This is such a stupid book. Basically, some guy wrote a novel based on the movie Seven. Why? Why does there need to be a book? The movie kicks so much ass, I just don't know why someone has to come along and write some long boring book…go watch the movie. The movie has Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt and is about some crazy dude who goes and kills people with the theme of the Seven Deadly Sins. If you don't know the seven deadly sins…they are as follows:
Greed, Gluttony, Sloth, Envy, Wrath, Pride, and Lust. Basically, these are the worst sins that you can commit and you will go to hell if you do…according to that wonderful institution…the Catholic Church. Personally, I think everyone has committed these "sins" somewhere in their life so it will be nice to know we are all going to hell together. C'mon, who doesn't eat that extra slice of pizza even though they are full? Who doesn't spend a weekend lying on the couch just watching TV? Who doesn't get angry? Who doesn't envy someone and have some lustful thoughts about some hottie? The author that this book always refers to with regards to the 7 deadly sins is Dante and his "Divine Comedy". If you have seen the movie, then you already know the plot to this book. The book is just about identical to the movie except for a few things the stupid author added in. Also, the author writes what people are thinking in the book which is maybe different from the movie. My suggestion for anyone who has to read this book for class is to smack your teacher upside the head for assigning it and then go rent the movie and watch it.
Lieutenant William Somerset: He is the main detective who is played by Morgan Freeman in the movie. He has lived in the city and been a detective for a long long time and he is really smart. He is seven days away from retiring when the book starts.
Detective David Mills: He is a young detective (played by Brad Pitt) who comes to the city from outside the city and hasn't seen all the evil shit that is in the city. He thinks he is tough and wants Somerset to respect him, and also teach him.
Tracy Mills: David's wife. She is his highschool sweetheart who is a real nice woman. She hates the city and wishes they never came.
John Doe: This guy is the sick bastard who commits all the crimes. You don't find out anything about where he came from, but you do know he is really smart.
The Captain: This is the head of the police. He doesn't want Somerset to retire because he knows how good he is.
If you have seen the movie, you know the plot already. He is a breakdown of what happens. Somerset is partnered with this new guy (Det. Mills). Somerset is going to retire in seven days. Mills thinks he is hot shit but Somerset doesn't think Mills has what it takes to deal with all the bad shit in the city. They get a call about a possible homicide and it is a big fat guy who is dead, face down in spaghetti. He has been tied to his chair for a few days and forced to eat. They find out he died from eating too much and someone held a gun to his head. Then this big time defense lawyer gets killed by cutting a pound of his own flesh and the word "greed" is written in blood on the wall. Somerset goes back to the scene of the fat man killer and finds the word "Gluttony" written in grease and also a note from the killer saying "Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light". He realizes that they have a serial killer. So he goes to the library and reads up on all these books about the Seven deadly sins and gives it all to Mills. Somerset doesn't want to get involved in the case because he is retiring soon and he knows he will get sucked in. Then Mills' wife invites Somerset over for dinner. Mills is pissed off because he doesn’t think Somerset gives him any respect and treats him like a kid. They eat dinner and Tracy Mills is charming so it all goes well. Then Mills and Somerset look at pictures of the murders and there is a picture of the lawyer's wife with blood around her eyes. So, they go talk to her and she looks at the pictures and says the painting in his office is upside down.
So, Mills and Somerset go look at the painting and then Somerset dusts for prints and finds the world help me in finger prints on the wall behind the painting. They run the prints and get some dude who has been in trouble with the law. So, they bust into his house and find this guy tied to his bed with his hand cut off. He has been there for exactly one year and he looks like a skeleton. They think he is dead but he is alive. They hope maybe he can talk, but his brain is fried and he ate his own tongue. The word "Sloth" is written over his bed. Do you see a pattern emerging? Then Mills and Somerset are talking and this photographer takes their picture and Mills flips out at him. (this is important).
Mills and Somerset are pretty down right now because the killer is totally fucking with them. They know that all the clues they have found are because the killer left them to find them. Then Somerset gets a great idea. He goes to the library and gets a list of all these books relating to the seven deadly sins and he gives it to this FBI guy. The FBI is tapped into all the libraries so they know what you read and they can bust your ass if you are a freak and read books on how to make bombs and kill people. The FBI guy brings back a list of names and one guy sticks out….John Doe. John Doe is what they call unidentified dead bodies so it seems like a good name for a killer. They go to his apartment and when they are about to knock on his door, John Doe comes home and starts shooting at them. Mills chases him out and runs into an alley where John Doe wails him with a board and then sticks a gun in his mouth. Then, instead of blowing his brains out, John Doe takes off. Mills is all pissed off because John Doe kicked his ass so he goes back to the apartment. Somerset says they can't go in because they have no probable cause. So, Mills kicks the door in and they pay some homeless guy 20 bucks to say he called the cops about John Doe being suspicious.
