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.
by Margaret Sidney
by Margaret Millar
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