The Intruder by P. S. Hogan

the intruder

I was intrigued by the idea behind The Intruder when I first came across it, and I was delighted to be sent a proof in advance of its publication.

He has the key to hundreds of houses.

Maybe even to yours.

William Heming is an estate agent. He’s kept a copy of every key to every house he’s ever sold. Sometimes he visits them. He lets himself in – quietly, carefully – to see who lives there now, what they’re like, what they’ve been doing.

But what will happen when he gets caught?

I try to write my own synopsis when reviewing a book, but I love the brevity of the above – I think that it tells you everything you need to know, and to say more might give spoilers.  For the same reason, I won’t go into to the plot in too much detail – The Intruder is a novel that is best approached with as little prior knowledge as possible.

I think that premise behind this novel – that of an estate agent who keeps a copy of the keys to each of the houses that he sells – is a deceptively straightforward one, and from this, Hogan has written a fantastic novel that is gripping throughout.  It’s a brilliant idea that is creepy and plausible, and I was hooked from the first page.

The Intruder is told from William Heming’s perspective, and Hogan has created a brilliant antihero in this character, and one that will stick with me for some time to come.  Whilst his actions and motivations are questionable, he does take on a vigilante role at times, and some of the antics he gets up to are highly amusing.  The novel does take a darker turn, however, and this is a compelling thriller that will elicit that “just one more chapter” feeling.

One aspect that I particularly liked was that Heming doesn’t give a great deal away about himself.  He, understandably, keeps himself apart from those around him, revealing little about himself, and the reader is similarly kept a little distant from the narrator, although with more background than the characters in the novel.  Even his appearance, other than being pleasant, isn’t commented upon all that much.  Whilst this vagueness of character doesn’t always work, for me this made the story even creepier, as it suggested to me that it could be absolutely anyone – maybe even the estate agent you’ll buy your next house from…

The Intruder is a brilliant, fast-paced read that builds up to a fantastic ending.  I wasn’t sure where it was going to go, but I was delighted by how it ended.  Highly recommended.

The Intruder will be published in eBook format on 1 February, and in paperback on 31 May by Black Swan.  Many thanks to Rosie Margesson for providing a copy for review.

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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