He knew that her friend (whose husband had not come at all) was also out doing errands — and the foretaste of finding the girl alone melted like cocaine in his loins."
This pre-cursor to Lolita is at times both more disturbing and more compelling. At its core is a horrific premise of a man who marries a vulnerable, sickly woman in order to access her young daughter. That is the stuff of nightmares. So, why is this novella so compelling? Perhaps because his own horror with his actions is so viscerally realised. You feel his self disgust at his scheming and actions. That you can experience any kind of sympathy with the protagonist is a reflection of how brilliantly this is written.
I'm glad I don't have kids because my fear would always be single and to be in the situation of the mother in this story.
4 out of 5 pervy step dads are dangerous.