about that in a second. Just know, this isn't your run-of-the-mill, pretty manhwa. Everyone looks rather average, which makes this feel all the more realistic and terrifying in that way.
The first bit of praise I have to give is that this is a love triangle, and I don't mean the standard love triangle with one person stuck between two people vying for their affection. No, this is genuinely a triangle with Alex wanting Clark, Clark wanting Oliver, and Oliver wanting Alex. Perhaps a circle would be more accurate, but regardless, it's an interesting take on unrequited love that I wish we saw more of. However, in terms of romance, I'm unsure if this would be a successful setup. For this, though, it's perfection. You have a serial killer in love with someone who is ultimately in love with someone else, but that someone is infatuated with said serial killer. This is a perfect setup for chaos and tragedy, delivering on both fronts.
It can't be all praise, though. I have to talk about my least favorite part of this entire series: Oliver. First off, he turns over his patient to a reporter rather than the police, which is already questionable beyond belief, but then he falls in love with said patient? Oliver is just asking for trouble on all fronts. Also, while I know everyone has their own needs and ways of showing love, and we don't get much insight into Oliver and Clark's prior relationship, but it seems like Clark truly loved Oliver. Clark isn't very expressive but shows his love in small, seemingly insignificant ways. The way Clark interacts with everyone else is so drastically different from how he is with Oliver that it's hard to imagine Oliver didn't feel loved by Clark. Regardless, I dislike Oliver.
I do want to warn anyone reading this. This isn't for you if you are looking for BL with your standard happy ending. Now, if you're a fan of Killing Stalking or Blind Play (reviews coming one day), this is likely right up your alley. I personally like unhappy, negative, or bittersweet endings, so this was perfect for me. But again, this isn't a romance. I really wish BL wasn't tagged on this either, but I understand why it is since it features relationships between men. It just doesn't feel accurate to use the word “love” in this instance, as there is little love involved here.
This was an unexpected delight. It's dark, manipulative, and cruel, all so interesting. It has a bittersweet ending, but it is satisfying all the same. If you're looking for smut but want to get away from the romance side of things, this is a winner. But if you're looking for true romance, stay far, far away.
Have you read Interview with a Murderer? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!