Monday 30 September 2019

The Introvert Confounds Innocence - Michael Paul Michaud

THE INTROVERT CONFOUNDS INNOCENCE continues the story of the eponymous anti-hero introduced in THE INTROVERT.

With his life disrupted by an unscrupulous work colleague and a bully at his son Toby’s school, things go from bad to worse when his neighbor’s abusive boyfriend goes missing, plunging the introvert into the center of a murder investigation.

Increasingly hounded by a meddlesome detective, and with his thoughts continually urging him to make people “red and open” and to “achieve it” with his girlfriend Donna, what follows is a sometimes brutal, oftentimes hilarious, and absurdist account of the life of one very anti-social and unexpected anti-hero.

What did I think?

When reading The Introvert one rainy Saturday afternoon, I really didn't want it to end and my wish was granted with The Introvert Confounds Innocence being next in my reading queue - hurrah!  You could read this book as a standalone but I think it definitely works better as a series, after all, the introvert himself is a serial killer.  He's not your traditional serial killer by any means; he doesn't go out looking for people to kill, it's more like they present themselves to him as people who deserve to become 'red and open'.  As a literal thinking killer with feelings, I think of our nameless anti-hero as a cross between Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory and Dexter Morgan from Dexter.

I love the simple but clever covers of these books and The Introvert Confounds Innocence shows a new addition to our anti-hero's life.  I think his partner, Donna, not standing along with the family says a great deal about how anti-social our anti-hero really is.  Does he actually love her or is she simply a means to his 'achieving it'?

There is a lot going on in the 226 pages of this book: the introvert's son is being bullied, he has a new competitive colleague at work and his next door neighbour is the victim of domestic abuse.  With many contenders for the next person to become 'red and open', I couldn't read fast enough to see how this story would play out.  Some of the interactions with his new colleague at work had me guiltily laughing out loud as our introvert smashes several of the equality and diversity protected characteristics to smithereens in one fell swoop.  You really can't be offended by it as he doesn't mean it in a derogatory way, he is just being literal and there's nothing wrong with that when that's the way you are made.

Although not a criticism by any means, there was only one thing I personally didn't like in the book and that was the way the weird English detective spoke, however, the repetitive, often lyrical nature of prose did fit well with the book.  He just annoyed the hell out of me as it felt like he was talking to a dog most of the time but I think that was part of his character as he came across as a bumbling friendly guy but he was like a bloodhound that has the scent of blood.

Leading on very nicely indeed to Book 3: The Introvert Bears Filthy Witness, The Introvert Confounds Innocence is a wonderfully quirky instalment in this awesome series.  I can't wait to see what happens next to the introvert and I have to confess that I am most definitely addicted to this highly original series; so just try and stop me reading the books again while I wait (im)patiently for Book 3.

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

My rating:

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