Friday, 1 August 2014
The Ugly Man by P.D. Viner
Publication date: 1 August 2014
Published by Ebury
Purchase from Amazon here
The summer of 1976.
The whole country baking in a heatwave. And in a sleepy Derbyshire village a man, known locally as the Ugly Man, walks into his local with a claw hammer and in front of everyone brutally murders the young woman behind the bar.
For Patricia Lancing, juggling the demands of being a wife and mother alongside her desire to get recognition as an investigative journalist, this could be the case that makes her career...
If she survives it.
The Ugly Man by P.D. Viner is a short story about a local guy known as 'the ugly man' who was born with a facial disfigurement and always thought of as an odd ball by the local community. One night he walks into a local pub and kills the barmaid with a claw hammer.
Patricia is a Mum with a young family. She is also an investigative journalist who is sent to the area to investigate and report on the murder. Slowly she uncovers the truth that surrounds the Ugly Man, but not without risking her and her families lives.
I enjoyed the short story. It was long enough with enough context for me to get to know the characters. The story flowed well and for the most part I found the story easy to follow.
I liked the way the author told the back story of The Ugly Man and his childhood. I actually began to feel real empathy for them. At the outset he reminded me a bit of John Merrick, the Elephant Man, who was also judged and outcast due to his deformities. I felt like hie just wanted to be accepted and to be 'good enough'. Unfortunately getting In with Glenn feels like it led him astray and down a bad path. I didn't like the character of Glenn and wanted to rewind time to keep him away from Mark.
The story came together well as he retold it to Patricia and I was quite moved in some parts by it. How he turned from a boy looking for acceptance, into someone who could inflict pain and loss on others. I wasn't sure how it would end at first, and I'm not entirely sure I am content with the ending as it didn't feel just.
I enjoyed the short story, which can be read in a couple of hours. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a thriller.
Thank you for Random House UK, Ebury Publishing for providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.