I am new to David Jackson’s novels and was intrigued by the summary of The Resident so signed up to read a review copy via the Pigeonhole online book club.
Thomas Brogan is a serial killer who happens across an abandoned house while he is trying to evade police capture. While exploring his temporary home he finds that the attic allows him to move between all of the townhouses on the row – the first belonging to an elderly lady called Elsie, the next housing a typical middle-aged and constantly grousing couple Pam and Jack (and their dog Ralph), and the last house – which rapidly becomes his favourite, belonging to Colette and Martyn Fairbright.
Let me just make this clear to you – Brogan is a horrible guy. He’s messed up for reasons we find out in due course, but it’s no excuse for his behaviour. But what David Jackson manages in this book is to make you invested in his fate. You can’t help but like him, just a tiny bit, then you give your head a wobble and remember that he’s (horribly) killed several people, and he gets off on doing it in the worst way that he can. So no, he’s not a nice guy.
I found this book fascinating – it’s a slow burner in many ways because the majority of the action takes place in a tiny space but when it ramps up it moves quickly. It really creeped me out because many years ago I had an intruder in my home that we eventually worked out was getting into the house exactly this way – we don’t know how long he was coming in for or what he was doing when he was in the house – but this book has brought it all back and played havoc with my imagination – I’m just VERY glad I don’t live in a house with an adjoined attic anymore!
As I was reading this book via serialisation in the Pigeonhole I was looking forward to my Brogan fix every day – although towards the end it felt as though it was becoming a little bit too slow which in turn made the ending feel a little rushed – if I’d have had my hands on the whole book I think I’d have whizzed through it and I doubt I would have felt like this about it. There were a few bits that I felt were rather far-fetched – however there wasn’t too much artistic license and I still felt it was worthy of a five star review.
It’s a great holiday/lockdown/anytime read – however I think this book should come with a warning: after reading this you’ll be hyper alert to every creak and crack you hear in your house so my tip would be don’t read it alone or with the lights off!