They live among us, and our books.
Not werewolves. Not vampires. Human beings with deep-seated darkness and the inclination to commit twisted and disturbing crimes. But what is it about them that so fascinates us, including writers and readers? It could be because they're outliers, those on the fringes of society, and their differences intrigue us.
Some of us also have a tendency to fantasize about our worst fears and anxieties and fiction recreates those fears in a safe environment. From a recent Psychology Today cover on sociopaths, to popular television shows like Showtime's "Dexter," to last summer's rave bestselling thriller, Gone Girl, we're clearly enamored. Why do you think these monstrous characters are so popular?
Click through for a list starring a series of twisted and chilling characters and one novel in the running to be the next Gone Girl.
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