The Uninvited (Hardcover)

By Liz Jensen

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 9781608199921, 307pp.

Publication Date: January 8, 2013



A seven-year-old girl puts a nail gun to her grandmother's neck and fires. An isolated incident, say the experts. The experts are wrong. Across the world, children are killing their families. Is violence contagious? As chilling murders by children grip the country, anthropologist Hesketh Lock has his own mystery to solve: a bizarre scandal in the Taiwan timber industry.

Hesketh has never been good at relationships: Asperger's Syndrome has seen to that. But he does have a talent for spotting behavioral patterns and an outsider's fascination with group dynamics. Nothing obvious connects Hesketh's Asian case with the atrocities back home. Or with the increasingly odd behavior of his beloved stepson, Freddy. But when Hesketh's Taiwan contact dies shockingly and more acts of sabotage and child violence sweep the globe, he is forced to acknowledge possibilities that defy the rational principles on which he has staked his life, his career, and, most devastatingly of all, his role as a father.

Part psychological thriller, part dystopian nightmare, "The Uninvited" is a powerful and viscerally unsettling portrait of apocalypse in embryo.

About the Author

Liz Jensen is the author of seven previous novels, including Ark Baby, shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Award, War Crimes for the Home, The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, and, most recently, The Rapture. Her work has been published in more than twenty countries. Jensen lives in London.

Praise For The Uninvited

"[A] cerebral thriller…. [Jensen’s] denouement is eerie and foreboding, leaving unanswered as many questions as it addresses."Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Gripping…. Jensen weaves an eerie, haunting narrative, told in Hesketh’s singular voice, building an unsettling tension as it moves toward a chilling finish.” —Booklist

“[A] compelling apocalyptic literary thriller…. An intricate, intelligent, nightmarish eco-prophecy delivered in pacey fictional form.”—Kirkus Reviews

"In the course of eight inventive, provocative novels, Jensen has carved out a fictional space dense with elements of fantasy and thriller, satire and SF, science and cod-science, but entirely her own. The mainstream is moving towards her, rather than the other way around."—Guardian (UK)

"The Uninvited is a masterclass in creepiness – as unsettling as Margaret Atwood or Kazuo Ishiguro but with modern detail such as Skype calls, industrial espionage and Twitter. It is this hybrid of haunted souls and capitalist cautionary tale that gives the novel its power."—Independent (UK)

"Expertly paced and pitched, combining moments of chilling horror with deadpan comedy, this audacious novel is utterly gripping."—Daily Mail (UK)