Insanity is characterized by extreme foolishness or irrationality. It is the state of being seriously mentally ill. Most normal people do not aspire to insanity. We are a world of people who take pride in intellectual superiority. However, those of us who enjoy reading are thrilled to encounter an insane character in a novel. Insanity breeds suspense. By the sheer nature of its definition, insanity creates anxiety and fear. The insane person is powerful in that he or she can rule any situation due to a severe lack of rationality. And the worst part of all is that most verifiable insane persons look normal. As normal as you or I. And therein lies their competence. They have the ability to act anyway that they want, say what they want, and do what they want. It’s allowed and overlooked because they are insane.
“Alice in Wonderland”, known originally as “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” was written in 1865 by Lewis Carrol, an English mathematician. This book is notably fantasy and it has become popular with children and adults throughout the years since published. But I would definitely put it on the shelf amongst thriller novels by virtue of its content. A child falls into a rabbit hole where she meets talking animals. One of whom is referred to as the “Mad Hatter.” He is not called mad because he’s angry, but rather because he’s insane. Now imagine the fear this child experienced right from the beginning. She’s stoned, (the rocks turn to cake and cause her to grow), she’s ridiculed and gawked at, and she’s far from home. And then comes the Queen of Hearts who shouts endlessly “Off with her head!” This story would not have been the same without these characters who bleed instability and lunacy. Insanity at its best rules this story, along with suspense and mystery. Numerous versions of this novel have been adapted to film. In fact, “Alice in Wonderland” may be in theaters where you live today, starring Johnny Depp.
“A Moving Screen,” is a story of a serial killer. One who is obviously irrational and demented based on the way he chooses to take the lives of his victims. And yet his methods and knowledge of forensics border on genius. The reader will soon realize that every move that Michael makes has been thought out carefully. Not only that, Michael relies on the help of a power greater than himself for success of his mission. He is extremely competent, for the police have no clues to his identity or that he really exists. Only one police officer, Dennis Cane, has noticed his killing spree that occurs twice a year. Unfortunately, Michael is insane. He has to be! But the story would not be the same without his presence. Once again insanity breeds suspense, anxiety, and fear. And it definitely rules in “A Moving Screen.”