Saturday, April 18, 2009

Reading - Death of a Murderer

Death of a Murderer by Rupert Thomson

A woman who has spent 30 years in prison for comitting the most heinous crimes imaginable—the torture and murder of children—has finally died, and Billy Tyler is assigned a 12-hour shift guarding the killer's body at the hospital morgue. Throughout the long night, he reflects on his life, recalls his past failures as a husband and father, and even speaks with the ghost of the killer. The series of murders, so deeply scarred into Britain's collective consciousness, is a reflection of our current cycle of national tragedy: "those rare news items against which you defined yourself" and which are sadly becoming ever less rare. As a stand-in for all of us, Billy is properly repulsed but inwardly fascinated by the killer's capacity to travel beyond the limits of human behavior to a point where good and evil are no longer even relevant.

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