I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Resident by David Jackson
Published by Viper on July 16 2020
Genres: Thriller, Crime, Psychological Thriller
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Thomas Brogan is a serial killer, and he has nowhere left to hide. At least until he finds an abandoned house at the end of a terrace on a quiet street. And when he discovers that he can access three other houses through the attic space, the real fun begins. Because the one thing that Brogan enjoys even more than killing, is playing games with his victims. And his new neighbours have more than enough dark secrets to make this game his best one yet...
When I first requested an advanced readers copy of The Resident, I was very excited! There has been so much hype on book-twitter and a lot of blogger friends loved it. I am very weary of getting involved in hyped books because I really don’t want to be disappointed. I expected a strong psychological thriller but boy…this beast packed a spine shattering punch! Imagine my delight when from chapter one onwards – I knew this was going to be the kind of dark and depraved that I live for in a crime novel.
The title and that mind-blowing cover set my imagination crazy. Imagine a serial killer actually living in your attic…watching your every move, eating your food, going through your possessions and using your shower. Yikes! The Resident was a slow of burn of mystery and intrigue, a dialogue between himself and his inner voice (truth be told, I wasn’t fully convinced that he didn’t have schizophrenia). The back story was indeed heart-breaking and points I did feel bad for our antagonist, but again, lots of people have traumatising childhoods and don’t go around killing people!
Thomas Brogan is on the run. The police are finally on to him after his latest kill. There’s police helicopters trying to hunt him down – he literally has nowhere left to hide. That is until he finds an abandoned house. He goes on to discover that the houses attic leads into the neighbour’s attic spaces. He can’t believe his luck. Access to food and the even more enticing aspect; access to victims. He gets to know Elsie, the sweet old lady that is still grieving for her long-departed son, the couple who never stop bickering and the fairbrights. The fairbrights are the perfect set of victims for Brogan, they aren’t long married, and they appear to be deeply in love, right? The mind games and plotting begin.
For me, The Resident is at its core a story about pain and suffering and what happens when a mind breaks down. Brogan has had a terrible upbringing. We learn more of that as the story progresses. We learn the truth of what snapped him into starting his killing spree, his awkwardness and difficult times as a child, of the things that brought him happiness. You are given that snippet of life, so you get an inkling into just how far he has fallen from the humanity tree.
David Jackson for me has written a story that is naturally flowing. The characterisation isn’t forced, but it just flows organically. A lot of it will resonate with the readers. It’s a dark and terrifying story, it gives a behind the scenes on newspaper stories, It’s like a rotten apple…it soon spreads to the rest.
The Resident has a lot going on. Secrets are revealed, personalities and behaviours change. I was certainly taken on a whirlwind of a read. The author treaded the line between crime thriller and psychological thriller and had me aching for more more more. Man, this was some book!
ABOUT DAVID JACKSON
I was a latecomer to fiction writing, having spent most of my adult life producing academic papers and reports. After some limited success entering short story competitions, I submitted the first few chapters of a novel to the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Awards. To my great surprise, the book was not only short-listed but given the Highly Commended accolade, which stimulated the interest of agents and publishers and eventually led to the publication of PARIAH. Since then, I have written several more crime thrillers, including two series set in New York and my birth city of Liverpool. I still have a day job in Liverpool as a university academic, but now live on the Wirral with my wife, two daughters and a British Shorthair cat called Mr Tumnus.