These Violent Delights: A Novel
While dealing with the aftermath of his father’s suicide, university freshman Paul Fleischer befriends wealthy and magnetic Julian Fromme – a friendship that is both volatile and destructive from the start. Highly intelligent and quite self-centered, neither of them has ever felt like they’ve met anyone who could challenge them or even come close to understanding their complicated thoughts and unconventional interests, until they become acquainted through a university course on research ethics. Even though they are alike in their intellectualism, they are almost polar opposites in every other aspect. Julian is charming, knows how to navigate the social contexts, and thrives in the spotlight, while Paul is more reserved, used to being overlooked and underestimated. Their relationship starts innocently enough with sharing philosophical ideas, but soon evolves into an obsessive and unhealthy love that knows no limits and which culminates in coming up with ways to commit the perfect crime. Whereas the nefarious consequences of teenage angst are handled masterfully, the plot drags around the mid-point and the characterization suffers as there’s more telling than showing.
This haunting debut will make you wonder if some relationships are truly doomed from the very beginning. It’s perfect for dark academia and true crime enthusiasts.
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