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or a n, n an s w o is ilke ad, ot h . Inste nie W g n s d lin An ti tha ital be amed im, tel e p h n on s r o r e e h urs ng ov umbe out it the n f x o i n e d ne itten, nds een his tan ly o r is s she is later fi ave b at bab ever w m the o h r e him But h ate to aged th acter fro is P rs . ery thrille reader re r n ar s n i n u t a f M for her. E ain ch she su ovie, est s the t t ’ a m ’ n e I m y m is ”, gr pture ing. his ok, the ery nd b fou l killed s “Mis te a bo cter it ca beginn s seen you so d i s e a Pau is seri he wr chara hile very yone h bring t to rea ing t k e r in h sts tha , of the . But w ok, eve he boo . You g is forc turn” o e r e t insi for he ck aliv the b but h more at Anni ry’s Re in a t e te out h l a c i t i s s h i t i b r u t u n j w g w M k m u ab in to boo ook te, “ Up com ggling t more e is no the to wri . The b lliant! find u h l i u t s r o r u u st Pa ughou pt is b g, yo and nds she why m he fi ie and rse as im fro thro conce e endin or Paul ’t read u h n n k v f n s i e o n s g p v a o a A n b lo in kee ger u ha exp eeri lon sically house the self ch ie. If yo ed to. e y r e l n h ph ing t au you ing An , you n ay. of P rible t leav ring w r me fear one ye e a t n u a e e tort y th this y. H ving or b up ha ighwa bed h t u s h a d a “An don en t on the self in l She cciden nd him a car kes to fi w a a 5


Norman Bates loves his Mother. Most people think she’s been dead for the past twenty years, but No rman knows better. Ever since he was released from the hospital, he has lived with Mo ther in the old house, up on the hill above the Bates Mo tel. One rainy night, when a beautiful woman exits the hig hway and checks into the mo tel, Norman can’t help spying on her as she undresses — but Mo ther is there, to protect No rman from his filthy thoughts. Mother is there, with her butch er knife. Psycho, originally pu blished in 1959, is a fascinating portrait of madness. Robert Bloch sets the reader on edge from the very first page, as he describes Norman sit ting in the parlour “with a good book for company” — a bo ok describing Incan wa rriors using the corpse of an enemy for their drumbeat: “The skin had been flayed an d the belly stretched to form a drum.” One could argue tha t Bloch performed a simila r kind of

primitive surgery on a crim e novel, hacking away at one type of genre fiction so that it could be twisted into something else, something far more siniste r. On the surface, Psycho is about a woman who steals $40,00 0 in a misguided attempt to hel p her fiancee get out of debt. Afte r she disappears, her sister and her fiancee become suspiciou s, and they cooperate with a priv ate investigator to uncover the truth.



This is all just Bloch’s excuse to populate the stage with some characters and open the curtain on his masterpiece, Norman Bates. Alternately meek and overconfident, racked by debilitating guilt but capable of heinous acts, Norman is both Mother’s prisoner and her captor. “I think perhaps all of us go a little crazy at times,” he says. Bloch’s novel was the basis for Alfred Hitchcock’s famous movie, of course; that is the book’s blessing and its curse. The enduring popularity of Hitchcock’s film assured the novel’s longevity, and yet the iconic status of Psycho, the movie, has forever diluted the shock and impact of Psycho, the book. In some ways, Bloch was more honest with his audience than Hitchcock was. Hitchcock began his film like a

r, then straightforward thrille m under fro t ou rug the d lle pu ed that the viewer and reveal of d kin w ne a s wa s thi movie. psychological horror know rs de rea his let ch Blo re was immediately that the Bates something rotten in the cters ara ch y an t tha Motel, and hway wandering off the hig uld be to that isolated spot wo a spider snaring themselves in d Mother web, with Norman an . poised at the center



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The graphic novel Torso, written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Marc Andreyko is remarkable and one aspect we cant believe about this graphic After his success against Al novel is that it has taken so long to Capone in Chicago, Eliot Ness showcase this idea. After all, the became the Safety Director for the Cleveland Torso Murders have city of Cleveland and promised to everything needed to make clean up the town. Despite his blockbuster entertainment: reluctance, he was forced to gruesome murders, a determined become involved in the hero, highlevel corruption, insaninvestigation of several particularly ity, and cover-ups. Like the Jack nasty murders. Unable to bring the the Ripper case, the Cleveland case to a visible conclusion, Ness Torso Murders have developed lost his political power and their own mythology, and that eventually a bid for Mayor. As a primarily is what this novel result, Ness retired from public life explores. The actual facts of and died a few years later before the case are simple. television would make him a household name with The Untouchables. The case, however, would live on. Because it was unsolved, the case has spawned several interesting theories over the years — involving everything from an insane murderer protected by high-level political power to another infamously unsolved case, The Black Dahlia murder in Los Angeles.



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