Synopsis: It starts when a seven-year-old girl puts a nail gun to her grandmother’s neck and fires. An isolated incident, say the experts. The experts are wrong. Across the world, children are killing their families. Is violence contagious? As chilling murders by children grip the country, anthropologist Hesketh Lock has his own mystery to solve: a bizarre scandal in the Taiwan timber industry. Hesketh Lock has his own personal problems: he has Asperger’s syndrome, his step-son is behaving in a strange manner and he has never been good at relationships. But when Hesketh’s Taiwan contact dies shockingly and more acts of sabotage and child violence sweep the globe, he is forced to acknowledge possibilities that defy the rational principles on which he has staked his life, his career, and, most devastatingly of all, his role as a father.
I have never read a novel based on dystopian themes before and this looked like a good start. It is set in the present day when children start behaving oddly and irrationally attacking and killing the people they love. At first it is believed to be isolated incidents but soon such incidents take place across the world.
The book starts with the narrator Hesketh explaining the start of the incidents. Most of the novel is about these incidences and how they interweave with Hesketh’s life both personally and professionally. He makes for an interesting character with his Asperger’s syndrome. His practical and logical monologues and inner dialogues are particularly interesting.
The ending is a bit unconvincing and unexpected but given the theme of the novel I think it is not that far fetched to imagine. Overall it’s an interesting plot and a novel concept but I think it could have been much more than just a good read. It could have been more powerful and thought provoking.