The set up is a simple one, a man starts a new job with Christmas rapidly approaching. He's suffering from the death of his partner just a year ago and a women offers to spend Christmas day with him. The slight wrinkle here is that she was suspected of killing her husband.
The story is told in a stream of conciousness style from inside the lead character's head. It's a difficult method to get right and it's a testament to the author's skill that he carries it effectively. It allows the reader to explore the depth of the lead character and it's here that we see the evolving strangeness of the story.
There's some real darkness in this story as well as a degree of uncertainty that adds interest to the story. I loved how the plot unfolded and even better it's not done in an obvious fashion, there are subtle changes here and there that add an element of menace.
As I've come to expect from the author the story is superbly written, it's well paced and a fantastic read. If you've not read any of his work before then this is a great book to start with.
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It’s the office Christmas party. Cheap booze is flowing, the lights are dimmed and tinny music blasts out of a rubbish stereo. Chris’s hair is gelled around reindeer antlers. Amy’s foot is caught in some photocopier cable. Martin is waving about an inflatable penis decorated with tinsel. And Janet is dancing alone, her husband dead, presumed murdered… by her.
When Janet offers to spend Christmas Day, the anniversary of my own partner’s death, with me, I find myself wondering what she wants.
And why do I accept?
The chilling new novella from Jonathan Hill.
Click here to buy The Anniversary from Amazon