This is a great psychological thriller. A young man working for his older boss is driven mad by the man’s filmy blue eye. Over a week, he creeps into his employers bedroom turning a lamp on his eye to make sure the man doesn’t wake.
The night he decides to kill his boss, he accidently wakes him up while opening the lantern. At first the man is not sure he wants to kill him; but the sound of the old man’s heart beating drives him over the edge.
After killing the man, he dismembers his body and places it under the floor boards. Meanwhile a neighbor overheard the screams and called the police. In arrogance the man invites the police officers into the employers bedroom and sits over the spot where he has concealed the body. But guilt drove him mad, and he confesses.
I read this story when I was in high school. It was great. The best thing about this story is that although it is extraordinarily short, Poe is able to build tension. I could feel the tension between the murderer and victim as they both waited for the other shoe to drop. I could feel myself going mad as the murderer thought he could hear the victims heart beat. Most books can’t convey that level of emotion in a few paragraphs, but Poe is a genius!!!! So if you’re looking for a chilling tale for the next camp out or Halloween party, you might what to try this one.