It’s rare that an author, or pair of authors, in this case, can bring to life a character who seems quite hopelessly repugnant in the first scenes of a novel, and yet turn him around through deft revelations to swing wide through a character arc into a downright hero.
Jim Christopher and Ellis Vidler have accomplished such a feat, and in The Peeper, their combined effort psychological thriller, they hooked me from the beginning.
Someone’s watching and then murdering young coeds. This someone happened to cross the path of young, intellectually challenged Elliott Cash, who habitually hangs around the outsides of dorm rooms to peep inside. During one of his usual stints, Elliot hears and is horribly close to the abduction and murder of a young girl he knows. Afraid to intervene, he hides and runs away. But later, curiosity draws him to the scene of the murder, where he tries to say goodbye and offer his apologies to the deceased.
Simple of mind and pure of heart, this young man longs to be important. He speaks to an inner personality—Jeremy—who is quite bolder and frankly, crueler, than Elliot. Jeremy drives him, befriends him, and scolds him. But nothing can stop Elliott’s desire to help the police, and maybe one day even be deputized.
Little does he know, the events that roll out in this gripping thriller indeed do draw him into a dangerous net, where his staunch heart and good spirit enable him to try to save a young girl’s life.
Written in a smooth and engaging style, The Peeper is highly a recommended thriller.