This is one of the most messed up books I've ever read! (And I mean that in a good way.) An in depth character study of a young man freshly returned from teaching in Sudan, morphs into something far different as the story moves along. The book is divided into 4 sections, each one more disturbing than the last.
Pacing was a problem with this novel-it starts off very slowly and more than once, I considered giving up on it. But being a fan of Mr. Gregory's work, I kept the faith and was rewarded by a shocking ending that left me stunned. Like jaw dropping, looking like a drooling idiot, stunned.
There were so many times in this book where I found myself saying, "Hmm, this looks like it's going in this direction, but it can't do that, it's going too far." And then it did just that. I found myself yelling at Harry, the protagonist, don't do it! Don't do it! But then he did, and it never, ever worked out in his favor.
It's difficult to put a label on this novel of... psychological horror? A life gone wrong? A downward spiral of bad choices? A story of taboos broken, and the resulting, unrelenting, guilt? It's all of the above and more. If you're intrigued by this description, this book will work for you. It's dark, down & dirty, and as such, was perfect for this dark fiction lover.
Highly recommended for fans of literary, slow burning, psychological horror stories!
*I received this book free from Valancourt Books, in exchange for an honest review. This is it.*