Creepy books

When I’m not reading any halfway decent memoir I can lay my hands on, I am devouring mystery novels. I have a few requirements. I like a good, interesting female heroine or at least some good strong women characters. No explicit torture scenes. Character development. Competent writing. A killer I can’t identify immediately. A sense of place is pretty great.

I tear through books by Sharon Bolton, Elly Griffiths, Ian Rankin, Linda Castillo, Jane Casey, etc. I’ve managed my way through some lesser mystery stories without losing my cool. But yesterday’s mystery made me want to take a shower.

We have a detective team with some chemistry—all good. But clearly someone is paying too much attention to the younger female detective. It sounds stalkery. Not halfway through the third chapter (where the murder is hardly investigated), we figure out that the stalker is the older male detective. They make out in the victim’s kitchen with a dead body in the other room.

It goes downhill from there. Instead of finding his overtures creepy and overstepping, not to mention unprofessional, she falls for him and begins to lord her “status” over the other women in her department. And she’s a virgin, which just adds to the creepiness factor. I put the book down and don’t even want to put my coffee cup on it because I don’t want to be contaminated somehow.

What’s the worst book you’ve read recently?


4 responses to “Creepy books

  1. I’ll admit to the assertion that writers often (sometimes? always?) write themselves into their characters, maybe as wish fulfillment or fantasy role playing. Maybe that’s what’s going on with the mystery you’re reading now, though even if that were my fetish, I would have the good sense not to put it in print. Jeez.

    I nearly always find something to admire/respect/shamelessly copy in any fiction I read. (Not always the case with nonfiction.) So it’s hard for me to identify any particular novel that turned me off. I’m sure there were some, but maybe I purge them from my memory.

    Geek Love is considered by some to be the most disgusting novel ever. It certainly deals with some uncomfortable ideas, but in the end it’s all about mother love and notions of beauty. See? Salvaged.

    I’ll think on this challenge. Maybe I’ll come up with something.

  2. I am reading an unreadable Tess Gerritson right now. Young diminutive (but firey) female protagonist is in Saigon trying to find out what REALLY happened to her father. She screams all the time. People try to kill her all the time. The mercenary anthropologist who identifies bones wants to bone her. I might burn it.

    Paul, you are a better man that I.

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