Thursday, 16 November 2017

House of Sand - Michael J Sanford

I want to watch you burn.

Consumed by hate, I've done the unthinkable. And it's turned me into a hero. Now, I must decide how far I'll go to keep my secret safe.

I won't let you know the truth.

But the sounds that echo in my head...

...are only growing louder.

Attempted murder gives a man his family back. It's everything he's ever wanted, but he can't forget what he did. And the longer he holds the secret, the more control he loses to the darkness whispering in his ear. It craves violence and can't be silenced forever. The line between truth and lies is disappearing. And with it, the difference between right and wrong.

What did I think?

I had to get my head together before writing a review on this book.  I felt as if my brain was being shaken up in a snowglobe; a couple of things disturbed me but I couldn't see clearly for all the snow until it all settled.  Confused?  Pretty much how I felt for most of the book but yet I still couldn't put it down. 

We are introduced to a clearly unhinged man in House of Sand, he's currently unemployed and it's putting quite a strain on his marriage.  He is totally besotted with his 8 year old daughter, Aza, who is VERY advanced for her years.  If we weren't told that she was 8 years old, you could be mistaken for putting her in her mid to late teens with all her mood swings and swearing.  So that his wife, Joy, won't leave him taking his beloved Aza with her, he agrees to attend an interview that Joy has arranged but he has a total meltdown in the waiting room and runs out of the building.

As if things couldn't get any crazier, our main character goes and sets fire to his house then runs into the burning building like a hero.  The family see it as a new beginning but the strain of hiding the truth about the origins of the fire cause him to unravel like a roll of toilet paper pursued by an Andrex puppy.  When all that is left is the empty cardboard core, we finally see him for who he really is.

Now I really thought I'd missed something when I didn't know the name of the main character; I found myself flicking back over a few pages now and again to see if I had somehow missed it.  So along with an 8 year old acting like a teenager, this lack of name disturbed me but if you remember the snowglobe analogy I mentioned earlier, it does all become clear at the end and looking back now, I think it was actually pretty genius.  

House of Sand feels like madness personified; nothing is what it seems and I think I read most of the book with permanently surprised raised eyebrows!  It didn't turn out at all as I imagined, which can only ever be a good thing - it really is very dark, shocking and surprising.  I think it's one of those books I need to read again to pick up on the clever little nuances that I completely missed the first time round.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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