John Doe's apartment is freaky. It's all black and has all this shit from the murders, like the hand of the guy he cut off. Also, Mills finds pictures of himself in the guy's bathroom, which he converted into a darkroom. That means the photographer at the scene of that last murder was John Doe. See how bad he is fucking with them? Somerset finds all these notebooks with John Doe's thoughts and the problem is that he isn't too insane. His thoughts actually make sense….too bad he kills people huh? They find a receipt from some exotic leather store and they decide to check it out tomorrow.
That night, Somerset gets a call from Tracy Mills asking him to meet her tomorrow. The next morning he has coffee with her and she tells him she has no friends and hates the city. She also tells him she is pregnant with David's baby but doesn't know if she wants to bring it up in a place sooo bad. Somerset thinks David should stop playing Super Cop and leave the city for his wife and baby. Then Somerset meets Mills at the leather shop and they find out John Doe had a special device made. It's basically a strap on didlo thing with a knife on it. Just then, some policemen come in and say they have found another body. They go down the street to this whorehouse and find this nasty scene. Some guy is still alive and he is wearing the knife-dildo thing and he is all freaked out because there is a dead prostitute who he banged while wearing the knife. I don't need to say how nasty that is. Well, the guy did it because John Doe had a gun in his mouth and made him do it. The word "Lust" is written on the wall.
Then they find another victim. She is a really beautiful lady who did a lot to keep her looks and her face is all cut up. John Doe cut her face up and then bandaged the wounds, then he superglued a phone in her one hand and a bottle of pills in the other and gave her a choice…you can call for help and live…but you will be disfigured OR you can just kill yourself by taking the pills. The word "pride" is written above her bed as well as "I did not kill her. She was given a choice". On the way back to the police station, Somerset tells Mills he would like to stay on longer because this is all messed up and he can't leave loose ends. As they are walking in the station, John Doe walks in too covered in blood and gives himself up. Everyone is confused because there are still two sins left. John Doe tells the police that he will sign a full confession and show the police the other two bodies if and only if Mills and Somerset drive him alone at a certain time. If not, he will plead insanity and never show the bodies. Mills and Somerset agree and they drive John Doe. There is a helicopter that follows them and they are wearing microphones. They talk in the car and Somerset tries to find out who John Doe really is. Mills is more interested in mocking him out and calling him a sick puppy. He says that John Doe is crazy because he killed all these innocent people. John Doe goes off on how they weren't innocent….a disgusting fat guy, a greedy lawyer who put criminals on the street, a whore, a drug dealing low life (sloth), and a lady who only cared about how she looked. He talks about how he is showing the world how bad things are because we are willing to accept these things as every day life.
They drive out to a deserted place with all these powerlines and they get out of the car. John Doe starts leading Mills into a field. Then a van starts driving down the road and Somerset goes to meet it leaving John Doe with Mills. John Doe starts talking to Mills about how he admires him and "envies" his life. Mills tells him to shut up. Somerset gets to the van and finds out it is a delivery van that John Doe paid to deliver a box to this spot at this time. The box is for Det. David Mills. Somerset knows this is John Doe's big surprise. He opens the box and realizes that John Doe has won. Inside the box is Tracy Mills' head. Somerset realizes that she is the "envy" sin (i.e. John Doe envies Mills and his hot wife) and he realizes the last sin…Wrath…is going to be Mills shooting John Doe. So, he runs and tells Mills to throw down his gun and walk away. John Doe says….I paid a visit to your house this morning and played tried to play husband, tried to taste the life of a simple man…..But it didn't work out. I took a souvenir though. I took something to remember her by. Her pretty head. I took it because I envy your normal life, Detective. It seems envy is MY sin…..Tracy begged for her life…it was truly pitiful. She begged for her own life…and for the life of the baby inside her." Mills is all fucked up because he doesn't know about the baby. Somerset tries to tell him to drop his gun but Mills is too mad and caps John Doe in the head. John Doe's masterplan is a success…all seven sins are completed….Mills goes to jail, and Somerset doesn't retire. The end.
CHAPTER BY CHAPTER
- Somerset is trying to sleep. He used a metronome to sleep, but the city is usually too loud.
- The whole chapter introduces you to how Somerset thinks. He hates the city and doesn't understand people and how violent they are.
- He thinks society is getting worse. He is moving to the country to get away from it all.
- He gets a call saying there is a dead body.
- Somerset shows up and finds out some guy has been blown away probably by his wife.
- You find out no one really likes Somerset because he is so smart and good at his job. They just want to get in and out, but Somerset covers every base.
- Then Mills shows up and tells Somerset he is his new partner. Somerset and Mills don't get along from the start.
- Mills is sleeping later and Somerset calls him and tells him there is another possible homicide.
- This is the chapter that they find the fat guy.
- The guys apartment is nasty and he has a bucket of puke next to him.
- His hands and feet are tied up and he is dead in his bowl of spaghetti.
- They go to the coroners office and find out the guy was fat before, but in a short period of time he was forced to eat a lot of food and basically his insides exploded.
- They also find out he has the markings of a gun pressed to his head.
- There are also these weird little plastic shavings they found in the guys mouth and stomach. Somerset is very curious about them.
- Now Mills and Somerset are back at the police station talking to the captain.
- Then Mills starts to think about his last partner. They were making some bust and Mills hesitated with his gun and the guy shot his partner and he fell and was paralyzed.
- Somerset is telling the captain how the fat was forced to eat and eat and that the murder was premeditated.
- Somerset thinks it is just the beginning of some more bad shit.
- Somerset then tells the captain Mills shouldn't be working on this case. Mills gets all pissed off..
- The captain comes in the next day and talks to Somerset. He tells him this lawyer named Eli Gould has been murdered. This is the dirty lawyer.
- The captain says that Mills is heading up the investigation and that the killer wrote the word "greed" in blood.
- He also tells Somerset that the plastic shavings found in the fat guy are parts of floor tile.
- Somerset goes back to the fat man's place and fits the pieces of floor tile by the fridge. He pulls the fridge back and finds the world "gluttony" written in grease. He also found an envelope.
- It is obvious now that they have a serial killer.
- Somerset goes to the library that night and does all this research on the Seven Deadly sins.
- Mills goes to the crime scene of the lawyer again. The lawyer was found dead kneeling on the floor with a scale in front of him. He had cut out a pound of his own flesh from his side.
- A picture of his wife was facing him with blood circled around her eyes.
- Mills is at home trying to read Dante. He hates reading. He tries reading the Cliff Notes but those don't help either. It's a damn shame there was no SchoolBytes for Mills to check out.
- Mills and Somerset are sharing an office the next day. It is Somerset's old office which will soon by Mills'.
- Tracy Mills calls and invites Somerset to dinner. Mills is pissed off because he doesn't think Somerset respects his talents.
- They have a nice dinner, but Somerset can tell Tracy doesn't like the city.
- Mills and Somerset look through some crime photos. Somerset says they should go talk to the wife of Eli Gould again.
- She shows them that the painting in her husband's office is hanging upside down.
- They go check it out but nothing is there.
- Somerset pulls out his fingerprint dusting kit and dusts the wall behind the painting and they find HELP ME in fingerprints.
- Somerset and Mills take the fingerprints to get processed.
- Mills and Somerset talk about why Somerset is retiring. Mills thinks it is a cop out.
- Somerset says it is because he doesn't believe in the system anymore.
- Tracy is home alone and scared because it appears someone is snooping around her house because one of her dog's is growling.
- The fingerprints come back and the guy is some low life punk who was into drugs and did some time for trying to rape a minor.
- He doesn't really fit the profile of a big time killer, but his prints are at the scene.
- So, all these cops go and bust down his door.
- They find the guy and he is like a skeleton. He has been tied to the bed for a long time.
- His hand has been cut off.
- There are pictures that date back exactly one year and show how this guy went from normal to a skeleton.
- This is the sloth killing.
- Some cop pokes at the body and the body yells out. It is alive still.
- They get the body to the hospital.
- Some photographer (the killer) takes some photos of Mills and Mills freaks out.
- They go to the hospital hoping maybe the guy they found will talk but he is so far gone he couldn't if he tried…plus he ate his own tongue.
- Mills and Somerset are back at the station trying to figure this all out. The killer is totally playing with them.
- Mills is bitching because they are just sitting around and says the killer isn't some genius because he owns a library card.
- Somerset gets an idea and goes to the library and prints out all the books on the Seven Deadly Sins.
- He pays off this FBI guy to run a search through the FBI computers that track what people read.
- They get a name.
- The guy's name is John Doe and they go to his place.
- Before they can knock, John Doe shows up and he takes some shots at them.
- Mills chases him.
- Does knocks Mills on his ass in this alley and they puts a gun in his mouth.
