My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - <20 minutes
Pages - 79
Publisher - Weidenfield & Nicholson
Blurb from Goodreads
'I watched the house. It watched me back through long, baleful windows so tall a child could stand in the sill. And one was. I could see the length of his thin body: gray trousers, black sweater, a maroon tie perfectly knotted at the neck. A thicket of dark hair covering his eyes...'
A young woman is making a living faking it as a cut-price psychic (with some illegal soft-core sex work on the side). She makes a decent wage mostly by telling people what they want to hear. But then she meets Susan Burke.
Susan moved to the city one year ago with her husband and 15-year-old stepson Miles. They live in a modern Victorian house called Carterhook Manor. Susan has become convinced that some malevolent spirit is inhabiting their home. The young woman doesn't believe in exorcism or the supernatural. However when she enters the house for the first time, she begins to feel it too, as if the very house is watching her, waiting, biding its time...
The opening line refers to the main characters skill set which may offend some readers, she is a soft core sex worker as well as a "psychic". This is where she meets Susan, Susan doesn't believe in this stuff really but she must do something about her step son and home. What the main character doesn't realize is, there is a real threat at Susan's home and she herself may be in danger!
The protagonist gives us some insight into her life and how she came to be where she is however the main focus is on the here and now with Susan and her problem. The story really ends quite abruptly I felt and I suppose it is one of the reasons short stories is not my first port of call for reading choice. However the author does pack a punch with only 70+ pages, we have some twist and turns along the way considering how tiny the book is. I would have certainly liked more insight into both Miles and Susan, it would be good if Flynn revisited these characters. Overall a decent and surprising read as I thought it was about one thing but really went in a completly different direction, 3/5 for me this time, I have read this author before and I would read her again.