Published by RedDoor Publishing on April 12 2018
Genres: Fiction, Mystery
Lionel Shriver meets Mark Haddon in this break-out debut.
Despite living in the same three-flat house in the suburbs of London, the residents are strangers to one another. The bottom floor is home to Tam, a recent ex-cop who spends his days drowning his sorrows in whisky. On the middle floor is Nick, a young man with Asperger's who likes to stick to his schedules and routines. The top floor belongs to Karen, a doctor and researcher who has spent her life trying to understand the rising rates of autism. They have lived their lives separately, until now, when an unsolved murder and the man on the middle floor connect them all together. Told from three points of view, The Man on the Middle Floor is about disconnection in all its forms; sexual, physical, parental and emotional. It questions whether society is meeting the needs of the fast growing autistic section of society, or exacerbating it.
Thought-provoking and thrilling, The Man on the Middle Floor will leave readers talking.
So today is the last day of the blog tour for The Man on the Middle Floor by Elizabeth S Moore. Welcome!!
This book started well and I did not know what path we were going to be lead down.
You meet Tam first he lives on the ground floor. A cop who is recovering from an injury on the job, and who has been told that times have changed and he is no longer needed on the force. Forcing him to live a few days in a drunken solitude. This character was the only one I actually liked even with all his flaws. He is an old-school policeman, just wanting to do good in the world and at the end of the book he had found his place.
Nick, he lives on the middle floor. He has Aspergers and OCD among other things, and his story is one of sorrow and pain. His story was uncomfortable to read. He lives his life by routines and schedules. His mum has paid for him to live in a flat so he can make his life his own. His grandad, however, is such an evil man, you can sense the fear that Nick has for him.
Karen, she lives on the top floor. I actually have never met a character who I disliked straight away. She is a mum of three and she is completely career driven, she is a researcher on autism. The neglect to her family is such that her eldest daughter at 12 years old is the surrogate mum to her two younger boys. I found her story the one that made me angry and sad. I am a career driven woman who has a child, but I think I couldn’t accept how she treated her family, and I could not relate to her as it was too extreme for me to understand. I do struggle with being a mum at times but I try to deal with it the best I can. Karen did not deal with it, she ignored the situation, neglected her family. She got angry when they could not see anything from her point of view, yet did not take their point of view into consideration, not once. I thought it was indicated at times that Karen was on the spectrum for autism without even realising it despite all her studying.
Each chapter focuses on one person at a time. Their thoughts, feelings and point of view. When said ‘murder’ takes place, it is very casually glossed over and I did not realise at first it had happened, this was mainly due to the POV at the time. There is no secret to who did the killing in any aspect of the story, but more of a why they did it, and their understanding of it. The downward spiral from then was fast and you really couldn’t see the end happening. The more that the characters try to get a ‘normal’ life the worse the situation gets. You can feel the panic in the characters when everything falls apart.
I did have a little cheer at the end of the book with Nick’s storyline because justice was done for him and he could begin to live a proper life that he wanted, no fuss, touch, emotions and just his routines and schedules perfected the way he likes them.
When I was reading one of the scenes, I just couldn’t get past it, and I thought I might not finish it. It was really unsettling but I am glad I had a break and carried on with the book, blitzing it in one night. Due to the content of this book, and how unsettling some of the scenes were I think this book will stay with me for awhile.
I received a copy on NetGalley from Anna at Red Door publishing for my honest and unbiased opinion
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: