This book is a bizarre and twisted that deals with obsession. Told primarily in the third person but from the point-of-view of reporter and best-selling true crime author David Neff. With a nose for finding stories, David takes possession of an abandoned box of clippings and files about a cold case. The more he reads, the more he becomes obsessed about the missing young girls –just like all the detectives before him.
Meanwhile, the police are investigating a bizarre crime with an even stranger victim. The killer’s prey was a recluse, a man who rarely went outside, who had nonsensical items delivered to his house, a house in which he always wore mittens, the man from Primrose Lane.
Through a peculiar set of circumstances, Neff is implicated in the murder. Now on the run, his investigation becomes more than just an obsession — he needs to save his own skin.
The book sits outside of typical genres. It employs aspects of an edgy, modern murder mystery as well as science fiction and pulpy narratives.
There was one thing that annoyed him. He could take the coldness, the negativity, the migraines she sometimes got that kept her in bed for two days. he could forgive her forgetting his birthday and for always saying ‘effect’ when she really meant ‘affect.’ He could forgive her for leaving her blow dryer on his side of the bedroom vanity and for making him spray that floral stuff in the bathroom. He didn’t mind all this because he never took for granted the way her bottom lip puffed out a bit when she was drunk or the way she twisted her hair in her fingers when he lay in her lap watching television. The only thing that really annoyed him, the only thing he just could not get over, was her love of Christopher Pike, a late-eighties teen-lit horror novelist she’d become obsessed with in her sister’s absence. ~Pg. 45
The structure bounces between narrators and flashbacks, almost edited for the screen in some places, until it all comes together. I wanted to continue reading it, but it is rough going. It is not for the faint of heart. I would compare its graphic nature to an episode of Law & Order: SVU. All in all, I was engrossed in the story.
And I am unsurprised that it has already been optioned to be made into a movie. The film version will star Bradley Cooper, who is much more dapper than I imagined David Neff to be, but then again, don’t we all hope our own selves will be played by a more attractive doppelganger.
Many thanks to Gabrielle and Andrea at Picador for the review copy.
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 384 pages