Reviewed by: Keith Nixon
Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words
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Adam Pepper produces both fiction and non-fiction works. His novels are typically a blend of horror and suspense.
More can be found about Adam Pepper on his website.
Jack Maddox is a man who’s tipped over the edge. His wife and child died in mysterious circumstances. Since then he’s a man in decline. He has headaches and memory loss, but no idea why. Puzzlingly, on Valentine’s day each year Jack meets Heidi, his wife’s twin, for a picnic at a remote location. Somehow, Jack needs to move on with his life, he just can’t see how.
Buried A Man I Hated There is an interesting, complex, slow burn story that grew on me as I progressed. I’ve previously reviewed the author’s novel Skin Games. Both are similar in that they steadily reveal more detail with each page. The picture is at first sketchy, but with sufficient intrigue to keep the pages turning. Over time the image is completed, with the last chapters a final flourish.
Initially I confess I struggled a bit with Buried A Man I Hated There but I will be totally honest and state this this is down to me, not the author or the tale. I prefer pacey reads, but that’s just me. The protagonist, Jack, lives a pretty dull, repetitive life and the reader shares it with him. He’s tedious and you know it. But, we learn more about him page by page and there’s significantly more to him and therefore his situation than first meets the eye. We also come to understand why he’s as he is.
And that’s what’s so good about this book. Once I’d put it down and had the dots joined together by the author it all made sense, in particular the narrative style – the end justified the means. The psychological element that Pepper incorporates in his writing shines through again. Even the title suddenly becomes clear and obvious.
Yes, it’s not my normal pick-up, but so what? The style is refreshing, it was a good read and I’m happy I did so.
Rating: **** Four Stars