Sunday, November 25, 2018

45. Something to Hide by Nicholas Monsarrat

This is a very short book, 124 pages almost all of which are tense and unpleasant.  Jack Carter stops at the beginning of the book to pick up a desperate looking girl on the side of the road.  She is desperate and very pregnant and browbeats him into taking her into his home.  This is 1960s England and Carter is a petit bourgeois clerk at a small town hall, with a nice house by the river where he likes to go fishing.  Though he is in a rural place with some privacy, the neighbours do watch and having a girl in his home would cause social problems that could lead to pressure at work and so on.  He digs himself deeper with lies as the girl proves stubborn and utterly irresponsible.  This is more a book of tension and social pressure rather than outright violence, though it indeed goes down a pretty extreme path.  It reminded me of one of Simenon's Romans Durs with the Highsmith exploration of guilt and Millar's deceptive plotting.  Definitely enjoyable for a day's reading.  I would love to find the movie someday.

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