THE FIEND by Margaret Millar (ebk)
THE FIEND by Margaret Millar (ebk)
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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.
PRAISE FOR MARGARET MILLAR
Mystery Writers of America Grand Master
Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel
Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year
“One of the most original and vital voices in all of American crime fiction.”
“No woman in twentieth-century American mystery writing is more important than Margaret Millar.”
—Dorothy B. Hughes, author of In a Lonely Place
“I long ago changed my writing name to Ross Macdonald for obvious reasons.”
—Kenneth Millar (Ross Macdonald), in a letter to the Toronto Saturday Night newspaper
“She has few peers, and no superior in the art of bamboozlement.”
“Written with such complete realization of every character that the most bitter antagonist of mystery fiction may be forced to acknowledge it as a work of art.”
—Anthony Boucher reviewing Beast in View for the New York Times
“Margaret Millar can build up the sensation of fear so strongly that at the end it literally hits you like a battering ram.”
—The New Yorker
“Brilliantly superlative… One of the most impressive additions to mystery literature—and the word “literature” is used in its fullest sense.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“In the whole of crime fiction’s distinguished sisterhood, there is no one quite like Margaret Millar.”
“A superb writer.”
“She writes minor classics.”
“Mrs. Millar doesn't attract fans she creates addicts.”
—Dilys Winn, namesake of the Dilys Award
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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, who is better known by his 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.