The Resident by David Jackson

‘They’re here!  They’ve come for us!’

Thomas Brogan is a serial killer on the run from the police.  He manages to evade capture and finds refuge in an abandoned terrace house at the end of a row.  As a temporary refuge, it is fine, but could he be trapped?  Brogan explores the house and discovers that he can access three other houses in the row through the roof space.

And so, the story begins.  Over a period of fifteen days, we learn about Brogan’s past, while in the present he manipulates the lives of residents of two of the houses he can access.  Have you ever heard a noise in the roof?  Have you ever wondered if you are being spied on?  Brogan’s intrusion into the third house will have consequences but will he be caught, or can he escape?

Mr Jackson ramps up the tension in this novel: the physical setting may be limited but Brogan’s capacity to manipulate is not.  He is a damaged character, carrying the weight of his past while cunning enough to make the most of his circumstances.  A bit of food stolen here, moving personal items to create friction between a couple, getting to know an elderly woman and he even stops a burglar.

How will it end?  Well, you will need to read it to find out for yourself. Elements of this novel are quite scary: especially if you live in a terrace.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and VIPER for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes. 

Jennifer Cameron-Smith