|A & C Black|
the observer Sun 25 January 2009
New York City psychiatrist Charlie Weir appears to view everything in his dysfunctional life through the same cool lens with which he analyses his patients. From lunchtime sex with his ex-wife Agnes to his estrangement from his abusive father, Charlie narrates his story in a spare, detached voice - one that can, at times, feel almost frustrating in its paucity of detail or real emotion. But as the novel delves into Charlie's cold, damaged interior, it becomes increasingly clear that he is a less-than-reliable narrator - leaving one wondering if the title refers primarily to the plot, or to the effect that finishing the novel has on the reader, who may well find it difficult to sleep afterwards. Chilling, in a satisfying way.