18 Feb 2015



SOURCE: An ARC received from publishers, Alma Books. The paperback publication date is 31st March 2015.

PRESS RELEASE BLURB: A cleverly plotted and tense psychological drama, a novel of love, jealousy and suspense from the author of The Grumpy Old Men TV series.

Brothers Jonathan and Roger Maguire each has an obsession. For Jonathan, it is his beautiful and talented girlfriend Harriet. For Roger, it is the elaborate universe he has constructed in a shed in their parents' garden, populated by millions of tiny insects.

But Roger lives in an impenetrable world of his own and, after the mysterious death of their parents, his brother Jonathan is forced to give up his studies to take care of him. This obligation forces Jonathan to live apart from Harriet – further fuelling his already jealous nature.

Their lives are abruptly shattered by a sudden and violent death, and Jonathan is drawn into a cat-and-mouse game with the police. Does Roger know more than he is letting on? A cleverly plotted mystery with a shock ending, The Insect Farm – Stuart Prebble’s awaited new novel – will linger long in the mind of its readers.

FIRST SENTENCE/MEMORABLE MOMENT: A proof copy, I am unable to reproduce either the first sentence or my memorable moment here.

MY THOUGHTS: Well written - I take my hat off to the author for making insects sound interesting - tense and suspenseful and with such memorable characters. 

The story of two brothers, each with their own obsession (for one its the beautiful Harriet, for the other, the ecosystem he has created in a garden shed). A mystery with a difference, one that relies heavily on relationships. For me however it is the complexity of Roger that really makes this the fascinating read it is. A man with a childlike innocence (he has an unspecified learning disability), a man who, on the face of it, is immersed in a world of his own creation, it is Prebble's wonderful writing of him that left me with a delightfully niggling sense of unease throughout.

Though maybe not one of those books I'd read time and time again - despite the wonderful characters and all the twists and turns, of which there are plenty, I'm not convinced it warrants a further reading - I'd nevertheless highly recommend The Insect Farm to those wanting an original thriller.


Kelly said...

An intriguing review, Tracy. I will definitely be on the lookout for this one once it's published.

Melliane said...

I don't think I've already read a book like that, around the insect world but it's interesting, different.

Suko said...

Tracy, this sounds like it would be an original, interesting thriller. Thank you for a terrific review!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Hm... may not be a bad choice and worth a turn. Thanks for the review.

Brian Joseph said...

The characters in this book sound like they are so interesting. One does not always encounter that in this type of novel.

I think that insects can indeed be interesting!

Alexia561 said...

I'm not much for mysteries or insects, but did enjoy your review!