Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Review: Inhuman Resources by Pierre Lemaitre

Title: Inhuman Resources
Author: Pierre Lemaitre
Published: November 2018, MacLehose Press

Format: ARC Paperback, 384 pages
Source: Publisher

Alain Delambre is a fifty-seven-year-old former HR executive, drained by four years of hopeless unemployment. The only job offers he gets are for low-level, demoralizing positions. He has reached rock bottom and can see no way out.

So when a major company finally invites him in for an interview, Alain is ready to do anything--borrow money, shame his wife and his daughters, and even participate in the ultimate recruitment test: a role-playing game that involves taking hostages.

Alain vows to commit body and soul in this struggle to regain his dignity. But if he had realized that the odds were stacked against him from the beginning, he never would have tried to land the position. Now, his fury is limitless. And what began as a role-playing game could quickly become a bloodbath.

My thoughts: This is the third book I've read by Pierre Lemaitre and I am such a fan of his work, despite the fact that his books are so dark and disturbing. I am continually blown away by the quality of his writing.

This book is a bit different from the other two I've read, yet it is still twisted and dark. It's a bit more cynical that the other two, though still just as compelling, in my opinion. It delves into the psyche of a man completely desperate to get back into the workforce and the extreme measures he takes to get a job. I have to say, I really felt his desperation as Alain goes to great lengths to secure this job, and while I might not have agreed with all his decisions, I could understand why he felt he had to do what he did. Lemaitre does such a great job making you feel this desperation, his hopelessness at his situation - you get that Alain realizes he has nothing to lose at this point and if he doesn't do everything he is doing, he isn't going to have anything. You might be in shock with what Alain ends up doing, but at some level, you get it.

This book is full of surprises. You may think you have it figured out, you may think you know where it is going to end up, but it doesn't end up going there. It is cleverly plotted, filled with great twists and turns and the suspense and tension build at just the right pace. 

It is broken up into three parts, the before, during and after. The before is when we have Alain setting everything up - this part is narrated by Alain. The during is when the tension starts ratcheting up - this part is narrated by another person. The after is when the action really amps up - this part is back to being narrated by Alain. 

I really enjoyed this crazy as it seems. As soon as I started it, I found myself totally consumed by it, wondering just where it was headed. This is crime fiction with a twist and I can't recommend it enough!!!


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