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The Fiend

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  72 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
244 pp.
Paperback, IPL library of crime classics, 244 pages
Published 1964 by International Polygonics,U.S.
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May 10, 2012 Ebirdy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: your-library
This was a great "character" or "psychological" novel, which I really enjoyed. I'd never heard of Margaret Millar before - to be honest I'm not even sure how I got this book. I think I received it in the book swap from my book group, but I'm not sure. I would like to read some of her others books (The Beast
Don't be put off by the subject matter of child molestation. It's the background of one of the characters, but it's not exactly the subject of the book.

Millar does an terrific job of drawing
Shane Plassenthal
Apr 06, 2014 Shane Plassenthal rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of the best novels I've read in a long time. It's now a personal favorite. A dark and well written tale brimming with wit and wisdom about the dynamic of the suburban American family and the way conventional society views sex offenders, children and marriage. Also, delightfully twisted and suspenseful with an ending you won't see coming.
Reminds me of how Ruth Rendell's psychological novels are.
Highly recommended.
Jun 22, 2009 Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, mystery
I have long been a fan of Ross Macdonald's. If this book is any indication, I am definitely becoming a fan of his wife's. Obviously, dysfunctional families and crime were the two's specialties, but Millar seems to take the reader more inside the heads of her characters than Macdonald did. In this book, she still left plenty up to the imagination, a trait I like, by mentioning, sort of in passing without delving much into them, key points that might have affected the characters. Some authors do t ...more
PF Freire
Feb 07, 2015 PF Freire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of mice and men: Suburbia Edition!

I have the audible version.

Charlie had a bad rap and he was slow, something bad he did, would it haunt and his brother forever?
Plus: 3 families involved in a web of lost expectations and jealousy.
How sometimes suburban life is heavier than wars.
How a series of misunderstandings could ruin everyone's lives.

I loved how the author managed to think like the young girls think, mixing up half truthes that parents tell them.

I recommend
Mar 28, 2008 Karschtl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, bc, read-in-2005
Erinnert wirklich ein wenig an Highsmith, nur dass sich Millar wohl oft Kinder als Protagonisten hernimmt. Das Buch lässt sich sehr schnell und flüssig zu lesen. Man merkt zwar, dass das Buch schon vor einigen Jahrzehnten geschrieben wurde, aber das muss nicht unbedingt ein Nachteil sein. Es kommt zwar nicht wirklich ein richtiges Spannungsgefühl auf wie in heutigen Thrillern, sondern eher eine Neugier was in der Vergangenheit passiert ist und was noch passieren wird. Die Wendungen am Schluß war ...more
Sean Brennan
Jan 28, 2014 Sean Brennan added it
Shelves: crime
The very title of the book is a GREAT red herring, but I won't dwell on the reasons for this statement to enjoys people's pleasure at some future date. This is a crafted psychological thriller dealing with the devastation that Divorce plays on all parties especially the children. It is my opinion that the majority of the supposedly 'adult' characters in the book needed intensive psychiatric care both before, during and after the events contained in this compelling thriller.
Mar 26, 2010 Ed rated it it was amazing
First published in 1964, the mannerisms and attitudes seem more akin the the late 1950s. I liked reading the book, however. Ms. Millar writes in an appealing yet accessible literary way, and she explores the inner secrets (some dark and unsavory, yes) in the families well. None of the sexual or violent content rises above a PG-13 rating. Her metaphors are often so dead-on and aptly used.
Aug 19, 2016 Pamela rated it really liked it
And Millar strikes again! Seriously, you cannot get better for psychological suspense than Millar. OK. I'm going to just come out and say it: I have come to prefer Millar to Highsmith or Thompson. Yes! She is THAT good!
Oct 01, 2016 Bibliophile rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Convicted sex offender becomes obsessed with little girl, causing secrets and neuroses to surface in 60's suburbia.

The lack of violence in this novel does nothing to diminish its creepiness. As is her style, Millar keeps things vague. We don't know the exact nature of the crime the childlike Charlie committed in the past, but it was bad enough to put him away. His legal guardian and brother resents having to watch him and is eager to marry him off to the town librarian, although he does seem to
Apr 06, 2008 Rae rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Margaret Millar is known for her psychological development of characters as well as her talent for creating uneasiness in her suspenseful stories. This particular novel addresses the issue of mental illness.
Tracy Snyder
Jul 22, 2014 Tracy Snyder rated it it was amazing
loved the book would recommend it. I had to keep stopping because of reality issues setting in but continued to go back to it. Hypnotizing!!!!!
Mar 06, 2013 Tlingit rated it liked it
Not a bad read for a 60's book. It wasn't what I thought it was going to be and I won't spoil it for anyone but for such a short book I liked the character development.
Nov 03, 2015 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A creepy little book. Great read.
Jan 28, 2009 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychological
The /alt tag by the fifth star reads, "It was amazing."
Well, it was. I made my skin crawl, my heart bleed and my head spin.
Margaret Millar is a genius story-teller and this is the proof.
Feb 27, 2012 Greg rated it really liked it
Best Millar I've read so far.
Sep 18, 2011 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Wow what a great read! Reminded me of Isabelle Holland at her best. I've already aquired another or her works and hope to enjoy it as much as I did this one.
Jaime rated it it was amazing
Mar 31, 2010
Mary Lynn
Mary Lynn rated it it was amazing
Oct 10, 2013
Kevin rated it liked it
Dec 18, 2008
Sirdigbychickencaesar rated it it was amazing
Jul 12, 2015
Dave98346 rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2016
Elissa Grodin
Elissa Grodin rated it it was amazing
Aug 30, 2012
Scoutaccount rated it liked it
Oct 21, 2014
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Oct 08, 2009
Joel Travis
Joel Travis rated it really liked it
Apr 04, 2014
Russell Goff
Russell Goff rated it really liked it
Oct 11, 2015
John Marr
John Marr rated it it was amazing
Nov 21, 2010
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Aug 17, 2016
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May 02, 2015
Emily rated it it was amazing
Oct 27, 2016
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Margaret Ellis Millar (née Sturm) was an American-Canadian mystery and suspense writer. Born in Kitchener, Ontario, she was educated there and in Toronto. She moved to the United States after marrying Kenneth Millar (better known under the pen name Ross Macdonald). They resided for decades in the city of Santa Barbara, which was often utilized as a locale in her later novels under the pseudonyms o ...more
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