Mr. Heming loves the leafy English village where he lives. As a local real estate agent, he knows every square inch of the town and sees himself as its protector, diligent in enforcing its quaint charm. Most people don’t pay much attention to Mr. Heming; he is someone who fades easily into the background. But Mr. Heming pays attention to them. You see, he has the keys to their homes. In fact, he has the keys to every home he’s ever sold in town. Over the years, he has kept them all so that he can observe his neighbors, not just on the street, but behind locked doors.
Mr. Heming considers himself a connoisseur of the private lives of others. He is witness to the minutiae of their daily lives, the objects they care about, the secrets they keep. As details emerge about a troubled childhood, Mr. Heming’s disturbing hobby begins to form a clear pattern, and the reasons behind it come into focus. But when the quiet routine of the village is disrupted by strange occurrences, including a dead body found in the backyard of a client’s home, Mr. Heming realizes it may only be a matter of time before his secrets are found out.
Rating : I gave A Pleasure And A Calling 4 1/2 out of 5 stars
✨Narrated by Heming, we are given insight into his memento loving character. Getting a sense of how he justifies his behaviour gives us a glimpse through the cracks of what is otherwise a well packaged persona. The mischievous boy becomes a creepy, disturbed man who has become adept at remaining unnoticed to feed his obsessions.Mr Hemming is diabolical and brilliantly creepy.
“Think of me as an invisible brother or uncle or boyfriend. I’m no trouble. I may be there when you are, or when you are gone, or more likely just before you arrive. I agree it is an idea that takes some getting used to. But do we not all have a life to make, to mould it somehow around that of others, to search for the dovetail that seems best to fit?”
Author Phil Hogan interestingly gave Heming relatives who remained cognizant of his deeds even as he built an impressive facade. How true this rings to reality, isn’t it most difficult to hide our true selves from those closest to us?
Guaranteed to give you chills, A Pleasure And A Calling is uncomfortably good at breathing life into our paranoia. What will you think of the next time you get chills upon entering your home?
The novel lived up to my expectations as a must read #thriller #mementos
✨Did I change locks after my builder handed over keys ? 🔑 🔐😱😮
(PS Hope you like my pic !)