The King’s Evil – Will Heinrich

The King’s Evil was one of the most interesting and disturbing books I’ve read recently. Throughout the book, you will continuously wait for something to happen, while you will get to know yourself better, and you will probably be terrified of yourself. It is an absorbing book that will end in one sitting.


The King's Evil - Will Heinrich

The King’s Evil tells the story of Joseph Malderoyce. After seeing Mondrian’s paintings, he believed that he would never become a painter, and then followed his father’s path and became a lawyer. When he loses his family from tuberculosis one after another, Joseph is left with an inheritance that he could not spend in his lifetime. Instead of working as a lawyer, which is a profession he does not like when he has all this money, he moves away from the city and settles in a small town. He starts living alone in an exceptional house in this town, next to a beautiful pine forest. The book gains momentum from that point on.

One morning Joseph comes across a child sleeping on his porch. This child is wet, cold and beaten, looking miserable. Joseph hosts this boy, whom he later found out to be Abel, in his home. After a while, Abel becomes an indispensable part of his life even though we know nothing about his past. We all know that he will unexpectedly change Joseph’s life. What do you think “just a child” can do? The book tells a story and tells the reader a lot about what kind of person they are. Enjoy!

The King's Evil - Will Heinrich

The King’s Evil

Joseph Malderoyce is a philosophical man with a taste for Mondrian and something of an obsession with tuberculosis. When he inherits a large sum of money, Joseph leaves his stultifying job at a law firm and moves to an unremarkable town in the far north of an unnamed country. There, in a house on the edge of a pine forest, he lives in solitude until the morning he finds a badly beaten young boy asleep on his porch. Abel, apparently a helpless orphan, gradually insinuates himself into Joseph’s life, becoming his closest confidant. But as their relationship deepens, Abel’s behaviour turns cruel and even sadistic, and Joseph is force to confront a growing evil in his house — a darkness that seems to emanate as much from him as from the child. Soon Joseph begins to be visit by fantasies of violence he may not be able to control.

Meticulously crafted and irresistibly creepy, The King’s Evil is a provocative and unsettling modern morality tale that probes man’s intrinsic nature and the unilluminated recesses of his psyche. It is a mesmerizing debut from a brilliant young writer.

Will Heinrich

Will Heinrich was born in New York and spent his early childhood in Japan. His novel The King’s Evil was publish in 2003 and won a PEN/Bingham Fellowship in 2004. Currently, he writes about art for the New Yorker and the New York Times.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

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