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The Uninvited by Liz Jensen
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The Uninvited (edition 2013)

by Liz Jensen

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2042857,485 (3.4)12
Member:bibliobeck
Title:The Uninvited
Authors:Liz Jensen
Info:Bloomsbury USA (2013), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:read 2012, reviewed for Bloomsbury

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The Uninvited by Liz Jensen

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English (27)  Danish (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
**Disclaimer: The publisher provided a free digital ARC of this book for review purposes.

This book started with a bang. Actually, it yanked me in violently. But after the first page, it kind of petered out for few chapters. “The Uninvited” takes its time to reclaim its reader, but readers that stick with it are definitely rewarded. While the events in the novel are unlikely to happen, Jensen convinces the reader that it could. I think this is the vital ingredient in the success of this story.

Liz Jensen does a stellar job at creating creepy-as-shit children and imaginative chaos. The only fault I can see, and it’s a pretty subjective one, is that her protagonist, Hesketh Lock, is extremely difficult to relate to, and yet, I think he’s the perfect character for this story.

Other than the slow warm-up I had to Hesketh (yes I did warm up eventually) Jensen crafted her characters carefully and with admirable attention to detail. It is well written, but must be digested slowly and thoughtfully. Jensen writes a beautiful, complex and disturbing story that stays with you. Evil children are creepy, and this book releases those fears and dark thoughts that we try to avoid thinking. Once they’re in your mind, it’s not easy to bottle it up and put it away in a safe, dark place where it can’t touch you anymore. This novel requires patience, but it’s a read that is immensely rewarding.

Full review at www.onfictionwriting.com
( )
  ReneeMiller | Feb 25, 2016 |
When I first saw this book I was very intrigued by it. The cover and the back summary of the book. Yes, please. I had to read this book to find out what was causing all of these children to go psycho and kill people. I agree with others that this book is not a horror story. Even though the front cover would lead you to think it is.

The opening scene of this book had me hooked. I could not wait to dig deeper into the story to learn the truth. After this the story just went flatline. It was a struggle for me to read the next few chapters. Even to call this book a psychological thriller would be a stretch. It was pretty evident soon that I had lost interest in the story and learning the truth. I guess I will never learn the truth. ( )
  Cherylk | Feb 15, 2016 |
I am a Liz Jensen fan, although I don’t make as much of an effort to read her books as I should do. True, whenever I see one in a charity shop, I buy it. But, seriously, I should be buying her books new from a retailer – online or otherwise – because they are that good. Consider it a personal failing. In The Uninvited, the narrator, who suffers from Asperger’s, finds himself drawn into an investigation into children who have murdered their parents. And there seems to be an epidemic of such murders. In all cases, the children have no idea why they committed murder, and seem completely unaffected by their actions. Jensen never gives you quite what you expect – and that’s as true of this novel as it is of any of her others. The narrator’s condition is handled expertly, the circumstances of the deaths he investigates are presented convincingly, and the actual plot of the novel actually seems almost plausible. I’m not the only one with a failing here – we should all be reading Liz Jensen. And The Uninvited is as good a place to start as any. ( )
  iansales | Feb 3, 2016 |
Good read, right from the first line! A man with Asperger's syndrome is investigating the sabotage of a company, when many others occur too! And children are attacking their adults! And it's spreading! Well, that's the gist of this story, and it moves along at a quick, crisp pace. I liked it a lot, and was even a bit sad when it was over. Was the whole thing a virus, aliens, body snatchers, or some zombie/vampire thing? You gotta read it! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 23, 2016 |
At first glance everything about this book screams creepy. The cover of an evil looking child, the little summary on the inside cover that instantly hooks you. However, this book quickly goes from a horror novel to something else and the children turned murderers are quickly on the back burner. This isn't a horror book and it was disappointing since I expected a gruesome book about kids that suddenly become murderers instead I got a book about a the relationship between a man and his stepson.
For what it is the book is okay, just not what I was expecting and left me disappointed. ( )
  Serenity_Tigerlily | Jan 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
This unsettling mystery-thriller possesses elements of horror as well as apocalyptic overtones. The protagonist of Liz Jensen's The Uninvited (Bloomsbury USA, $25) is Hesketh Lock, a brilliant fellow with Asperger's syndrome who works as a claims investigator for a British firm. He can't help but look for patterns and rely on observations when he detects something abnormal about some recent, exceptionally bloody violence from very young children.
 
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Epigraph
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting 
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star 
Hath had elsewhere its setting 
And cometh from afar . . . 
Hence in a season of calm weather 
Though inland far we be 
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea 
Which brought us hither 
Can in a moment travel thither 
And see the children sport upon the shore 
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

William Wordsworth, Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.

Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory
Dedication
For Clare Blatchford Rees
An inspiration
First words
Mass hysterical outbreaks rarely have identifiable inceptions, but the date I remember most vividly is Sunday 16th September, when a young child in butterfly pyjamas slaughtered her grandmother with a nail-gun to the neck.
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Book description
A seven-year-old girl puts a nail-gun to her grandmother's neck and fires. An isolated incident, say the experts. The experts are wrong. Across the world, children are killing their families. Is violence contagious?

As chilling murders by children grip the country, anthropologist Hesketh Locke has his own mystery to solve: a bizarre scandal in the Taiwan timber industry. He has never been good at relationships, Asperger's Syndrome has seen to that. But he does have a talent for spotting behavioural patterns, and an outsider's fascination with group dynamics.

Hesketh has no obvious reason to connect the South East Asian case with the atrocities back home. Or with the increasingly odd behaviour of his beloved step son, Freddy. But when his Taiwan contact dies shockingly, and more acts of sabotage and child violence sweep the globe, Hesketh is forced to make connections that defy the rational principles on which he has staked his life, his career and — most devastatingly of all — his role as a father.

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In the wake of a series of baffling murders committed by children, anthropologist Hesketh Lock investigates a scandal in the Taiwan timber industry and wonders at his stepson's odd behavior before making a shocking connection upon the death of his Taiwan contact.… (more)

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