January 8, 2013
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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.My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time based just on the synopsis Lenore Appelhans (of Presenting Lenore) gave of it. (I'm reviewing Lenore's novel Level 2 crazy soon!)
With that said, The Uninvited started out quite differently than I expected. We delve a lot more into Hesketh, who he is, his life and his side of the story before the children and the murders become much more than just a mention.
Hesketh has Asperger's Syndrome which does make him good at observing behavioral patterns, but bad with relationships. His personality, along with his job and the situation he finds himself in, make for a terribly interesting character. His love of paint chip colors didn't hurt, either.
What makes both Hesketh the character and then the story work so well is how fully Jensen inhabits this character she's writing. It doesn't just feel like she wanted to create a quirky or different character for The Uninvited, Hesketh Lock really feels like a fully developed, real character with a breadth of traits unique to him that make him him.
When more of the 'creepiness' starts to come out, it does get rather creepy - especially as it's not present or overbearing for the entire novel. That it develops and builds makes it even better. The way thins progress is also unexpected - both for the character and then for the reader, yet not always both at the same time.
The Uninvited was a great book to read and has bumped Liz Jensen's other books up my to-read list -- I'm so, so happy that this one was offered on NetGalley. I'm also happy I've gotten a closer look at the cover, I had thought it rather ordinary, but it's a bit ominous if you see a full version.
thank you Bloomsbury & NetGalley for my earc