Last week Publishers Weekly posted an interesting guest feature by novelist John Verdon (Let the Devil Sleep) on the topic of serial killers. More specifically, Verdon is writing about why the serial killer has found an enduring role in contemporary fiction. Verdon writes:

We can, for example, envision monsters we cannot escape. It’s a terrible predicament, this human capacity—one might even be tempted to say proclivity—or envisioning overwhelming problems.

This, I believe, is where fiction comes to the rescue. Fiction can alleviate the sense of terror and helplessness, by organizing our direst fantasies in a structure that provides a reassuring solution. Fiction can thus offer us a reassuring kind of order. Fiction can put the tiger in the cage.

This is a function of enormous emotional value. As human beings, we have the ability to imagine the worst. The devouring monster in the closet against which reason withers, hope dies, and only a paralyzing fear remains.

This of course got us thinking around the Soho offices. Especially that one part, about providing a “reassuring solution.” Personally, some of my favorite novels featuring a serial killer do everything but leave you reassured. So we set out to list ten of our favorite novels featuring humanity at its most monstrous and alien.

And because it’s Monday, we’d love to know what your favorite novel starring a murderous sociopath is.

Be sure to select the full screen and notes options for the slideshow to see our notes.