locked up with the devil

To make going back to school more bearable, the Anagrama publishing house has finally published in our country a mammoth volume of more than a thousand pages, with the Diaries and notebooks (1941-1995) by the writer Patricia Highsmith. Some texts that collect the life of the author of strangers on a train from her youth to her last years of retirement in Switzerland and they give us the visceral and stark self-portrait of a woman extremely jealous of her privacy. Highsmith is also, with the permission of Thomas Harris and his sadistic gourmet Hannibal Lecter, the creator of modern literature’s most relevant psychopath, the talented Tom Ripley. Protagonist of five novels, Ripley’s stories have been adapted to the cinema on numerous occasions and with many faces (Alain Delon, Matt Damon, Dennis Hopper or John Malkovich, among others). The American writer made a murderous sociopath the center of much of her work; She, without a doubt, changed the rules of suspense, moving away from the tea room crime and the popular cluedos of Doña Agatha to focus on the psychological analysis of an unforgettable antihero.

Since the game is between psychopaths and sadists, this week’s recommendation is a miniseries released last July on the Apple TV platform, locked up with the devil (black bird). I have devoured all six chapters of this true crime as if I were Dr. Lecter himself before a sinister banquet composed of plump patients with onions, human brains in sauce and other delicacies for refined cannibals.

The series introduces us to Jimmy Keene (Taron Egerton), a Chicago drug dealer, sentenced to ten years in prison, who receives an offer that is difficult to refuse. The administration of justice offers him to commute his entire sentence if he carries out a mission for them: Jimmy must be transferred to a maximum security prison, befriend Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser), an alleged serial killer, and get the confession of his crimes to prevent him from stepping on the street again.

A journey of no return to the heart of darkness

Dennis Lehane is a reference name for devotees of the contemporary crime novel. He is responsible for such popular titles as Mystic River, Shutter Island either He disappeared one night all of them made into films with great critical and public success. As a television scriptwriter he has participated in several episodes of the mythical TheWire or in the most recent The visitor, adapting a work by the ubiquitous Stephen King. On this occasion, Lehane takes the reins of the project and proposes us, following the codes of the classic thriller and police, a six-hour journey to the most sinister side of the human soul. Thanks to a cast of actors in a state of grace, Egerton and Hauser in the lead, and a huge Ray Liotta in his last television role before he died, the series makes the viewer experience the drama of some characters on the edge, suffocated in an environment hostile. Nietzschean-breathed beings, afraid of peering into the abyss and discovering in their reflection the monster that lives within.

seeing locked up with the devil and the encounters between Jimmy and Larry, it is inevitable to think of the excellent Netflix fiction, mindhunter. The interviews between both characters return us to the patient and disturbing tempo of that series sponsored by director David Fincher (Seven, Zodiac, The social network), one of the pinnacles of modern fiction frozen since 2019 after only two seasons. Recently, the happy news of a possible continuation of the series has jumped into the media. Let us pray to God, to Allah, to Superman or to the sacrosanct algorithm of Netflix so that it is so. At the moment, we have locked up with the devil to whet your appetite and, believe me, it’s a really tasty aperitif.

locked up with the devil