Sectioned, as you may gather from the title, is about a mental institution. But instead of this being the tale of a young woman experiencing the hardships of a life being locked up with a load of crazies, it details the events leading up to her being there.
Things start out in the institution where Chloe, our ‘hero’, witnesses the cruel treatment of her fellow inmates. She seems kind of normal, all told, so what in the hell happened to her?
Well we’re suddenly taken back in time to where Chloe’s being accused by her boyfriend and his parents of stealing a precious piece of jewellery. She’s taken on TV, shown to be lying when she says she never stole it, and forced out of their home. With nowhere else to go she moves in with her sister in a flat in London.
The sisters don’t exactly get on, but Sarah agrees to help Chloe out. Something went on long ago that is only hinted at to start with, but as the novella progresses we are treated to the details in all their horrific glory.
I liked the fact that we know Chloe ends up inside for murder, and spend the rest of the story discovering how and why. She doesn’t seem that messed up, at first anyway, and it’s interesting the way that her life takes on a dark ambience as time passes by.
She meets a guy who seems much less of a jerk-off than her ex, and things develop in the way one might assume. But nothing is quite like it seems.
When, towards the end, the big reveal is, well, revealed, Chloe’s reason for being sectioned makes a lot of sense. She’s had some seriously weird shit happen to her, I can tell you. The flashbacks to the grotesque moment from her childhood are vividly described and pretty high up there on the gore-scale.
If I was being critical, which I suppose I am, I’d say that the reveal is a little too rushed. Chloe’s character seems to shift from one extreme to the other in next to no time. One minute I was feeling a little sorry for her, the next I was bemoaning her heartless bitchery. Perhaps the reason for this was that something suddenly snapped in her, but a little more of a transition would have been more believable I feel.
And the way the twist was set up and presented did come across a little ‘convenient’ if that’s the right word.
But after saying all of that, I did enjoy this little novella. It’s definitely a one or two sitting story and the gore was just what I was craving. Without the aforementioned moans about it I would be absolutely raving about it.
So if you crave some necro-sex imagery with the back-drop of insanity then give this one a try.
Categories: book review