Creature of the Night by Kate Thompson
Bobby knows exactly why his mother has moved his family from Dublin to Clare, and he's not happy about it. She wants him to straighten out, to stop running with the lads, to stop stealing and doing drugs and destroying cars. In other words, to stop doing everything that makes his hopeless life worth living.
Bobby doesn't plan on sticking around long--just long enough to steal a car and get himself back to Dublin. But there's something odd going on in their house. The previous tenant disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The family that used to live there left under an odd scandal of murder. The family down the road warned them to leave out milk and cake for "the fairies", and now Bobby's little brother can't stop talking about the little woman in the kitchen.
As Bobby finds himself getting more involved in Clare, and more frightened by the odd circumstances, he realizes that he may have to make a choice that will determine the course of his future--and the course of the rest of his life.
This book is an exercise in atmosphere, mood and tone. Every time I picked this up to continue reading, I sank seamlessly back into the gritty hopelessness of Bobby's Ireland. Bobby is a deliberately unlikeable character--he steals--from other people, from his mother, from people who are trying to help him--without a second thought, he is harsh to everyone in his life, and he is generally entirely selfish and self-centered. He's exactly the sort of character I usually have a lot of trouble caring about. And yet within a couple of chapters, I was in Bobby's head, I understood the painful place he was coming from, and I felt very strongly for him.
( Minor spoilers below the cut.Collapse )