The Victim by P. D. James

It was time to pick up another short story and I picked an absolute cracker by all accounts – authored by the incredible P. D. James and slotting into my all time favourite genre: thrillers! This story is told by a guy who has murdered the man who stole his wife and is recounting how he did it, why he did it and when he did it.

P. D. James begins her narrator’s tale by exploring the man’s background of who he was before the marriage and what she meant to him. This “look back” helped to reason why he became a murderer, and whilst it doesn’t forgive for what he did, it makes you almost sympathise with him.

The main focus of the story is the build up to the murder, which clearly the man is very proud of and happy to recount as he reminisces… and it’s hardly surprising because whilst the murder was over in minutes, the plotting took over a year. His meticulous care in ensuring he wouldn’t be caught or suspected made for a fascinating read; the lengths he went to, to scare the victim but remaining anonymous was canny and skilful.

The ending brought a twist that I hadn’t seen coming and provided another layer of ingenuity to this plot. I will always be in awe of short stories, the amount of detail packed into these pages is outstanding and The Victim has been my favourite short story to date!

To layout the plot to a murder, cover the murder and the police investigation all in 35 pages and for it to be as detailed and throughly covered as it was, is mind boggling!

The Victim is out now in paperback and eBook versions from Faber Stories.

Until next time, stay safe, Chloé x

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