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The Basement by Stephen Leather
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The Basement (edition 2011)

by Stephen Leather

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897135,585 (3.09)3
Member:parkerpoison
Title:The Basement
Authors:Stephen Leather
Info:AmazonEncore (2011), Paperback, 134 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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The Basement by Stephen Leather

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This was my first Stephen Leather book and I loved it. I do have to admit, I did not fall in love with the main character, Marvin Waller, and that's one of the reasons I liked the book so much. I have a strong respect for authors that are talented enough to make you not like a character so much that you need to keep reading to find out what happened to them. Marvin Waller is a screenplay writer and I am hopeful that the screenplays he discusses in this book will turn into full length novels by Leather in the future.
I was a bit distracted by the spelling and editing in the book. I'm fine with English spellings but not when the book is set in NYC. Other than that, I thought the writing was great and I will definately be reading more works by Stephen Leather. ( )
  hghtashbry | Mar 28, 2013 |
This was my first Stephen Leather book and I loved it. I do have to admit, I did not fall in love with the main character, Marvin Waller, and that's one of the reasons I liked the book so much. I have a strong respect for authors that are talented enough to make you not like a character so much that you need to keep reading to find out what happened to them. Marvin Waller is a screenplay writer and I am hopeful that the screenplays he discusses in this book will turn into full length novels by Leather in the future.
I was a bit distracted by the spelling and editing in the book. I'm fine with English spellings but not when the book is set in NYC. Other than that, I thought the writing was great and I will definately be reading more works by Stephen Leather. ( )
  hghtashbry | Mar 27, 2013 |
Book Description:
New York is a city full of strangers. For NYPD detectives Turner and Marcinko, none are harder to figure out than the serial killer on the loose torturing and killing young women. In fact, right now, somewhere in the city, a woman is being held captive in a basement and it is up to the detectives to find her and the killer—before it’s too late.

As pressure mounts on Turner and Marcinko, their prime suspect is screenwriter wannabe Marvin Waller. He is becoming increasingly frustrated by his lack of success and the cops think he might be channeling his anger into murder—but he doesn’t seem to be at all concerned that they are hot on his trail. As Turner and Marcinko close in on Waller they have to wonder: is he the killer? And if he isn’t—who is?

Fusing shifting viewpoints with a growing sense of dread and almost unbearable suspense, the UK’s thriller master Stephen Leather arrives on the shores of the United States with The Basement, his most terrifying work to date.

My Thoughts:
This is my first time reading a book by Stephen Leather. I have to say that the book was a rather unique rendering of the mind of a serial killer.

Marvin Waller is a screenwriter who the police suspect for a series of serial killings in New York City. Waller is a macabre, sarcastic, and narcissistic individual who hates everything and everyone. He is clearly a lunatic and this story chronicles his sociopathy. He hates being ignored and underestimated. Weller continuously taunts Marcinko (cliché good cop) and Turner (cliché bad cop) with his knowledge of the law and his rights.

Things I didn’t like:
I have to say that I did not like the way “the serial killer” manipulated and raped Sarah Hall (physically and emotionally). He debases her by making her touch herself for his pleasure. He gets her hopes up and convinces her that he will let her go knowing that he will kill her once he has had his fun. *Scary*

I did not like the way Weller used the “N” word when referring to Turner to further taunt him after breaking into his house. Weller’s opinion of blacks is so stereotypical that it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I also did not like the way Weller manipulated the Turner situation so that he benefitted socially and financially from it. He had no problem destroying a man's life or that of his family. It was sickening.

Things I did like:
Justice was truly poetic for good ole Weller in the end!

The conclusion of the story was an interesting twist. You never would have guessed who the serial killer was which affirmed my opinion of just how bollixed this story truly was.

I have to say that I did not like the subject matter of this story at all. It was such a bleak look at humanity. The Basement provides too much detail on how to commit murder for the average person. This book in the wrong hands could be a Dummies Guide to Serial Killing. I was appalled and disgusted and felt as if I needed a shower after I finished reading it.

Despite my opinions on the content, the story was well written which is why it has garnered 3.5 stars. I like suspense but this book just was not my cup of tea at all. ( )
  4everbooklove | Feb 5, 2012 |
The book contains two viewpoints. Marvin Waller is a young writer whose part is written in first person. Much of his narration is spent telling us about his various screenplays. To me, this was like reading a synopsis of other books, many of which were more interesting than the actual events of the character's story. Marvin is a strange guy but we never really get to know him beyond his odd fixation with stalking actors and movie producers.

The serial killer's part is written in the rare second person, which I didn't like. I felt like I was being told what to think and feel, rather than experiencing the events and emotions of the character. This part of the story contains graphic sexually-based scenes and might be difficult for some readers to get through.

This is a short novel, with only 127 pages. The pace is quick but it's lacking character and plot development.

**I read the ARC of the new Amazon Encore release, not the original release.** ( )
  Darcia | Oct 27, 2011 |
First Stephen Leather I've read, but I'll be back for more.

An nice twisted tale written from the perspective of 2 voices, but which is which?

Will you get annoyed with or empathise with Marvin?

Well worth a read if you like unusual tales, reminds me a bit of Richard Laymon. ( )
  smeagol23 | Oct 10, 2011 |
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Torturing and murdering beautiful young women in New York City... it's easy to remain anonymous. And there's another victim in the basement right now... Detectives Turner and Marcinko are trying to narrow their list of suspects. Only time will tell if screenwriter wannabe Marvin Waller is their man-- and time is one thing they do not have...… (more)

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