Like 666, Rapture is a novel that I read after coming across the cover in Grady Hendrix’s Paperbacks From Hell….
“Ah!” you’re saying, “so this is all Grady Hendrix’s fault!”
Well, kind of but not really. Unlike 666, Rapture was actually a well-written and legitimately frightening book. I mean, I probably wouldn’t have ever heard of this book if it wasn’t in Paperbacks from Hell but it’s not like anyone owes me an apology for inspiring me to read it or anything.
Anyway, Rapture deals with a guy named Jeff. Jeff grew up in Connecticut but then he left for California, where he made a fortune in computers and suffered through one bad marriage. Now, he’s nearly 40 and he can’t escape the feeling that maybe something is missing from his life.
When Jeff’s father dies, Jeff returns to Connecticut and accidentally on purpose runs into Georgianne. Jeff grew up with Georgianne. They were best friends in high school but they were never more than friends. Now, years later, Jeff thinks that was a missed opportunity. In fact, he soon convinces himself that he and Georgianne were meant to be together. The only problem is that Georgianne is happily married and has a teenage daughter, Bonnie. In fact, as Jeff observers, Bonnie looks almost exactly the same way that her mother did at that age….
It looks like Jeff is going to have to murder a few people if he wants to find true love. Jeff turns out to be surprisingly skilled when it comes to killing people. Either that or the police are just totally incompetent. (Rapture was written in 1987, which might explain some of Jeff’s success. If it was written today, DNA, texting, and social media would have rendered the entire story implausible.) But is Jeff really as clever as he thinks he is?
While I was reading Rapture, I kept thinking that it would make a good Lifetime miniseries. (I then checked the imdb and I discovered that Rapture apparently was turned into a made-for-TV movie in 1991.) It’s a shamelessly sordid little tale, one that is all the more disturbing because Thomas Tessier tells almost the entire story from Jeff’s twisted point of view. Though Tessier wisely resists the temptation to use a first person narrator, he still puts you in the head of a madman. It’s more than a little icky. At the same time, it’s undeniably effective and creepy.
In fact, I would say that it’s time for Lifetime to remake Rapture. Pair it up with the latest episode of YOU. It’ll be great, I promise!