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It’s quite clever how Stephen Leather changes perspective like that. It’s quite a shock to the system ...
on 28 September 2014
The Basement is a short thriller of just 135 pages. The Basement It is about a struggling writer called Marvin Waller who is trying desperately to get his screenplays recognised in the film industry. Meanwhile, two detectives are hellbent on finding a serial killer and Marvin is their number one suspect.
The Book was written from two different viewpoints, first person when it’s Marvin’s scenes and second person when it’s the killers scenes. The second person scenes are intense and can be quite graphic in parts, featuring both violence and sexual descriptions. When the perspective changes, you see a page break and italics and this perspective helps to throw you into the interactions between the killer and their captive. It’s quite clever how Stephen Leather changes perspective like that. It’s quite a shock to the system when it first happens, but for me, it totally works. Stephen Leather has done it well for the most part, it really helps to build the suspense.
The Main character, for me is annoying. I disliked him completely. He’s uptight, but he has incredible self-control and only lets people see what he wants them to see. As you read, thanks to the first person perspective, you get an incredible sense of what he’s really like underneath his façade.
The story starts off well at first and get’s you wondering from the start where it’s all going, it doesn't last long though. At only a quarter of the way through it started to feel a little repetitive. It’s worth pushing through though as it doesn't last long. The suspense builds slowly through and by three-quarters of the way though the intensity is immense. It is completely riveting and really holds me into the story and makes me see every detail of the story in my mind. It’s a far cry from the book that struggled to hold my attention at a quarter. The intensity continues after this point until the end where my heart was beating through my chest and I was all but screaming at the characters.
The ending for me was very unexpected and as I finished my first thought was wow!