Review Wednesday – Isolation by Neil Randall

img_1897Monday morning for Nigel Barrowman, conscientious office worker for the District Council of Ilford, finds him at his desk and on time, as usual. It should be another very ordinary day, except in the post is an envelope addressed to Nigel and inside that envelope is a very disturbing photograph. When the news that evening reports a grisly double murder Nigel recognises the scene of the crime from the photograph and decides he must go to the police.

The authorities are quite sceptical at first and Nigel is wary that he is coming across as ‘some kind of weirdo’, a time-waster, especially when his line manager, Michael, tells the attending police officer that he is sure the photograph was just a practical joke.

Far from being a joke, Nigel’s ordinary life rapidly descends into chaos. A strange connection to ancient Native American Indian folklore becomes apparent and then almost an avalanche of accusations, missing people and murders. Most disturbing of all is that everything and everyone involved seem to link back to a dark time in Nigel’s life when he was part of a group of psychiatric patients undergoing experimental treatment.

As these characters from the past reappear in his life, Nigel struggles to separate truth from lies and deceit and fantasy.

Isolation is a disturbing story. Beginning with such an ordinary, believable and, to many I would suspect, mind-numbingly recogisable start to the working week, it becomes at first alarming but then bizarre. At one point I was thinking, no, this is too weird! But then the weirdness itself becomes intriguing, as how can the story possible pan out?

The answer is as chilling as it is sad and is left, to a certain extent, for the reader to make up their own mind.

With many thanks – I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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