The Seducer, by Claudia Moscovici, is a novel about a psychopath. But it’s not a Hollywood-style psychopath who stalks unsuspecting strangers to commit ritual murder. This story is much closer to reality—the reality that many of us were horrified to discover.
The author, Moscovici, knows of what she writes, because she lived through her own nightmare with a psychopath. Because of her experience, she created the Psychopathy Awareness blog, to help people learn about these human predators.
Her thorough understanding of this disordered personality is apparent in the book. The Seducer tells a compelling story of how the psychopaths who live among us pursue their agendas, and how their unknowing targets react.
Michael is young, handsome, clever and has only one real objective in life—sex. Women exist only for his personal gratification, and he is always in pursuit of gratification. Yes, he has a fiancé, Karen, whom he keeps around as a backup plan while in search of other adventures. Then he meets Ana, who is married, although the spark left her marriage long ago. Suddenly Michael has a new goal—making Ana his. He turns on the charm, and Ana responds.
Because this is a novel, Moscovici has the luxury of taking us wherever she wants, and she takes us into the heads of the predator and his targets. The cold, calculated way in which Michael decides his next move is disconcerting, but probably accurate for a certain segment of psychopaths. The reactions of Karen and Ana will certainly ring true for readers who found themselves caught in psychopathic webs.
The story itself is compelling—I always wanted to know what would happen next. Moscovici gradually builds the tension until the surprise twist at the end, which left me feeling like I’d been punched in the stomach. But I also knew the ending could have happened in real life.
From a storytelling perspective, The Seducer is a good read. For those of us who have endured disordered romantic partners, it is validating. And if someone doesn’t really know what a psychopath is, this book can serve as a good education