Author: David Jackson
Publisher: Viper Books
Publication Date: Out now
Thank you to Viper books for my eArc copy of the book and for having me on the blog tour for this fantastic read. My review is based on my experience of the book and any thoughts expressed here are solely mine alone.
THERE’S A SERIAL KILLER ON THE RUN
AND HE’S HIDING IN YOUR HOUSE
Thomas Brogan is a serial killer. With a trail of bodies in his wake and the police hot on his heels, it seems like Thomas has nowhere left to hide. That is until he breaks into an abandoned house at the end of a terrace on a quiet street. And when he climbs up into the loft, he realises that he can drop down into all the other houses through the shared attic space.
That’s when the real fun begins. Because the one thing that Thomas enjoys even more than killing is playing games with his victims – the lonely old woman, the bickering couple, the tempting young newlyweds. And his new neighbours have more than enough dark secrets to make this game his best one yet…
Do you fear The Resident? Soon you’ll be dying to meet him.
I am a big fan of Viper books, as they always publish books with bite and in the case of this book, it comes with flight, fight and a whole lot of bite.
Thomas Brogan is fleeing the scene of his latest murder, he will escape at any cost but the police are on his trail and so he opts to lie low until the heat dies down.
He ends up hiding in a deserted end of terrace house. With no way out, he hunkers down and asses his limited options, no food, light, heat or water, what is a killer to do… in this case, why not have a macabre chat with his inner demon, which is both warped, amusing and addictive to be a party to.
Brogan is trapped, until he discovers on exploration of the house, it has an attic hatch! Furthermore that the attics in this terrace are all conjoined and that now he has unlimited access to the other houses in the row and better still for his murderous intent, access to the occupants.
The idea of a serial killer hiding in your attic is a darkly deliciously & utterly deviant concept and for a woman who lives alone in a terraced house like me, down right terrifying! On the plus side, I don’t think I’m this killer’s type! Trust me, when I say I gave this idea considerable thought while lying awake at night. The mind games in this book are not confined to the pages of the story!
As the book continues, Brogan meticulously invades each of the houses, steals food, avails himself of the amenities and ferrets about uncovering the intimate secrets of its oblivious occupants. Brogan is a hunter and the inhabitants of the terrace are now his potential prey. To him killing is the ‘ultimate climax’ it is a game to be played, savoured, revelled in and nothing gives him more pleasure than the ‘ cold blooded disregard for society’s rules’.
There is a relentless and palpable tension throughout the book, will Brogan be discovered, will anyone notice food is missing, that objects have been moved, what might happen if anyone spots him? Instinctively you know that if he is found out, that the ramifications could be exceedingly bloody…or would they…that question has your attention doesn’t it?
As I continued to read this book, two notable incidents occur and I feel impact the trajectory of the story; Brogan’s voyeurism leads him into an all-encompassing deluded fixation with newly married Colette Fairbright and the oddly vicious passion which stops him escaping the confines of the derelict house and drives him instead into plotting and enacting a series of escalating, malicious mind games, on her and her husband with ultimately dramatic results. However, the most fascinating incident for me, and this could be considered a spoiler, is that during one of his nightly escapades, he is discovered by 89 year old Elsie in her kitchen and this surprise interaction has far reaching and gloriously unexpected consequences!
David Jackson’s genius is in creating a protagonist who as a reader you abhor, whose psychopathic behaviours are deeply disturbing, aberrant and utterly gruesome. And as yet, you are compelled to look for reasons why Brogan is a killer, to examine the familiar question, is it nature or is it nurture that causes such emotive disassociation in a person. And yes there are some woeful reasons to Brogan’s psychopathy and just maybe you feel sorry for him but should pitiful circumstances allow you to forgive him for his violent trespass into the lives of others… any further examination of this idea is for you to explore.
The premise of this book and the fear it evokes in the reader’s imagination is really what makes this such a clever read. It is deeply disturbing on so many levels, darkly comic in parts, I especially liked the irony that a cold callus serial killer could be emotionally undone by something as unassuming as a chocolate cake. The often brutal prose draws you into to a vortex of inappropriate laughter and abject revulsion at the killer’s crimes and the combination, certainly makes for irresistible reading. As the book draws to its cataclysmic end, there are some sharp, nifty twists that unfurl but obviously I am giving nothing away!
So bookophiles, I can only recommend that you read this sinister splendid book for yourselves, but be warned for your own sanity don’t read it at night and bolt your attic hatch!
About the Author
David Jackson is the author of nine crime novels, including the bestseller Cry Baby and the DS Nathan Cody series. When not murdering fictional people, David spends his days as a university academic in his birth city of Liverpool. He lives on the Wirral with his wife and two daughters.