Friday’s Forgotten Book: A Thirsty Evil by P.M. Hubbard (1974)

Author Ian Mackellar falls in love with Julia Mellors, very much at first-sight when they travel together on train. He then runs across her at a party and finds herself further fascinated by her. Though she is elusive, Mackellar somehow manages to track her down and finds her running a farm and looking after her younger brother and sister, Beth and Charlie. As Charlie is not quite there (?), Julia cannot think of leaving him and settling down with somebody, much to the chagrin of Mackellar. On top of that, Mackellar finds himself attracted towards the sexually forward Beth. Repulsed by his own lascivious thoughts as well as his mounting ire against Charlie whom he sees as a hindrance in his own happiness, Mackellar is further enraged when Charlie makes a murderous attack on him. Would they be able to emerge from the whirlpool of obsessive love and jealousy?

This is a strange book. Almost every character shows obsessive behaviour: Ian in his love for Julia, Julia in her unfathomable concern for Beth and Charlie, Beth in her desire to best her sister in every way, Charlie in his hold over his two sisters. I found all of them unpleasant and couldn’t sympathise with any of them. Nonetheless, the story had me turning the pages quickly and I found the novel better than the earlier two reads of Hubbard.


First Line: I sat opposite her in a train for a couple of hours, and we neither of us said a word to each other the whole time.

Publishing Details: NY: Atheneum, 1974

First Published: 1974

Pages: 157

Source: Open Library

Other Books read of the same author: The Dancing Man, A Rooted Sorrow

7 thoughts on “Friday’s Forgotten Book: A Thirsty Evil by P.M. Hubbard (1974)

  1. You made this sound interesting though! I am partial to obsessives who wreck things for everyone – but would have a hard time reading this because of that cover, wowzers. Whomever that is, they need an oculist.


    1. I quite like the cover, Eden😃 The story did interest me though I wasn’t convinced by Julia’s love for her brother and sister. With them she comes across as a masochist while with Ian she was anything but. if you read it (you can choose one with another cover:), I’d love to read your thoughts on it.


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