Tag Archives: 20th century

Maniac: The Bath School Disaster and the Birth of the Modern Mass Killer by Harold Schechter

This is such a disturbing story about how even someone on the school board can harbor the darkest traits, fed by deep resentment, and culminating in mass murder including children. Schechter leads the reader through the childhood and early adulthood of Andrew Kehoe, making one wonder about anyone and everyone who might seem a little off, who might one day reveal himself to be a mass murderer, so prevalent in this day in this country. I was given a digital copy of this well-researched and well-written horrifying biography from the publisher Little A through NetGalley.

The Hanged Man and the Fortune Teller by Lucy Banks

The ghost is in a purgatorial state, believing that if he can just remember, he can move on. The fortune teller, his companion in spirit—literally—assists him in filling in his memory. As the story progresses forward and backward throughout his life, Dear Reader meets the ghost’s family, connections that come and go in his mind, bringing emotions forth that yet again obscure memories. Reference to the ghost as the hanged man portends his metaphysical status, and the conclusion is satisfying in its complete lack of resolution potential, possibly the best ending in fiction. It’s a beautiful thing when an author leads the way to the only inevitable conclusion through a pathway that could only have happened that way, maintaining the integrity of the characters’ personalities. Banks at last evokes compassion for a man who had few redeeming qualities in life, an impressive feat. I received this excellent story of beautiful writing from the publisher Amberjack Publishing through NetGalley.