- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: W&N (18 Aug. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1780220227
- ISBN-13: 978-1780220222
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.4 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 441,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Beast In View Paperback – 18 Aug 2011
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Millar was the mast of the surprise ending (exemplified in Beast in View) (Christopher Fowler INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)
Superb ... Beast in View is cunningly plotted and has an ingenious final twist (Simon Shaw MAIL ON SUNDAY)
A wonderfully crepy and terrifying slice of noir (CATHOLIC HERALD)
A classic whodunit and a deep, disturbing study of the dark places of the human psyche...See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Who's the hunter? Who's the prey?
This horrifying story will grab you and won't let go till the gory, devastating and haunting conclusion... but do not peek! The narrative will take you there.
As Evelyn's behaviour becomes more deranged Paul is convinced she has a 'multiple personality disorder' but can he stop her as she stalks her prey like a beast in view?
This is a very spooky 1950's crime thriller set in Los Angeles. However there are several oddly English, or at least non-American, phrases and idioms which tend to betray Ms Millar's Canadian roots. It is also very racy for its time with Helen's brother open to bribery following 'some highly exaggerated incident in the locker room' and a shocking sexual assault on Helen by a gross lesbian masseuse.
One cover reviewer describes this novel as 'a conjuring trick'. There is a trick but it is one I did not foresee and much credit to Ms Millar for that. It is a crime novel rather than a 'whodunnit'.
There is some excellent descriptive writing on insanity as the abusive telephone calls escalate from the womb-like security of the phone booth. Evelyn's behaviour becomes more intimidating as she tells passers-by that she is 'waterproof' and listens to 'the clicking in my mind'.
The book is slightly dated and could have been even braver at the finish. It is relatively short, no padding, no fat but quite seedy and racy. It may be a conjuring trick and I applaud Ms Millar as the magician.
The "Beast in View", the title of a poem by Muriel Rukeyser, refers in this book not to an animal seen on the outside but to the self. Although crime has a large role in the book, the primary theme is internal and psychological, about anger, alienation, and loneliness. Set in 1950s Los Angeles, virtually every character in the book suffers from being alone and from loss. The novel begins with a lonely, wealthy spinster, Helen Clarvoe, 30, received a mysterious threatening call from a woman who identifies herself as Evelyn Merrick, an old friend. Helen is frightened and turns to the only person she remotely trusts, her investment advisor, Paul Blackshear, 50. Blackshear is a widower, semi-retired, and fearful of how he will fill the hours of his retirement. He agrees to help Helen find the woman who harassed her. The search takes Blackshear and the reader through seedy bars, pornographic photography studios, and into Helen Clarvoe's dysfunctional family. The book takes its characters through dark alleys filled with alley cats, cold streets, massage parlors and brothels. The book shows frigidity, harsh judgmentalism, and sexual perversion for its day. It gradually descends into a world of suicide, murder, and madness.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love discovering books like this, by authors I've never read.
The Beast in View puts into mind the thriller heydays of Hitchcock, 50's America. Read more
Very well written but unpleasantly nasty to the point of being unconvincing. Other of her crime stories are much more enjoyablePublished on 10 Jun. 2013 by Bridget Proust