Friday, August 22, 2014

Suicide in Tiny Increments / Riya Anne Polcastro

Reviewed by: Keith Nixon

Genre: Satire / Humour / Thriller

Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words

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Polcastro describes herself as a student of human behavior and a conduit for raw words. She has a fascination with mental illness and human interaction which influences her work. Suicide… is her debut.

You can learn more about the author at her website.


Daniel Long lives a sad, lonely existence. So much so he decides to hire a hitman to end his miserable life because he’s not brave enough to do it himself. But then one of his friends kills herself and he realizes things aren’t as bad as he thinks. Unfortunately the hitman doesn’t agree…


I was drawn to this novel because of the interesting blurb and title. Unfortunately the contents didn’t quite match up.

Daniel has a dead end job and a minimal circle of friends. He’s attracted to Tina, but can’t seem to get close to her. His previous relationship was a mess – Cindi was bisexual and free with her body.

Then he finds the hitman, who happens (unknown to Daniel) to have a connection with him that later arises in the story – which is quite neat. Daniel decides he has to say goodbye to his few friends – including Jennifer. His news makes her commit suicide – she’s in love with him. When Daniel learns this after her death he decides he doesn’t want to die and hides at Tina’s house.

Then it all goes a bit haywire as Tina and Daniel turn the tables on the hitman and hunt him down.

It’s written in the present tense which gave the story a sense of urgency. However, some readers may struggle with this – I did. There are long stretches of life observations – in particular Daniel considering his ‘time’ with Cindi, often graphically.

None of the characters are particularly likable, which was probably the aim. Unfortunately this meant I couldn’t empathise with them and situations that were supposed to be amusing bordered on irritating. The conclusion is a similar affair – a ‘what the?!’ event. A somewhat frustrating read.


Plenty of swearing and graphic descriptions.

Format/Typo Issues:

A couple of clunky sentences.

Rating: ** Two Stars

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