Book review - Con Morte by Axel Howerton

First, a declaration of interest: I share a publisher with the author.

I read Con Morte in two evenings and could easily have read it in one, but it was so good I wanted to make it last longer and savour it.

It tells the story of Jack Nada, a man whose feelings have flatlined. He thinks deeply about things, but his emotional responses are oddly uncaring.

He views life in the same detached way scientists view experiments. He finds it informative, but not moving.

This is so even when he’s describing  his own actions, some of which are extreme by normal standards, and (to put it mildly) merit an emotional response of some kind.

A partial explanation for his behaviour is set out in the opening pages, but the underlying cause isn’t, at that point, explained.

As his riveting story progresses, Jack’s tight grip on his feelings becomes ever more tenuous, until he can hold them in check no longer, and has to confront, for the first time, an event buried deep in his psyche.

The denouement when he does so is moving and truly satisfying.

Powerful and disturbing, this story will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

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