‘To run or fight is the most important rule, but there is also the blood rule. Don’t bleed.’
I’ve been hearing great things about author Tade Thompson over the last couple of years. ‘Rosewater,’ his 2016 Nigeria-set sf novel, has been receiving high praise around the blogosphere. (I recently bought a copy and will be reading it in November.)
I chose The Murders of Molly Southbourne as one of my 2018 Halloween reads. It’s a very readable horror novella about coming of age, survival and murder. It has a nonlinear narrative, opening with a tense scene that occurs right near the end of the story. Learning how we reach that scene is both compelling and disturbing.
This story features a beautifully realized protagonist who we follow from childhood to university life. Molly is a fascinating creation by author Tade Thompson. Her acceptance of her unique “gift” and growing maturation as a character makes for engrossing reading. Molly’s parents are equally well written, and I would’ve liked to have learnt more about them. Unfortunately, the novella format and short length of the story prevent this.
So, how much horror is in here? Well, there are a lot of descriptions of blood and some brutal fighting scenes. But these scenes are necessary because of the original premise of this book. They also advance the plot and develop Molly as a character. If you have any interest in horror or weird fiction, then this addictive and fascinating story deserves your attention.
The Murders of Molly Southbourne is a page-turning novella which gets a very high recommendation from me. I really enjoyed it and was sorry to reach the end. It pulled me out of my recent reading slump and helped me to remember why I love reading.
Check out the publisher’s synopsis at the end of this post if you want to know more plot details. Skip it if you don’t. Personally, I would go into this story knowing as little about it as possible.
‘The rule is simple: don’t bleed.
For as long as Molly Southbourne can remember, she’s been watching herself die. Whenever she bleeds, another molly is born, identical to her in every way and intent on her destruction.
Molly knows every way to kill herself, but she also knows that as long as she survives she’ll be hunted. No matter how well she follows the rules, eventually the mollys will find her. Can Molly find a way to stop the tide of blood, or will she meet her end at the hand of a girl who looks just like her?’