Oliver Capstick is a distinguished reviewer living and working alone in his old creaky house. Alone, that is, apart from his loyal cat Milton. Oliver is content with his lot and revels in the fact that he can operate his daily routine to his own schedule – without the distraction of his ex-wife. And that schedule is pretty damned tight. With more books being sent to him that he could possibly hope to review, Oliver has devised a ruthless system to choose the books worthy of his critical eye.
It’s during this process that a book he tossed on the “definitely not” pile seemingly developed a life-force of its own. It just won’t take no for an answer. The uninvited book infiltrates Oliver’s life and physically and mentally pushes him to the edge.
I was left wondering if the book was just a figment of Oliver’s imagination, a phantom catalyst for the onset of mental-breakdown. Is the book a metaphor crated by his subconscious that succeeds in turning his critical eye from his work to his own life?
The Black Book is very creepy and claustrophobic at times. Kirby manages to tap into your inner child, to the part that’s scared of the dark, scared of the bumps in the night. He brings these forgotten nightmares into the light of day with a natural ease.
The detail of Oliver’s journey is compelling and interesting. This is an absolutely cracking read written by a truly talented writer.