A search for the origins of the darkest parts of human nature, The Spider and the Fly is a multifaceted listening experience that will chill you to the bone.
In this superb work of literary true crime - a spellbinding combination of memoir and psychological suspense - a female journalist chronicles her unusual connection with a convicted serial killer and her search to understand the darkness inside us.
'Well, well, Claudia. Can I call you Claudia? I'll have to give it to you, when confronted at least you're honest, as honest as any reporter ... You want to go into the depths of my mind and into my past. I want a peek into yours. It is only fair, isn't it?' - Kendall Francois
In September 1998, young reporter Claudia Rowe was working as a stringer for the New York Times in Poughkeepsie, New York, when local police discovered the bodies of eight women stashed in the attic and basement of the small colonial home that Kendall Francois, a painfully polite 27-year-old community-college student, shared with his parents and sister.
Growing up amid the safe, bourgeois affluence of New York City, Rowe had always been secretly fascinated by the darkness, and soon became obsessed with the story and with Francois. She was consumed with the desire to understand just how a man could abduct and strangle eight women - and how a family could live for two years, seemingly unaware, in a house with the victims' rotting corpses. She also hoped to uncover what humanity, if any, a murderer could maintain in the wake of such monstrous evil.
Reaching out after Francois was arrested, Rowe and the serial killer began a dizzying four-year conversation about cruelty, compassion and control; an unusual and provocative relationship that would eventually lead her to the abyss, forcing her to clearly see herself and her own past - and why she was drawn to danger.
About the Author
Claudia Rowe is an award-winning journalist who has been twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, Woman’s Day, Yes! and Seattle’s alternative weekly, The Stranger. Currently, Claudia is a staff writer at the Seattle Times.
Her coverage of social issues, race and violence has been honoured by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University and the Journalism Center on Children & Families, which awarded her a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.
'Extraordinarily suspenseful and truly gut-wrenching ... not just a superb true-crime story but an insightful investigation of the nature of evil, the fragility of good, and the crooked road that can turn human beings into monsters.' -- Gillian Flynn, New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl
'[Listeners] seeking a literary look at the psychology of a criminal will find much to hold them rapt.' -- Booklist
Series: A Reporter, a Serial Killer, and the Meaning of Murder
Published: 28th June 2017
Publisher: Bolinda Publishing
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 13.4 x 14.6
Weight (kg): 0.21
Edition Type: Unabridged