A Pleasure and a Calling; Phil Hogan
Picador - 2015
(Description) -- IN THE TRADITION OF PATRICIA HIGHSMITH'S TOM RIPLEY NOVELS COMES A DELICIOUSLY UNSETTLING TALE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE THAT DELVES INTO THE MIND OF A MAN WITH A CHILLING DOUBLE LIFE.
Mr. Heming loves the leafy English village where he lives. As a local real estate agent, he knows every square inch of the town and sees himself as its protector, diligent in enforcing its quaint charm. Most people don't pay much attention to Mr. Heming; he is someone who fades easily into the background. But Mr. Heming pays attention to them. You see, he has the keys to their homes. In fact, he has the keys to every home he's ever sold in town. Over the years, he has kept them all so that he can observe his neighbors, not just on the street, but behind locked doors.
Mr. Heming considers himself a connoisseur of the private lives of others. He is witness to the minutiae of their daily lives, the objects they care about, the secrets they keep. As details emerge about a troubled childhood, Mr. Heming's disturbing hobby begins to form a clear pattern, and the reasons behind it come into focus. But when the quiet routine of the village is disrupted by strange occurrences, including a dead body found in the backyard of a client's home, Mr. Heming realizes it may only be a matter of time before his secrets are found out.
A brilliant portrait of one man's obsession, A Pleasure and a Calling is a darkly funny and utterly transfixing tale that will hold you under its spell.