‘Gripping, cinematic, voyeuristic. A delightfully disturbing debut.’
The shop is everything to him – always neat and tidy, safe and reliable, the rental DVDs carefully categorised, alphabetised and memorised.
He thinks he knows his customers, until the bloodstains begin to appear – on grubby banknotes, on porn DVDs and on the shops fresh new carpet.
Then the girl comes into his life, green eyes and fresh scarlet slashed between her thin cotton blouse. He wants to rescue and protect her. He wants to be with her. Forever.
I finished 9987 by Nik Jones not so long ago, and I have to admit it was one of murkiest reads I’ve had the – shall we say pleasure – in coming across, in a long time. It took me less than a day to read, and that has got to be purely a tribute to the author. From the first page the novel gripping me with grubby, blood-stained hands and kept me enthralled from start to finish. The novel is very confusing at first; however I found that if you just let yourself be swept up by the main protagonist, the store-manager, the narrator, then it all comes together in the most interesting and exciting way possible. Without giving too much away, not all is as it seems at the Total Rental store, and not all is as it seems with ‘him’, the narrator. In the end, Mr. Jones managed to leave me amazed as I did by no means see the finale coming. Maybe I’m gullible or maybe it is a tribute to such a well written novel and a chillingly written plot.
What I will say is this. It novel is written in a dirty manner, and not for the younger, less-matured audiance. There is many sexual references throughout the book; enough to annoy people that don’t enjoy that kind of story-line, but not enough in my opinion to draw the reader away from the action, away from the characters and plot. So just be careful, this fantastically well written debut novel from Mr. Jones, is certainly not for the faint-hearted. At a short 264 pages though, you’ll be left wondering where your day went as you get wrapped up in the pages.
9/10. A superb, bloodthirsty debut novel.