Creepy describes both the physical environment and the plot of this suspense novel that serves up five dead bodies and several unsettling twists as it follows the convoluted lives of brothers Jonathan and Roger Maguire. As kids growing up in London, Roger, the older mentally challenged sibling, protects his younger brother from local bullies. In turn, Jonathan pledges to be his brother’s keeper when the time comes.
The parents unexpectedly die in a mysterious fire, and Jonathan, true to his word, gives up his university studies and returns home to care for Rogers. They are an agreeable pair but each is consumed by an obsession. For Jonathan, the universe centers on his talented and beautiful young wife, Harriet. For Roger, the driving purpose in life is the massive insect farm he creates and tends in the family’s garden shed.
Jonathan relates the story of the boys’ childhoods and later their adult lives together. As the narrator he informs readers of his memories and motivations and guesses at his brother’s thoughts. But it is simple-minded Roger, the brother who rarely talks, who holds the dark secret to the past and the explosive key to the future in this highly original psychological thriller.
Stuart Prebble is a producer of documentary and current-affair programs for British television. This is his third novel.