This is a strange book. First of all the protagonist has the unusual - although essential - job of cleaning up the scene after someone has died. In the majority of cases they have lain undiscovered for a long time and the environment takes more than a quick flick of the duster.
The theme of loneliness runs throughout the book, from the undiscovered deceased older people to the protagonist herself and even her cat. When she visits the home of the departed she goes through a respectful ritual before the gruesome cleaning operation begins, demonstrating the sympathy she has for these poor souls.
As the the actual job itself, this is described in meticulous detail with the reasons behind the process, mainly as a large information block near the beginning. The story is told in the first person in a casual, personal manner with the disjointed thoughts from her disjointed family and an obsessive fascination with a fifty-year-old photograph.
Some of the threads in the plot are a little far-fetched and slightly odd, but so is the whole concept of the book. A dark and disturbing tale, certainly something different and George the cat is a wonderful addition.
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Published by Hodder and Stoughton on 20 January 2022.
Advanced review copy supplied by the publisher.
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