Title: The Removal Man
Author: R. J. Parker
Published on: 29 April 2022
Genre: Mystery and Thriller | Psychological Thriller
Rose is moving. It is going to be a new start for her and her son, Noah. The removal men had come over to shift all the heavy furniture. The rest of the boxes are packed and they will be back next week. Noah wants to sleep in a tent in the back garden. Rose initially does not agree.
Her husband of many years, Lucas, and Noah used to sleep in the tent years ago. But Lucas is not with them now. And Rose doesn’t want Noah to sleep alone. She finally lets him sleep in the tent but she will be close by, in case he wants to come in. She falls asleep and wakes up with a start. Someone’s pounding the door. It’s Noah. It’s raining heavily and Noah is soaked.
Noah claims he heard someone nearby. Someone dragging something, to be precise. Rose hears a sound in the house but on checking, there’s no one. She sits with Noah in the tent for a while and a few minutes later, in her peripheral vision, she sees someone in Noah’s bedroom.
Soon, it turns into a cat-and-mouse chase. Someone’s closing in on the mother-son duo. They must escape before it is too late. Rose hoists Noah onto the compound and when Noah jumps to the other side, two arms extend from the trench and pull Noah down.
I don’t think I have ever read a book that begins with a spine-chilling creepiness before. As the story began and the mother-son duo learn of an intruder in their home, I thought this is going to be one heck of a creepy story. Wherever they go, they are followed. When Rose finally thinks Noah has managed to escape, she realizes she readily pushed her son into the harms of the stalker.
It’s the removal man. One of the guys who came home that fateful morning to shift the furniture. He has abducted Noah and would return him to Rose after she helps him move something from the house.
Once the removal man appears on scene, the story is no longer creepy. The villain (our removal man) is too mouthy. He just keeps going on and on and on… When he’s blabbering his way to (the reader’s) boredom, Rose only thinks of ‘how to escape.’ She tries to escape many times and is always cornered by the removal man. Goodness, this cycle went on and on, I just wanted the story to end!
The creepy beginning made me believe the story would get more and more interesting with each chapter. But I was disappointed to learn the second half was more of a bore. Then we have Rose’s personal life – which made no sense at all. The removal man claims he knows everything about Rose and her husband Lucas. Blah blah blah, too many dialogs by Mr. know-it-all Removal Man! I don’t understand what this had to do with whatever agenda the removal man had.
I have enjoyed R.J. Parker’s The Good Neighbour but I cannot say the same about this one.
I received an ARC from One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.
Oh, sorry about two disappointments in a row
Thankfully, the jinx broke. The third one turned out to be good.