Favorite Villains: Luther Kite

Welcome to Wild Card Wednesday.  Today, we’re going to talk villains.  I’m going to share a profile of one of my favorite villains. At the end of the post, I’ll invite you to share your favorite villain with me.

Luther Kite is a creation of horror author Blake Crouch.  He is a major character in Blake Crouch’s Andrew Z. Thomas trilogy, in which he first appears in DESERT PLACES.  He plays larger roles in the other two books of the trilogy, LOCKED DOORS and BREAK YOU.  Luther also stars in several short stories that appear in the SERIAL anthologies.

Luther is one of my favorite villains.  He’s extremely well-drawn.  In the Andrew Z. Thomas trilogy, Luther is a villain without a point-of-view (hereafter POV).  In many of the short stories featuring Luther, however, Crouch writes in Luther’s POV.

Getting to know Luther through reading about him in his POV didn’t have the Dexter effec.  By that, I mean Luther did not become a nice person.  He’s still the last person I’d want to encounter.  Let me tell y’all about him.

Luther is tall and thin.  He wears his black hair long.  His victims describe his black eyes  as soulless.  Luther’s teeth are brown and rotten because he steadily eats lemon candies, spitting out the candy’s center after he sucks away the outer coating.  Luther has a personal smell his victims associate with Windex.

Luther travels with a red craftsman toolbox.  Inside this toolbox, Luther has a collection of antique surgical tools.  Luther uses these tools to carry out torture sessions, which he calls painings.

Some of the items in Luther’s toolbox:

Artificial leech — At one point in medical history, bloodletting was thought to cure or prevent disease.  The artificial leech was considered to be a sterile and efficient method of bloodletting.  The spikes at the end of the aluminum tube laceratated the patient’s skin.  The aluminum tube vacuumed up the blood.

Scarificator — This instrument was also used for bloodletting.  It contained a series of twelve blades.  The device was cocked and a trigger released spring-driven rotary blades.  The blades made shallow cuts.  The scarifacator was considered considered one of the more merciful of the blood-letting instruments.

Cervical Dilator – Used to dilate a woman’s cervix during labor.  Fell out of use because it tore the cervix.

Circumcision Knife — Used to perform a circumcision on male children.

Lithotome — Used to cut the bladder to remove stones.  The shaft was inserted into the bladder.  Then, a hidden spring-loaded blade was released using the handle.

Tonsil Guillotine — Used to perform a tonsillectomy.  Though tonsillectomy by guillotine was popular in the 1800s, it fell out of practice in the early 1900s due to patients experiencing heavy bleeding and recurrent sore throats.

Blake Crouch never reveals exactly how Luther uses these items.  His readers are instead left to their own imaginations, which is quite possibly worse than anything Mr. Crouch could write.

Luther Kite was born in 1972.  He is the son of Rufus (AKA Sweet-Sweet) and Maxine (AKA Beautiful).  He grew up on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina.  Luther and his parents lived in a very old stone house that has a labyrinth of corridors in the basement.

When Luther was five-years-old, he and his family were the victims of a brutal attack by two mean.  The men, whose names were Ben and Winston, ended the attack by kidnapping Luther’s sister Katie.  Katie, who was eight-years-old at the time, was never found dead or alive.

The attack was the undoing of the Kite family.  Luther, Rufus, and Maxine became ruthless murderers.  They kidnapped young girls to replace Katie and killed them when they didn’t work out.  As Luther got older, his parents sent him out to kidnap tourists whom they presumably murdered and buried in the enormous basement beneath the stone house.

Luther is known to kidnap men who remind him of Ben or Winston and torture them to death.

Luther and his father share a fantasy of a death/torture chair.  In LOCKED DOORS, Luther and his father build an electric chair to use on a victim.

In BREAK YOU, Luther has a torture chair built.  This chair effectively restrains the victim.  Luther can then choose to employ the following misery causing conditions:

  • Heat
  • Cold
  • Electricity
  • Perforation
  • Abrasion
  • Blunt Force Trauma
  • Pressure

Luther is mean, sadistic, ruthless, and scary.  Even when he’s on the losing end, he never begs for mercy.  It would seem a man like this would have no friends, but he does.

Luther’s best friend and mentor was the late Orson Thomas, brother of Andrew Z. Thomas.  Andrew is the star of a trilogy of books I mentioned earlier.  This trilogy begins with DESERT PLACES in which Orson buries a murder victim on Andrew’s property and frames him for the murder.

Even so, Luther is not someone to trust.  He’s not someone to underestimate.  He is, however, looking for new readers who enjoy being scared.  Are you curious enough to have a visit with him?


Museum of Quackery

Surgical Technologists: Scary Old Surgical Tools

Cult of Weird

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