Ann Rickard
Ann Rickard

Serial killers top my reading list

THERE has been a lot of reading done at our place these past couple of weeks.

Am I alone in being able to get in more reading in two summer weeks than I can in the preceding 12 months?

During the busy year when work and routines are firmly in place, reading is an indulgence.

So it's been an orgy of reading in the Rickard household.

I love nothing more than a thriller, especially if it features a nasty serial killer.

Why I, a non-violent person who can't even watch animals in the wild killing each other so they can have their dinner, should be drawn to serial killers (of the fictitious kind) is something only a psychiatrist's couch could reveal.

I suppose I should blame it on Hannibal Lecter. He was the first serial killer I fell in love with. I read every page of Silence of the Lambs with trembling hands and a fast-beating heart.

Has there ever been a more evil yet brilliant serial killer?

As genius as Anthony Hopkins was in portraying Hannibal on the big screen, he was nothing compared to the sadistic beast in print form created by Thomas Harris in 1998.

Then I moved onto Dexter, enjoyed his dark doings for a good while but could never embrace him on the television.

He was far too attractive, too boyish and charming. The written word brings out the very best in a dastardly serial killer, in my opinion.

The Lovely Bones was a book that enthralled me even though it was narrated by a murdered child up in heaven looking down on her rapist murderer and her grieving family.

It's exquisitely written by Alice Sebold, which is what makes it so compelling.

I do like a book that frightens me. You feel as though you've had your money's worth when you've been terrified out of your wits and imagine a crazy-eyed axe murderer outside your door softly calling your name.

But it can go too far sometimes, as it did for me with American Psycho written by Bret Easton Ellis.

It was meant to be satirical, making fun of the yuppie '80s and narrated by an investment banker who worked on Wall Street by day and violently killed homeless blokes and prostitutes at night; becoming furious when their blood splattered on his Armani suit.

I could not sleep without the lights on for weeks.

It was banned in some countries and sold sealed in plastic in our bookshops. It really was that terrifying.

Anyway, that's my reading taste. Vicious serial killers.

If you love a fluffy romance with a golden-haired heroine and a protagonist with throbbing thighs, then good for you.

I'm envious.

Now if you'll excuse me I am off to open a bottle of Chianti to go with the liver and fava beans I've prepared for dinner.

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