The Night of the Hunterby Davis Grubb
Pub. Date: 06/28/2005
Publisher: Disruptive Publishing
When Ben Harper is hung for his part in a bank robbery, he leaves his young children John and Pearl to hide the $10,000. Soon a strange preacher comes to town and claims to have known their daddy. While he preaches the Word of the Lord, darkness lurks in his heart, and he wants the money.
- Disruptive Publishing
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.47(d)
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This has been one of my all time favorite movies and to read the book was just as thrilling. I recommend reading this one and watching the 1955 movie with Robert Mitchum, Shelly Winters and Lillian Gish. It is all set in the Ohio valley during the depression and tells a chilling tale of a psychotic killer who disguises himself as a preacher. You won't be disappointed.
In NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, (original pub. Date: 1953), Davis Grubb offers up a simple story of murder in the pursuit of a small fortune to raise our awareness of larger issues concerning the dangers of hijacked faith, deadly temptations in desperate times, the plight of neglected and abandoned children, and the power of an individual to right, at least in a small way, the wrongs of society. Summarized, in the depth of the Great Depression, Ben Harper, a despairing family man, awaits execution by hanging in a cell with an auto thief who is more: "His name was Harry Powell but everyone called him Preacher..." and he, unbeknownst to authorities, is a serial killer of widows. Ben has hidden the loot from a bank robbery gone awry; he killed two men in a confused moment. He refuses to reveal the whereabouts of the money to officials--even though doing so might spare his life--and Willa, his wife. Only his children, John, nine, and Pearl, four, know he secreted the cash in Pearl's doll. Before apprehension, he secured their promise to divulge the secret to no one. John takes his pledge to heart. That Ben did not reveal the hiding place to Willa causes her wrenching anxiety and even greater suffering later. In prison, Preacher relentlessly inveigles Ben for the whereabouts, but Ben goes to the gallows with his secret. Afterwards, Preacher finds his way to Ben's home. He wins over Willa, Pearl, and friends, the friends encouraging her to marry him, which she does. John, however, resists, because in the first minutes of meeting, he understands what Preacher really wants and Preacher discerns John knows where the money is hidden. Employing devious and psychologically damaging tactics, Preacher hounds and persecutes John, stealing away the boy's and Pearl's mother, turning the family's friends against John. Finally, fearful and seeing no alternative, John flees with Pearl. Preacher pursues them, obsessed by the money. John and Pearl live as feral children, until they end up in the yard of Rachel Cooper, who proves to be more than a match for Preacher. Other thrillers with demon-type killers that might interest you include: Jim Thompson's THE KILLER INSIDE ME. Published in 1952, pulp when first issued but today regarded as the epitome of American crime noir. Lou Ford is a lawman you never want to make the acquaintance of. Stephen King's MISERY features the unforgettable Annie Wilkes, a worshipful fan the dread of anyone. Joyce Carol Oates's ZOMBIE puts you into the mind of a serial killer who tries and tries again to create a sexual serf. David Valentino's I, KILLER, in which a narcissistic murderer confronts his past in the form of mysterious visitors and falls to a little girl named Sarah.