Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Beast in View (1955)

I picked up this copy of Beast in View by Margaret Millar (1955) at a garage sale across the street from my apartment for a quarter -- mostly because it was a book for a quarter and it had a woman with a house-head on the cover. After reading it I'm extra glad that I also grabbed another Margaret Millar book from the box because this psychological thriller was an excellent read.

In Beast in View, the wealthy and reclusive Helen Clarvoe begins to receive threatening phone calls from a woman named Evelyn Merrick. Unable to turn to her estranged family, Helen calls Paul Blackshear, the attorney of her recently-deceased father who is now handling her investments, to investigate. Out of boredom Blackshear takes the job and slowly begins unraveling the story of a fractured family, past regrets, and personal demons. And then people start dying...

Millar draws complicated and interesting characters and makes this novel more than just your usual mystery/suspense fare. The final twist is satisfyingly hidden but once it's revealed the reader can see the trail of hints leading to the inevitable end.

No comments: