The 10 Best Villains in Literature According to Kim Newman

Ernest Ralph Gorse (Patrick Hamilton’s The West Pier, and sequels)

When these books were adapted for television as The Charmer, Nigel Havers made a smoothly appalling Gorse.  Based on the murderer Neville George Heath, Gorse is a con-man with a very plausible line of patter who cynically and casually preys on older women, after their money in the outset, but eventually graduates to homicide.  Few British writers create characters as loathesome and compelling as Hamilton.