Margaret Millar is fiendishly clever in this social mystery. The plot centers around Charlie Gowen, a young man in his 30s with “issues.” Charlie’s mind works differently from most people’s and Millar depicts Charlie’s twisted thought-process brilliantly. Charlie’s 12-year-old mind is obsessed with 12-year-old girls. Two of the couples in The Fiend are dealing with divorce (or the prospect of divorce). When a child goes missing, the police uncover plenty of secrets. If you haven’t read Margaret Millar before, be prepared for insightful social commentary and a surprising plot. No matter what you expect, Millar will surprise you.