I flew through this short novella during my lunch break at work. I may have been a little late in starting my afternoon but it was all worth it. Wow, what a superb story.
Our protagonist, if that’s the right word, Elwin is a pretty messed up individual, and that’s me being kind. We are treated to a scene with his mother early on which does little to explain why he is how he is, but certainly shows us what he’s capable of.
Elwin sells homes to, not customers, but friends. He wants them to fall in love with their dream house, and love it even more once they move in. Of course, our Elwin knows exactly how much his clients enjoy their lives, as he has elaborate camera set-ups watching their every move. He may even touch himself a little while viewing the ladies on his surveillance equipment, but where’s the harm in that? (I’m speaking from Elwin’s perspective there, you understand).
But Elwin has a beast, and this beast needs to be kept at bay. There’s a voice inside his psycho mind instructing him to do what he does. He tries his best to combat this beast, but it isn’t always possible.
After watching one of his female clients who definitely tickles his fancy, Elwin feels the urge to kidnap her and make her ‘perform’ for him. It’s nothing sexual of course, he’s not that sick, he says! When things don’t quite to the script, Elwin does what he promised himself he would never do.
I feel that if I go on about the plot any further I’ll be giving it all away, and I really don’t want to spoil it because this is such a great story. But before we know where we are, Elwin is being suspected of wrong-doing by a female cop who’s his new client. She seems to be getting close to working things out about him. Will she? Is she safe? Ooh questions, questions.
I suppose Elwin is a little similar to the character Dexter. Well, not in the ‘he’s the anti-hero and we are on his side while he channels his inner demons to try and do something good for the world’ kind of way. Everything Elwin does if for his own personal gain, although he’d probably argue he’s only trying to abate the beast. But I couldn’t help but stick up for him towards the end. When the cop was getting close putting everything together, I still hoped that he’d get away with it. Now that either says something about me, or about the writing being top notch and drawing me right in. I’m going to go with the latter.
This was, as I’m sure you’ve already gathered, a great novella, if it’s even long enough to be called that. It’s depraved, it’s gore-soaked, it’s a little stomach-churning at times (hair is involved), and these are all massive pluses.
Renee Miller is an author I’m now watching, but not in the Elwin sense of the word!
Categories: book review