When it comes to lovable evil characters, Hannibal Lector is one I’d like to give one big ‘ol squeeze. Isn’t he just the best?
You can’t help but fall in love with the good Doctor’s wit, intellect and sense of propriety. If it weren’t for the odd liver and fava-bean request, you’d be happy to have him over for dinner, to charm and entertain, right?
Writing evil into any narrative comes with its perils. Some discerning readers can’t abide a character who performs free-flowing, mindless slashing and burning without an opposing force of goodness to balance them out. To restore sanity, authors give their evil a redeeming quality.
Hannibal Lector is a great example of this. He has just enough niceness to keep most lovers of dark fiction in the room while knowing he’s a killer. There’s a despicable element, but it’s offset by bags of amiability. No one can be that sinister and not have a sweet-side side tucked away in there somewhere.
A creative writer knows all about a reader’s desire and adds something extra to their evil character — the villain commits murder but also cares for orphaned kittens. Suddenly our fiend is likeable, more accessible. There’s hope for them after all.
Mitchell Felding has some redeeming traits of his own.
No one dies unless there’s an extremely good reason for them to do so. In fact, when he’s not ending a life, he’s saving people. In one instance, he rescues a family from a rampaging thunderstorm that annihilates their home.
Mitchell’s second redeeming trait is closer to his heart. He adores his wife Samantha. He’ll do anything for her. He’s especially mindful of Samantha’s religious beliefs. Furthermore, he was the one who remained celibate for her while they dated. It wasn’t easy, but he kept his promise.
“Not until I’m married,” she told him between kisses. He nodded each time.
Seven years. Some say it was too long. A dark element was seeded into their relationship — and the abstinence remained long after their nuptials were exchanged. That darkness continued to grow.
Mitchell tried everything to chip away at the ice, but nothing worked. Sam is anxious. And now Sam has told her best friend that she and Mitchell are trying for a baby. A child? How can conception occur without intimacy? How can a married couple not become lovers?
The lies to maintain their domestic facade are just too much to bear. Something snaps.
At first, Mitchell cheats on Sam for gratification. He finds bored women from emotionally stifling marriages for sex. Secretive, curious wives make the best candidates. They aren’t likely to leave their husbands or talk to others about their affairs. The women, eager to take a break from their humdrum routines, are attracted to Mitchell’s sense of adventure and candidness. Each agrees to try out his exciting kink.
But sex only begins the process. Mitchell’s darker side wants a different kind of action. The seething that feeds it runs deep. Rain washes away the intention and the evidence. That’s convenient — for a serial killer who hides in plain sight.
SEETHINGS is dark, sensual fiction with a few twists along the way. The last one is explosive.
“Forman’s writing style is artful, with the protagonist Mitchell’s warped thought processes masterfully exposed. The author has a powerful and vivid command of language, and his word pictures are stark and disturbingly real.”
– Linda J Bettenay, author of ‘Secrets Mothers Keep’ and ‘Wishes For Starlight’.