Wednesday, 29 October 2014
The Uninvited by Liz Jensen
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. He 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 his Taiwan contact dies shockingly, and more acts of sabotage and child violence sweep the globe, Hesketh is forced to make connections that defy the rational principles on which he has staked his life, his career and - most devastatingly of all - his role as a father.
Part psychological thriller, part dystopian nightmare, The Uninvited is a powerful and viscerally unsettling portrait of apocalypse in embryo.
After recently having read this I gave it a 5/10. I lke Liz Jensen's books, but sadly I struggled with this one. Like her other work it's original and well wrtten. The premise of the story was quite good and it had me hooked, in so much as I wanted to find out what was happening. However, it failed to deliver for me.
What is causing the children to become violent towards others and why do they seem to have an in built knowledge of one another and their actions? Is the cause due to something out of this world, is it dietary or is it some other reason?
Lock becomes an instrumental part of the story in more ways than one. As he struggles to find a link between the events and coem to terms with the measures that Adults have put into place to try and control the situation that they are all in. As his relationship with Freddy is put under strain due to events that happen, will life ever be the same for any of them?