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Banshee Paperback – 29 Aug 1994

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby; New edition edition (29 Aug. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749002751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749002756
  • Package Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,004,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Margaret Millar is the forgotten genius of the psychological crime novel. My mission in life is to urge a publisher to re-issue these glittering clever books.

Too often now, contemporary novels are much too long for their theme, written in an undisciplined manner by un-edited authors, and many crime writers have become pornographic in their depiction of cruelty and torture - the victims often women.

Margaret Millar's books, by contrast, are short, elegantly written, cunningly plotted, authentic in terms of setting, background, character and dialogue.Her intelligence shines through her writing, and she never patronises her reader. I urge any fan of the classic detective novel to seek out her work.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking, Funny, with the Expected Millar Twist 11 Aug. 2012
By Clarice - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sitting here to write this review, I am shocked that nobody here on Amazon has written a word about this book for more than ten years. Margaret Millar was one of my mother's all-time favorites, and I'd read quite a number of them when I was younger. I think it's probably fair to say that her earlier work is somewhat better than her later work, but that may be because the earlier period is marked by so many amazing books. From what I've been able to figure out, Millar continued to use her trademark surprise endings in her later books, but she took a different approach to them - they are more twists that confound the reader's expectations of the genre than plot twists (as in her earlier books). I found this to be the case in BANSHEE, but I don't want to say more about it for fear of putting forth a spoiler.

Let me just say that the first chapter is one of the most effective I've ever read. Millar makes you fall in love with a child, Annamay Hyatt, who is found dead at the start of Chapter 2. This knocked me for such a loop that I ended up reading the first 100 pages with tears in my eyes. Then, by the end, I started tearing up again. I had remembered Millars' wise-alecky characters and her strong women, but I didn't remember her earlier books packing the emotional punch that this one did.

BANSHEE is fairly short, and while Millar's books are often peopled by characters on the fringes of society, I found several of the secondary characters here to be more caricatures than real people. The fact that they seemed only tangentially related to the plot kept me a bit frustrated, but that's how Millar operates so I put myself in her capable hands. I don't know that the overall result, as a mystery/suspense book, is as stunning as it is in some other books (I particularly love ASK FOR ME TOMORROW), but it's still a fine piece of writing by one of the all-time greats. And I'll never forget Annamay Hyatt, or her mother and father, or the preacher whose faith is sorely tested by the little girl's death.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Children's Play" 10 July 2001
By Charlotte Pen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
BANSHEE is late Millar, and though there is a half-heartedness about some of the characters, and even a half-heartedness about the story itself, it is still vintage Millar, with an assortment of people and circumstances which hold your interest.
A young darling of a girl, who is called Princess, prances about and delights the reader at the beginning of the story. She has been built an out-sized doll house, where she plays out her imaginary fairy-tale life. Sometimes strangers come by - stragglers off the highway - looking for food. But they, too, are enchanted by the child's innocence and beauty. This is, after all, California's lush countryside, where nothing goes wrong. She shares her idyllic life with her young cousin, who lives nearby. Others in the neighborhood, a retired "Madam," for one, have curiously mysterious lives but then they maintain their privacy as well as respecting that of their neighbors.
The inevitable happens. Princess disappears and only months later, her decomposed body is found within her play area, along the stream, bordering the neighborhood. Who, amongst the neighbors and friends and strangers, has committed this heinous crime? The father desperately spends endless days searching for clues but is finally defeated. He cannot solve the mystery. Can you? This seems to be Margaret Millar's question, throughout. Yes, vintage Millar.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Millar--heads and shoulders above the rest! 6 April 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is vintage Millar--mature, rich, and fertile. The mystery itself--the death of a princess--is deftly handled. More important, however, is the pain and soul searching unleashed by the main event. Deep soundings about innocence, experience, and faith.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Mystery 22 Sept. 2016
By Bruce Boston - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book was published as a mystery novel. There is a mystery, but it is very incidental to the character development and the changing relationships between the characters. This is a decent mainstream novel parading as a mystery.
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