Thursday, 22 March 2018

THE INTRUDER by P S Hogan

5 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK
On Amazon.com
On Goodreads



How I discovered this book: I read Rosie Amber's review of it on her blog.  Bought it straight away, and it was only 99p. đŸ˜€

Genre: slowly unfolding psychological drama, mild thriller.

William Heming is an estate agent with copies of the keys of every house his company has ever sold, so he may snoop into the owners' lives when they are out.  Sometimes, he uses this opportunity to right perceived wrongs; there's an excellent (and very funny) section about the vengeance he wreaks on one careless motorist, but it is when his ire is piqued by dismissive dog walker Douglas Sharp that his life becomes more complicated.

Heming is proud of the pleasant, unremarkable, amiable front he shows to the world; as we delve deeper into his life we discover how sociopathic he truly is, but much of that pleasant amiability comes out in his narration, making him oddly likable.  The novel is beautifully written; at times the prose is almost poetic, more like that of literary fiction than one normally finds in a popular thriller.  

I thought it was clever of P S Hogan to make Heming physically attractive, rather than the down-at-heel stereotype of your average Peeping Tom.  He has relationships with the opposite sex, but they remain physical, only; as we see later, once true intimacy enters into the game, he is repelled. 

Looking at the Amazon page again, I wonder if the publisher has done the author a slight disservice by marketing this book like a 'grip lit' thriller, with its dark cover and tag line 'the creepiest, most sinister thriller you’ll read this year'; this could explain the bad reviews, that appear to have been written by readers expecting something more sensational, with edge-of-your-seat twists and shocks.  Yes, there is murder and more, but The Intruder isn't that sort of book.  The plot is well-paced, intricately worked, entertaining and with unexpected developments, but it's more a psychological unfolding, as the disturbing behaviour of Heming's past and the reasons for his obsession with the lives of strangers are revealed.  It's definitely one of those 'I'll just read one more chapter' books; I read the second half in one afternoon.

The word 'creepy' is used in many of the reviews (maybe as an echo of the tagline), though I didn't find it particularly so, maybe because the characterisation and many of Heming's own observations are so 'spot-on' and amusing; it's just really, really good.  Highly recommended.






8 comments:

  1. Brilliant, so glad my review interested you enough to buy the book.

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    1. Not as glad as I am, ha ha! But it's lovely when your review makes someone buy a book, isn't it?

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  2. Oh, too tempting. Off to buy. Cheers.

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  3. Got sent a copy of The Intruder from the publisher and, if I'm honest, I had put it to the back of the pile. May have to bump it up now!

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    1. Oh good - yes, it often takes that, doesn't it? I saw this book I was vaguely interested in when I RTd the author the other day. Then I read more about him on Jill Doyle's Five on Friday, and it made me actually download instead of just thinking 'that looks interesting'! But yes, I do think you would like this. It's a very 'intelligent' book. If you know what I mean.

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  4. I quite fancied it after reading Rosie’s review and your review made my mind up.

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    1. Oh good, look forward to when you get to it!

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