An Absolute Gentleman Author:R. M. Kinder A gripping first novel, based on the author's real-life relationship with a convicted murderer, that delves with subtlety and nuance rather than violence and sensationalism into the mind of a serial killer. — Meet Arthur Blume: charming guy, small-town college English professor, struggling writer, and occasional murderer. In this chilling deb... more »ut novel, acclaimed author R.M. Kinder draws on her firsthand experience of dating a convicted murderer to brilliantly channel the voice of a polite, even sympathetic man who just happens to be a serial killer.
An Absolute Gentleman opens in a prison cell, where Arthur Blume is hard at work writing an account of his life--one stained in places with abuse and cruelty, but also characterized by everyday banality. Only as the plot unravels do the chinks in Arthur's armor of normality begin to surface, and the monster beneath the pleasant facade appears as Arthur closes in on his next victim.« less
This is the chilling story of a serial killer told in the first-person by the murderer, who is outwardly a pleasant Creative Writing professor in a small midwestern college. His history with his mother is told in enough detail that we understand why he is both attracted to and repulsed by women. There is a haunting, vacant quality to his interactions with colleagues and students, and the suspense builds to a crescendo of violence that is unimaginably evil.
This character is based on a real-life serial murderer known to the author, which adds to the horrible knowledge that these damaged minds do truly exist and live among us in various guises. I was reminded of the dawning knowledge among Ted Bundy's friends when the range and depth of his murders were known.