Check out the blurb here...
Norman Bates is alive and well… He's living just next door
Behind the normal door of a normal house, in a normal street, two men are slowly driving each other insane. One of them is a psychopath.
The father Mr Todd is at his wits’ end. He’s been robbed of his job as a tax inspector and is now stuck at home... with him. Frustrated. Lonely. Angry. Really angry.
The son Adrian has no job, no friends. He is at home all day, obsessively chopping vegetables and tap-tap-tapping on his computer. And he’s getting worse, disappearing for hours at a time, sneaking off to who-knows-where?
The unholy spirit in the safety of suburbia, one man has developed a taste for killing. And he’ll kill again.
And I am very excited to have Iain Maitland himself on my blog today to talk about why it's easy to write evil characters, and why as a reader it's easier to sympathise with them than you might expect...
The books go to some dark places not just physically - into cellars and forests and other creepy locations - but also deep into the minds of the characters themselves. You get to share their thoughts and feelings, actions and reactions – you experience the journey that they take into mayhem and murder.
Now this might disturb some readers – but it doesn’t faze me at all. That’s because none of these characters see themselves as evil. In fact, if you were to ask them, they’d all see themselves as good, decent people.
Raymond Orrey in Sweet William just wants to snatch his son back from foster parents and run away to the South Of France to live happily ever after. He thinks he’s the best dad in the world. He’d do anything – just anything – for his little boy.
Mr Todd has a clearly defined view of what’s right and what’s wrong in this world. He sees himself as a good guy and it’s those around him who are bad people. Everything he’s done – and is going to do – can be justified.
It’s the same with the serial killer in Gayther & Carrie. He culls - as he views it – bad men; the baddest men of all. In fact, he considers himself a hero, someone who is on a mission to rid the world of these ‘baddest of bad men’.
That’s the thing, you see – what you and I might see as evil might be viewed quite differently from inside someone else’s head. And that makes it relatively easy to write – it’s just a matter of rationalising what they think and do as being perfectly normal.
Take Raymond Orrey from Sweet William for example – he’s just escaped from a psychiatric unit to go and find his toddler son who’s being looked after by what he believes are cruel and uncaring foster parents. What will he do if those parents get in his way? What would you do if you thought your child was suffering?
It’s the same with the serial killer in Gayther & Carrie 1 – he knows bad men who do bad things to children. No-one else seems to be doing anything. Nobody else seems to care. They seem to be turning a blind eye. He – alone – can stop this. Should he save the children? What would you do – turn away?
Mr Todd is an intelligent, thoughtful and reasoning man. As the book starts, I rather think that you will like him, sympathise with his situation and empathise with his feelings. Of course, that may change as the book progresses into the darkest places. You may by the end perceive him to be evil personified. But he doesn’t and that, perhaps, is the most frightening thing of all.
Thank you so much, Iain, for appearing on my blog!
Make sure you guys check out the rest of the spots on the blog tour <3
Buy Mr Todd's Reckoning here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Todds-Reckoning-Iain-Maitland/dp/1912235455
Check out Iain Maitland here: http://www.iainmaitland.net/home
Check out my review for Sweet William here.
Until next time :)