- Then he takes off without killing Mills.
- Mills runs up to the apartment and busts in.
- They pay some homeless guy to say he called the cops.
- They find the biggest freakhouse. They find the hand that was cut off plus pictures from the crime scenes. Mills finds his picture and realizes the photographer was the killer.
- Then the phone rings and it is John Doe.
- He says he admires them for finding him and he is sorry for hurting on of them and hangs up.
- Somerset finds all of John Doe's notebooks with all his thoughts. John Doe is like Somerset and hates how the world is turning to shit and how bad people are.
- Unlike Somerset who just wants to get away, John Doe wants to give everyone a wake up call.
- They find a receipt to some leather sex store and decide to check it out tomorrow.
- That night Tracy calls Somerset and asks him to meet her tomorrow to talk.
- She tells him she has no friends and hates the city but stays because David wants to.
- She also tells him she is pregnant but hasn't told David yet.
- Somerset has to leave to meet up with Mills at that store, so he says goodbye to his wife and promises her he will keep in touch.
- Mills and Somerset go to the shop and the guy says he recognizes the name, John Doe.
- He shows them a picture of what he made for him.
- It is that dildo-knife contraption.
- The guy says he thought it was going to be used for performance art.
- Then some cops come and tell Mills and Somerset that they found another body.
- They find a hooker and a guy with the knife thing strapped to his body.
- The hooker is dead because the guy screwed her with the knife.
- He is freaked out and says that John Doe had a gun in his mouth and made him do it.
- Mills and Somerset are at a bar and argue again. Mills thinks that Somerset is a quitter and Somerset knows Mills can't handle this job.
- Mills takes off.
- Somerset wakes Mills up at 4 in the morning and plays him a message of John Doe saying…"I've gone and done it again".
- Doe called his apartment and left that message.
- They found the next body…Pride.
- The word pride was smeared in lipstick above the victim's bed, along with "I did not kill her…She was given a choice"
- The body is very recently dead.
- Mills and Somerset go back to the station and John Doe walks in behind them all covered in blood and gives himself up.
- John Doe gets a lawyer and Mills and Somerset are confused…why would he give himself up yet when there are still two sins left??
- John Doe makes a deal saying…there are two more bodies and he will confess to killing everyone right now if Mills and Somerset alone take him to find the other bodies.
- OR…he will plead insanity and they will never find the bodies.
- Mills and Somerset drive John Doe out to the middle of nowhere.
- They argue in the car.
- Somerset knows John Doe is smart and up to something.
- Mills makes fun of him calling him crazy.
- John Doe gets Mills by saying….I could have killed you but I didn't.
- John Doe goes off on how the people he killed were not innocent and that his work is very important.
- They arrive in the middle of nowhere and they all get out.
- Mills and John Doe start walking away from the car.
- Then the delivery van shows up and delivers a box with Det. David Mills name on it.
- Somerset opens it up and realizes it is the head of Mills' wife.
- He then tries to get Mills to drop his gun.
- John Doe tells everything to Mills and admits envy is his sin.
- Then Mills shoots John Doe in the head and fulfills the wrath part of Doe's plan.
- Mills goes to jail.
- Somerset doesn't retire.
THINGS TO MAKE YOU LOOK SMART
- Although this books sucks and the movie is so much better, it still covers everything the movie does.
- Somerset is the most important character. He has a lot in common with the ideas of John Doe. They both are sick of society. John Doe just decides to become a killer though.
- The religious aspects of the Seven Deadly Sins are HUGE in this book. They ARE the book. The big issue is this: Are we guilty as a society for accepting these sins as ok or committing them ourselves? If we are guilty, what punishment do we deserve?
- John Doe is a sick bastard, but besides the sick killing….do you think he has any good points? Is his killing justified?'
- The relationship between Mills, Somerset, and John Doe is another huge part of this book.
- Mills is the Naïve cop who think he is going to fight crime and evil by effort.
- Somerset is the burnt out cop whose understanding of violence and crime wears on him and makes him want to quit.
- John Doe is a creation of a man. Whoever John Doe was in life before this…the name and being of John Doe is a judgement on society.
- Somerset makes a comment to Mills earlier about how his job has no victories. That all they do is pick up the pieces…collect the evidence. Mills argues with him and says they are following the law and stopping crimes. At the end though, when Somerset tries to stop the crime, he fails and ends up just picking up the pieces at the end.
- Also, Somerset knows throughout the whole book that Mills is not capable of handling the job and the city….and it is proven at then end when he lets John Doe win and shoots him in the head.