Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m posting my review of David Jackson’s latest novel, ‘The Resident’. I was gifted an ARC by Viper – thanks so much for that! I really loved the concept behind this book, and was utterly hooked throughout. Keep reading to discover my thoughts…
THERE’S A SERIAL KILLER ON THE RUN
AND HE’S HIDING IN YOUR HOUSE
Thomas Brogan is a serial killer. With a trail of bodies in his wake and the police hot on his heels, it seems like Thomas has nowhere left to hide. That is until he breaks into an abandoned house at the end of a terrace on a quiet street. And when he climbs up into the loft, he realises that he can drop down into all the other houses through the shared attic space.
That’s when the real fun begins. Because the one thing that Thomas enjoys even more than killing is playing games with his victims – the lonely old woman, the bickering couple, the tempting young newlyweds. And his new neighbours have more than enough dark secrets to make this game his best one yet…
Do you fear The Resident? Soon you’ll be dying to meet him.
‘The Resident’ is David Jackson’s first standalone novel, and was released in July 2020. He has previously written books in the “DS Nathan Cody” series: ‘‘A Tapping At My Door’ (2016), ‘Hope To Die’ (2017), ‘Don’t Make A Sound’ (2018) and ‘Your Deepest Fear (2019), and the “Callum Doyle” series: ‘Pariah’, ‘The Helper’, ‘Marked’ and ‘Cry Baby’. Jackson lies on the Wirral peninsula with his wife and two daughters.
The book has received positive praise, from the likes of fellow authors such as T.M. Logan: “A brilliantly chilling story with tension on every page”, Caz Frear: “Creepy, pacy, and oh so witty”, Paul Finch: “A chilling psycho thriller with a very novel twist”, Alex North: “Disturbing, blackly funny and completely compulsive”, Alex Shaw: “Menacing, disturbing, compelling and unique” and Luca Veste: “Utterly compelling and impossible to put down.”
‘The Resident’ follows the life of Thomas Brogan, a serial killer who is on the run and finds shelter in an abandoned house. He realises that he can visit the neighbouring houses through the shared attic space, and begins to mess with his neighbours’ heads…
The narrative is told from the third-person perspective, which focuses on Brogan’s actions and behaviours. The narrative is distanced and objective, yet still provides the reader with a deep insight into Brogan’s mind and inner workings. The story is told in a diary style, with each chapter describing a different day/time. The narrative is really easy to follow, yet still very effective.
My favourite character in the novel is definitely Thomas Brogan. Don’t get me wrong, he is not a nice person; but I think he is extremely well-written and is a fascinating character. Brogan is sick and twisted, and he gets off on messing with other people and causing them pain. Once he discovers his victims’ weaknesses, he uses these to his advantage and regains control over the situation. However, there is another side to Brogan; a much more vulnerable, meek side. He has an alter ego, sort of like an inner angel and demon that are constantly arguing – the demon often wins, but there are moments when the angel shines through. I found Brogan to be a really interesting character, and I loved discovering more about him as the novel went on.
Brogan’s neighbours are as follows: Jack and Pam are an older couple who constantly argue. Brogan’s only real interest in these two is to steal food whilst they are out at work. Elsie is 89 years old and lives alone, although a carer does come to visit her often. Elsie is a sweet, innocent old lady who unfortunately lost her son recently and believes she is seeing him in the house. Colette and Martyn are a young couple, and Brogan takes an instant liking to Colette. As he begins to mess with them both, the cracks in their relationship really start to show.
** TRIGGER WARNING ** (I apologise for any spoilers here). This novel contains graphic descriptions of violence and murder, and the reader is given a deep insight to a serial killer’s thoughts and actions. The theme of infidelity is explored throughout the novel, featuring some scenes of a sexual nature. Finally, mental illness and suicide is explored in great detail, as one of the characters’ grieves for her lost love. All of these issues are explored with appropriate sensitivity – but if you feel that they may trigger a negative response, I suggest you skip this book.
As the narrative motors onwards, Brogan’s emotional torment of his neighbours gets increasingly worse. The characters begin to turn on each other, and they reach breaking point. Now that he has worn them down, what will Brogan’s next move be? Will he kill again?
So, let’s talk about the ending. There’s a dramatic end scene detailing a battle with life or death. The characters must work together to overthrow Brogan and ensure he doesn’t win again. The end scene is jam-packed full of action and suspense, as the characters’ meet their inevitable fates. I personally found the ending to be a bit too far-fetched and over the top for my liking, and didn’t really think it was very believable. However, you may well enjoy it more than I did!
Overall, I highly recommend this novel to those of you who enjoy crime novels, particularly if you like reading books about serial killers. The premise to this book is unique and original, and I thought that the characters were all very well-written – especially Brogan, whom I found to be utterly fascinating. My only criticism is that I didn’t enjoy the ending, for reasons explained above – but that being said, it was still a very good read.
Sound good? Click here to purchase.
Happy reading 🙂