The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson
Every time she bleeds a murderer is born. Experience the horror of Tade Thompson's The Murders of Molly Southbourne.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?
Published by Tor.com on October 3rd 2017
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Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Advance Reader Copy
FTC Disclosure: I received access to this book early through Advance Reader Copy (for free) in exchange for a review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I’ve been on reading restriction (thank you rude migraine disorder) for a while and it’s put a cramp in my insatiable need to read. Enter tor.com publishing novellas to save the day. After picking up every single title that looked interesting, h/t to Mysterious Galaxy for the life preserver, I am now more than a little obsessed with novellas of late.
But finding not only a good one but a great horror story was like coming home to find that the ordinarily rude-ass sock gnomes not only returned all the socks they’ve ever stolen but mated them before folding all the laundry judging me from baskets in my living room.
Ok, that didn’t happen but I did discover a novella worth that level of joy and happiness:
The Murders of Molly Southbourne.
The Murders of Molly Southbourne is the story of a young woman, named Molly, whose life is controlled by one impossible to keep rule: don’t bleed. Every time she fails, her blood births another “molly” and all “new molly” wants is to murder Molly.
Now, if that isn’t a premise that grabs you by the back of the head and shoves your face in this book well, then maybe you just have better impulse control than me. This story builds a world around this young woman and her condition that’s eerily captivating.
Tade Thompson’s done in less than 200 pages what some horror writers never accomplish in full-length novels, allowed his audience to share his main character’s growth from child to adulthood and become so wholly invested in her fate that you’re still trying to figure out how you feel about what you’ve learned weeks later.
Not only is Molly a point of fascination, her relationship with her parents, their relationship with each other, and the deep emotional disconnect her affliction forces upon her held me spellbound as all the ins-and-outs of this constant struggle against well, herself unfolded on the page.
Everything about the character building and story progression only drags you further into this world and pokes at your hindbrain (right where things better left in the shadows live).
Imagine having to kill yourself over and over before you’ve even reached the end of puberty.
Imagine the constant vigilance you and those you matter to would have to exercise just to keep you alive.
Now imagine, there’s never an end to this vicious cycle.
Who would you be? What would it drive you to do? What would you be capable of?
There’s nothing predictable, commonplace, or expected in this novella. Seriously, just as soon as I thought I knew where I was being led I was delightfully wrong.
Tade Thompson builds a narrative that’s undeniable in its content, pacing, and addictive quality.
This tale is so twisted and brutally vivid I stared at the last page for about ten minutes once I was done. Then I turned back to the first page and read the whole thing again.
I called people about it.
I’ve ordered it and sent it to people without asking.
I’ve shoved it into people’s hands so many times I don’t even know if I have a copy left in my apartment for myself.
I even dug through five boxes of books just to find a copy so I could shove it in a bookseller’s hand in the bookstore he works in.
The Murders of Molly Southbourne is some very fine psychological horror that’s absolutely one of the best things I’ve read in 2017.
It’s been optioned for a feature film and someone just needs to tell me where to send my money now because I’m all over watching this tale come to life.
If you like any kind of horror, psychological thrillers, or just a good story then you need to read this novella immediately.