by Liz Jensen
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication date: 08 January 2013
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 behavioral patterns and an outsider's fascination with group dynamics. Nothing obvious connects Hesketh's Asian case with the atrocities back home. Or with the increasingly odd behavior of his beloved stepson, 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. Part psychological thriller, part dystopian nightmare, The Uninvited is a powerful and viscerally unsettling portrait of apocalypse in embryo. (Goodreads)
I loved Hesketh's character. I admired how he coped with the outside world while suffering from Asperger's Syndrome. His ability to spot patterns in the strange things that started happening all over the world, just draw me in. I enjoyed all the interviews with the characters that was part of the first of the unusual happenings.
Unfortunately after the first part of the book, I started feeling irritated with him. His disability causes him to not connect with other people but his son, Freddy, is the exception. Let me just say that I am not a parent. I don't know if I would have felt different if I was. But his blind obsession with the fact that his son would not turn into a stranger like the rest of the children of the world, just irked me. I wanted to shake him and force him to look at the facts. If I had in the story in book form, I probably would have thrown it across the room a few times.
The ending just sort of crept up on me. I have read some reviews, that mentioned that they felt cheated but I can see that there was no other way out for the characters.
All in all, it was a satisfying read even with the irritating stages. I guess that is the essence of a good book when you feel like shaking some sense into the characters.
PS: Just on a little side note that has no other use than just me venting - there is little editing adjustment in the NetGalley edition. Every word that uses the letter-combinations "ff", "fi" or "fl" will just have those letters omitted completely. I assume it was to stop "would-be-torrenting" but still . . . annoying!