Here are some books I have been enjoying lately:
The Bad Seed (1954)
Author: William March
About: What happens to ordinary families into whose midst a child serial killer is born? This is the question at the center of William March’s classic thriller. (from Goodreads) A mother is terrified when she starts to have doubts about her child’s ability to murder.
This book is incredibly well written and thrilling. The point of view relies on Christine, a nervous housewife who adds great depth to the insight this story brings: is my daughter a killer? If so, is it my fault? Also, little Rhoda Penmark is an amazing bad seed, as she plays with our heads from beginning to end. Rhoda gets what she wants, no matter what. Simply a great book (I hear the movie is good too).
2. Mr. Mercedes (2014) – A Trilogy
Author: Stephen King
About: After a mass killing, a retired detective and two unlikely companions investigate their way into a dangerous cat&mouse game.
First of all, I love Stephen King. He writes amazingly. I should review this more thoroughly, I apologize. Second, this trilogy (Mr. Mercedes; Finders Keepers; End of Watch) made a mark on me, specially because of the characters. The books are a little different in narrative and pace – and indeed Mr. King slowed his pace here -, nevertheless telling an amazing story. Brady Hartfield is an incredible villain, and we have insight on literally every bit of the story and its components, which is great. Bill Hodges will live forever in my heart.
3. The Turn of the Screw (1898)
Author: Henry James
About: A very young woman’s first job: governess for two weirdly beautiful, strangely distant, oddly silent children, Miles and Flora, at a forlorn estate… An estate haunted by a beckoning evil. (from Goodreads)
This book is really good. The writing is elegant, although a little overwhelming at times, but then again almost every book contemporary to this one is.
I caught myself scared and gripping the pages hard many times. I wouldn’t say it’s horrifying but I really enjoyed the old and dusty atmosphere that surrounds this book. The narrative is dubious and leaves you wondering a lot of things, but I’m pretty sure James indulged that as he seems to omit points throughout the narrative – and that is what makes you try and rationalize facts long after finishing it. Some people say it’s “difficult to read”. I agree it is rather poised written, but it only adds to the maddening aspect of the protagonist’s journey. I recommend it thoroughly.