Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Book Review: The Uninvited

A seven-year-old girl puts a nail-gun to her grandmother's neck and fires. An isolated incident, say the experts. The experts are wrong. Across the world, children are killing their families. Is violence contagious?

As chilling murders by children grip the country, anthropologist Hesketh Lock has his own mystery to solve: a bizarre scandal in the Taiwan timber industry. Hesketh has never been good at relationships: Asperger's Syndrome has seen to that. But he does have a talent for spotting behavioural patterns, and an outsider's fascination with group dynamics. 

Nothing obvious connects Hesketh's Southeast Asian case with the atrocities back home. Or with the increasingly odd behaviour of his beloved step-son, Freddy. But when Hesketh's Taiwan contact dies shockingly and more acts of sabotage and child violence sweep the globe, he is forced to acknowledge possibilities that defy the rational principles on which he has staked his life, his career and, most devastatingly of all, his role as a father.

I've read quite a few Liz Jensen books now and I don't think I've ever been disappointed by one of her novels. The Uninvited has been on my to be read pile for a short while now. 

 Around the world children are committing terrible murders and retreating into their own world, at the same time acts of sabotage to major companies are happening with the adults carrying out the crimes then committing suicide. Something links the two extraordinary events and threatens to change the world forever.

What struck me first with this book is a found it to be quite similar to the first Jensen book I ever read, The Rapture. The stories are different but there's something I can't quite identify that made them seem pretty similar. Maybe it's the psychology aspect and the use of children again, I'm just not sure. I was a little disappointed though that this seemed like a revisit to a previous book, I would have liked something a little fresher and more unique.

The book spends a long time exploring the children and the change in them and tries to develop an answer as to what has caused the change but then by the ending  was left feeling as though it was a little open ended and that I just had to accept things had changed with no real explanation as the how the world went on. 

For those unaware of Jensen's work this is worth a read but for fans of her previous novels you may be left feeling a little disappointed by this book.

Rating: ★★
 
 

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