Killing Time: A Novel
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Killing Time is a psychological novel about crime. The hero, Joseph Detweiler, is the world's most courteous, sensitive, sincere, and likable killer. He is even innocent of the fact that a crime has been committed.This tough and bizarre story breaks all the rules. It is not a whodunit, because the killer is already known. It is not a detective story or a sociological treatise on crime, because it is told from the point of view of the criminal.
habitually but abandoned without declaration in an emergency, and all his cases were emergencies, all crimes, all arrests, all trials. Though premeditation in itself was not necessarily either reasonable or normal, if it came to that. He could prove as much to any twelve human beings who understood the English language, and more importantly, he could make them remember it beyond the prosecutor’s rebuttal and the judge’s instructions. “If a deed is insane in the commission, can the planning of it
had mistaken Arthur’s expression. Alloway narcissistically believed himself a massive threat to the institution of marriage. He was sure that Arthur seethed with jealousy, and he intended to try to mollify him. Standing before the dresser, Arthur spotted in the looking glass what he understood as Alloway’s beastly attempt to steal up on him from behind. Furiously he turned and said—trouble was, he could think of nothing to say that would not compromise himself. To acknowledge a pervert as a
no.’ He said, ‘Then it’s my right.’ And with true zeal he struck it once in the center of my skull and a lot of cracks appeared, then slowly the fragments parted and fell. I felt very queasy.” Betty waited. Tierney glanced at Arthur hulking above her in his sack suit. Detweiler was wrong in the theory that only the fundamental structure mattered. Human beings were of a piece, including their attire. A skeleton was not necessarily basic. Look at Tierney being intellectual! thought Tierney,
than the other: a demonstration of the difficulties you got into when the subject of belonging arose. “I can take a hint,” said Betty, rising too but moving little. “No,” said Detweiler. “You have a lovely apartment. It’s the nicest room I have ever had. I hope I can continue on. I won’t make a mess. I have given up sculpture, so there won’t be any clay around to get on the carpet.” “Sculpture?” Betty said. Detweiler repeated that he no longer practiced the craft, but to no avail; she kept
puzzled about it, and they work pretty darn hard. It makes me feel lousy to keep them in suspense, taking up their time with a problem I could very easily settle.” “But would they be any better off?” asked his mother. “The police always have lots of work. Any job you take off their hands will be replaced with another. It reminds me of that time you worked as a postal clerk, sorting mail. You would dispose of a great stack of letters, all in the proper pigeonholes, and it was a real satisfying