Maeve Fly

Macmillan Audio Jun. 2023. 7:59 hrs. ISBN 9781250901125. $19.99. HORROR
Leede’s gruesome debut novel follows Maeve Fly, who, when not portraying an ice princess at “the happiest place on Earth,” wanders the Sunset Strip’s seedy bars, emulating her misanthropic literary heroes and drinking. Maeve’s worldview is upended when her best friend’s brother Gideon moves to town, and some truly disturbing sculptures appear throughout the city. Soon, Maeve’s life unravels, and she must evolve, adopting a persona that’s less casually misanthropic and more unashamedly brutal. Maeve has a lot of violence in her, and on Halloween night, she releases that violence on an unsuspecting Los Angeles. The LA setting, along with the theme park that cannot be named, make this book seem like a satire of the town’s artifice. Still, Leede’s words and narrator Sosie Bacon’s voice imbue Maeve with thought-provoking realism and earnestness, even as her violent acts become more savagely creative. Ramping up the violence until the very end, the novel climaxes in a tragic event that will leave listeners empathizing with Maeve, even after the bloody trail she’s left.
VERDICT Leede’s chilling case study on how to create a monster should appeal to fans of Bella Mackie’s How To Kill Your Family and Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho.
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