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Robert "Bob" Anderson (also known as Beadie) is the main antagonist of A Good Marriage, a horror novella written by Stephen King and published in his collection Full Dark, No Stars.

Synopsis

Background

Bob is an an accountant from Portland, Maine, who runs a mail-order business selling and appraising rare coins with his wife of 27 years, Darcy. In his secret life, Bob is a sadistic serial killer and rapist nicknamed "Beadie" by the local press, who has been preying on young women in Maine for decades. He met Darcy as a young man when he had just begun killing, and at first intended to make her his victim. Instead of killing her, however, he married her in order to create a public image of a normal, unremarkable family man and ensure that no one suspects who and what he truly is. Eventually, they have children and build a successful business together, and Bob stops killing for several years, his homicidal urges growing quiet as he enters middle age.

Events of the novella

One day, while Bob is out of town on business, Darcy goes into the garage to search for batteries. She accidentally stumbles across a magazine featuring sadistic pornography. Darcy is unnerved by the fact that the magazine is in Bob's possession, and later finds a secret compartment behind the garage's baseboard, which contains the ID cards of Marjorie Duvall, one of the many female victims of a notorious serial killer nicknamed "Beadie".

Later, Bob phones Darcy and notices her distress. The killer understood that Darcy found the truth about his past. Meanwhile, Darcy searchs Beadie on Internet and cross-check's Bob's business records with the exact locations of the murders, finding that Bob was in close proximity to the crimes. When Darcy wakes up the next morning after spending a horrifying night, she finds that Bob has deduced her discovery and returned home earlier than usual.

Then, Bob proceeds to explain his wife his sadistic pulses, recounting how he and a friend named Brian Delahanty – nicknamed "BD", from which Beadie's name was derived – planned a school shooting as teenagers. Fortunately, Delahenty was hit by a truck before they could carry it out, but Bob claims he had "infected" him with "certain ideas", leading him to a life of murders.

However, Bob added that after he started his family, his murderous alter ego receded and he was not driven to kill again, at least for several years. He pleads to Darcy to put the matter behind them, for the sake of him, herself and their family. Nevertheless, Darcy is not convinced by her husband's pleading, and took the difficult decision to kill him in order to protect herself and prevent further victims.

A few months after Darcy's discoveries, an elated Bob finds a rare 1955 doubled die cent, and the couple goes out to Portland to celebrate. When Bob becomes drunk from champagne, Darcy devises a plan to murder him.

Upon arriving home, Darcy has Bob fetch some Perrier while she waits for him upstairs, ostensibly for sex. Bob, drunk, does not realize that he is trapped: and when Bob arrives, Darcy violently pushes him down the stairs, leading the killer to have his arm, neck, and back broken. Bob screams in agonizing pain but Darcy managed to brutally execute him, by shoving a plastic bag then a dish cloth down his throat. Afterwards, she removed the evidence of murder. Darcy managed to convince the authorities and her children that Bob died in a terrible accident, and isn't suspected of committing any crime. Darcy assumes the ordeal is over, and that justice is done.

However, not long after Bob is buried, a retired detective named Holt Ramsey visits the house. Ramsey spent years investigating the Beadie murders and had questioned Bob. Ramsey tells Darcy that he suspected Bob was the killer, since his Chevrolet Suburban was seen in the vicinity of each victim.

Darcy realizes that Ramsey has figured out her role in Bob's death. Once she admits the truth, Ramsey assures her that she "did the right thing" and promises to keep her extrajudicial justice killing as secret; before he does, she tells him about Delahanty. Darcy realizes that Bob was close to being caught and wasn't as smart as he thought he was. She also finds that she can now be at peace with herself.

Personality

A seemingly benevolant man, Bob Anderson is a polite, courteous, caring and a bit self-effacing husband, as well as an efficient businessman bringing lots of money at home. However, this is just a mere facade that Bob built in order to hide his true nature: that of a sophisticated yet psychopathic, savage, murderous, misogynistic and above all sadistic killer with absolutely no empathy towards his countless victims. He is so vicious that he even tortured to death a child who witnessed matricide. He also completely disregards his family, viewing his wife and his children as tools allowing him to live a double life of murder without getting caught. Once his wife discovered the truth, Bob didn't murder her and instead attempted to silence her through persuasion, although this didn't work as he still met his end some months later. Darcy noticed that as she smothered Bob, he glared at her with a look of pure hatred instead of betrayal, indicating that his previous pleas toward her had all been an act and twisted self-justification, showing that he didn't love her at all.  

Trivia

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