Note to readers: In the UK, this book is published under the title The Hoarder.
Indie Next Pick
From the award-winning author of Himself comes a spellbinding and “magically entertaining read” (Good Housekeeping, UK) about a lonely caregiver and a cranky hoarder with a house full of secrets that “will appeal to fans of Tana French and Sophie Hannah, as it charms and unsettles in equal measure” (BookPage).
Maud Drennan is a dedicated caregiver whose sunny disposition masks a deep sadness. A tragic childhood event left her haunted, in the company of a cast of prattling saints who pop in and out of her life like tourists. Other than visiting her agoraphobic neighbor, Maud keeps to herself, finding solace in her work and in her humble existence—until she meets Mr. Flood.
Cathal Flood is a menace by all accounts. The lone occupant of a Gothic mansion crawling with feral cats, he has been waging war against his son’s attempts to put him into an old-age home and sent his last caretaker running for the madhouse. But Maud is this impossible man’s last chance: if she can help him get the house in order, he just might be able to stay. So the unlikely pair begins to cooperate, bonding over their shared love of Irish folktales and mutual dislike of Mr. Flood’s overbearing son.
Mr. Flood’s Last Resort is “a rare delight” (Cosmopolitan, UK) examining the space between sin and sainthood, a novel that “perfectly balances tragedy with dark comedy” in which “the dialogue crackles and every detail enchants” (Shelf Awareness).
The gothic plot of this murder mystery (following Himself) about an Irish caregiver and her client, a cantankerous, widowed hoarder, boasts Kidd's darkly comic sensibility, atmospheric writing, and colorful characters. Maud Drennan has lasted longer than the "geriatric whisperer brought in at great expense from a better agency" to assist Cathal Flood, whose historic West London house is bursting at the seams. If she can't make both presentable, Cathal's estranged son will move him into a home. Maud also begins investigating Cathal's wife Mary's death: did Mary actually tumble down the stairs, or is Cathal a modern Bluebeard, hiding bodies behind the Great Wall of National Geographics? What Maud uncovers in the course of her increasingly dangerous efforts may prove that true. Suspicious, agoraphobic landlady Renata injects a nice dose of absurdity to the tale. Less successful is a subplot about Maud's childhood. Still, there are plenty of twists and perilous turns to keep the narrative moving. Kidd's novel features a winning combination of descriptive writing, black humor, and biting dialogue.