Beautifully written, wonderful Irish narrative voice - a clever, engrossing novel.
I adored Jess Kidd's Costa Short Story Prize winner last year, so it came as no surprise to me that I'd love her latest book, The Hoarder. Every so often, I'll come across a book that's so well written it makes me smile, and I'm pleased to say this was one of those!
Maud, a social worker, is sent to care for Cathal Flood, a cantankerous old man who lives in a complete hovel, surrounded by endless years of rubbish, several cats, and (after a bit of exploration from Maud) a bizarre collection of 'collector's items'.
However, there's more to the house than just junk and oddities. Turns out, there's several whopping great secrets concealed there too, involving missing siblings, dead parents and possible murder.
Maud herself is a wonderful protagonist - her no-nonsense Irish voice was strident and rich throughout, which was one of the novel's stand-out charms. So too were the fabulous ensemble of supporting characters - the gorgeously depicted Renata; an ageing transvestite with a love of mysteries, the dishy social worker Sam, the hilarious 'psychic' who turns out to be rather different than initially imagined - I could go on and on. I also adored the congregation of sarcastic, occasionsally distasteful saints, not to mention all the ghosts!
In fact, it's these glorious characters and fantastic narrative voice that drive the plot forwards, more so than the plot itself - but don't let that put you off, it makes a refreshing change from the usual mystery / thriller books out there.
Definitely read, people!
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.