Margaret Millar (1915-1994) was the author of 27 books and a masterful pioneer of psychological mysteries and thrillers. Born in Kitchener, Ontario, she spent most of her life in Santa Barbara, California, with her husband Ken Millar, better known under the nom de plume of Ross MacDonald. Her 1956 novel Beast in View won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel. In 1965 Millar was the recipient of the Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year Award and in 1983 the Mystery Writers of America awarded her the Grand Master Award for Lifetime Achievement. Millar’s cutting wit and superb plotting have left her an enduring legacy as one of the most important crime writers of both her own and subsequent generations.
The Fiendby Margaret Millar
Ben Gowen is trying to do the right thing. His brother Charlie is a disturbed man—one who has done his time for the crimes he committed, crimes involving children. But Ben is determined/b>/b>
A young girl is at risk in this tense and disturbing page-turner that reveals a web of abusers and victims among a disparate cast of middle class Americans
Ben Gowen is trying to do the right thing. His brother Charlie is a disturbed man—one who has done his time for the crimes he committed, crimes involving children. But Ben is determined to help Charlie reform, something that isn’t easy considering Charlie’s limited mental capacity and the nature of his disease.
Charlie wants to be good. To be good and to be liked by his brother Ben. He doesn’t want to have the bad thoughts. But he’s disturbed that the parents of a little girl named Jessie have allowed their daughter to engage in risky behavior. Climbing trees. Rough-housing on the playground. She could get hurt. She should be fed nourishing meals and given warm clothing to wear. Upset, Charlie writes an anonymous letter to Jessie’s mother, shaming her. He will keep an eye on her and make sure she’s safe.
The Fiend, first published in 1964, is a shocking novel in any era. Millar piles on the suspense and tension to nearly unbearable heights as a self-absorbed group of adults fail to notice a predator in their midst.
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Not what I expected. More of a character study than a thriller. Didn't connect with any characters.