Caroline Turner is down on her luck. She has lost her job and hit a bottom she’s struggling to understand. She could have handled her husband’s betrayal, but betrayal by her only child breaks her heart. Who wouldn’t feel for the poor woman when on top of all else she’s forced to move back home to take care of her ungrateful bedridden mother?
M.G. Miller drags the reader deep into Caroline’s mind from the start. We feel the trepidation as she approaches the rundown house and enters the dark gloomy interior. We know what awaits upstairs isn’t going to be good, but Miller’s able to shock with a sharp whack from Mama’s cane. From that first blow, the horrors are set in motion.
Who can blame Turner for taking that cane? Can we condemn her for feeding Mama cold soup and slipping in a little tranquilizer to make her sleep through the night?
We root for Caroline and hate her mother right along with her. The downtrodden woman struggles at first with moments of hope that she can withstand Mama’s abuse and provide the basic care she needs. Mama’s actions and words drive away any such aspirations.
With each chapter, Miller pulls back layers of Caroline’s mix of ego and self-hatred. Through Mama’s horrible words, we know why she has no self-esteem, and why she struggles with her image in the mirror. The reader comes to understand the levels she’ll go to in order to feel loved. It’s apparent Mama never cared for her own daughter, and that she was jealous of Caroline’s relationship with her long-dead father. We don’t know the horrifying secrets that are buried deep in Caroline’s mind, but Mama manages to pull them out and shove them bluntly and cruelly like a pile of feces smack in her face.
This chilling narrative told in first person draws a mix of sympathy and disdain that swells in a gripping crescendo as the relationship between Mama and Caroline comes to a horrifying climax. Miller’s storytelling talent is evident in his ability to make the reader hate, yet sympathize with the character, to understand the misery and despair that propel her toward a terrifying end, and force internal questioning of what they’d do in her place, how far they’d go.
Murderous is an absolute must for thriller lovers, but any reader will be drawn in by the characterization in this gripping tale.
Find Murderous on Amazon, along with other must reads by M.G. Miller. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss…
Chilling. Miller writes MUST READ tales of damaged souls and hardship.
Yes he does. I had a hard time getting to sleep after that one. Thanks for commenting, Nancy.