July 13, 2011

Animosity by James Newman

Animosity is a psychological horror thriller.

Andrew Holland is a newly divorced father of a young tween daughter, who he shares custody with his ex-wife.  Andy is also a horror writer of some extremely graphic and controversial topics.

He lives in the peaceful suburb of Poinsettia Lane where everybody knows everyone and life is idyllic until the day Andy, and his dog, Norman Bates, find the body of a young girl, naked and battered in the newly developed section of the lane.

From the moment the police leave, their suspicions of Andy are apparent, his neighbours begin to change.  First its a look, a closed shutter as he walks by, a turned head as he greets them, however, Andy also believes he is suffering from paranoia and dismisses the animosity that appears to be building.

Refusing to bring any undue attention to his plight, Andy ignores the pleas and calls from the press, his neighbours and friends.  He alienates himself from the situation in order to write the book with a deadline fast approaching and those around misinterpret his actions for that of a guilty person.  The media adds its own twist by continually playing up an allegation that occurred in Andy's youth as they unrelentlessly bash him in the papers and on television, adding fuel to an already blazing fire.

After Andy's daughter comes to stay for her scheduled visit, the neighbours read into an event wrong and Andy begins to believe he may be in danger for his life.  After reporting very disturbing incidents that appear to be happening to Andy and his property, the police are lax to do anything about it.  After evidence proves that Andy isn't a culprit in the case, another body shows up outside of a horror book store, further implicating Andy in his neighbour's eyes.

As the once peaceful neighbourhood begins to break down, Andy must fight for his life in order to get out alive and his neighbours want blood...his blood!

I thought this was one of the best books I have read this year and I have read a lot of them.  It is a setting that could occur anywhere at anytime, anywhere in the world in which people converge and live together in a communal type operation.  Where lies and gossip feed minds and make them feast upon the negativity that it inspires.  How mob mentality can make or break any situation given the correct driven force to rally them.

I was impressed with the build up of the plot, the tranquil beginning to the break neck speed you find yourself coursing through in its completion.  The characters were remarkable in their clarity and perception and added the exact nuance needed to make this a great book.  These people could be your neighbours, this could be your neighbourhood and at any moment, those people you meet and greet each day, could turn against you and hunt you down like an animal.  Your taken into the inner psyche of a human's mind and shown it could be turned to such absurdity in relativity short period of time and for the least of reasons.

I loved the written style of James Newman, some chapters consisted of just a few lines of prose and in truth, that is all that was needed, it gives the book a defining edge that isn't easy to explain.  The truth of the story is one that makes me shiver thinking how easily it could occur.  The simple perfection with which it is written escalates you into madness and leaves you looking at your neighbours, wondering if they also hold their beast within.

If you plan on reading this book, give yourself time to complete it, you will not wish to put it down whence you begin.  I handed this over to my dude when I was finished, he is a straight-up bathroom reader and within six hours he had it read in its entirety and we still discuss the possibilities and implications of the author's message.  It is an extremely great read, told in a very exact nature that will leave you feeling slightly paranoid.

Subtitled “An American Horror Story”, Animosity is a modern-day morality tale in which the monsters wear familiar faces . . . rather than bloodthirsty vampires or brain-eating zombies beating at the door, these are our friends, our families, our peers . . . .

** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!! ** 

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a really good book. Your review is very helpful. I will be checking this book out.