I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run
The central character in The Intruder is William Heming and it is probably best to describe him as a type of psychopath. He is uncaring, irresponsible, over confident, selfish and quite content to become physical if the situation demands. His show of self importance and lack of understanding for others also labels him as a narcissist. Heming works as an estate agent and views it quite acceptable that he should possess his own personal duplicate key to each property within his portfolio. He does not question his odd behaviour, no harm occurs and any personal items he removes will surely not be missed by the owner. Douglas Sharp, a local resident, allows his dog to foul on the pavement immediately adjacent to Heming's house. Sharp, his wife and mistress Abigail soon become the focus of the estate agent with disastrous consequences.
The story is narrated in the first person and through the eyes and ears of Heming we learn how his childhood was a precursor to his somewhat worrying adult behaviour. Rather than remain in full time education he preferred to seek employment with a local estate agent Mower & Mower, acquiring the business when the present owner retired. Thus he finds himself in an ideal position to fulfil his fantasies and spy on all his clients. On first reading I found Heming's mindset entertaining but this soon give way to frustration as his narcissistic and psychotic personality established itself as the norm and showed little sign of being curtailed. The style of writing was at times successful in creating a somewhat creepy and uneasy atmosphere but the constant smarmy meanderings of this loathsome individual resulted in me losing interest rapidly. There were some accurate will chosen observations..."On the outside is your everyday life of going out to work and going on holiday. Then there is the life you wish you had- the life that keeps you awake at night with hope, ambition, plans, frustration, resentment, envy, regret"........"emerging towelled and pink from the steamy bathroom. There she was on the bed slowly painting her perfect toenails, a tear on her cheek. Everything I ever wanted was there. It was a perfect summit of wishes, all I had struggled for."....
In the final analysis I must confess I did not really enjoy this book or the claustrophobic style of narration. I would however like to thank the good people at netgalley and publisher Random House for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.