★★★ In The Mirror, A Monster
Award winning author Marten Weber has entered new territory with this creepy and atmospheric mystery novel.
Tim and Tim run a guesthouse in Edinburgh which houses an assortment of long term guests including sex addicted American, Jamie and Javier, a Spaniard with a preference for watching porn over real life relationships. The order and routine of the guesthouse starts to unravel when two handsome and wholesome Slovakian men come to stay. They behave like a gay couple, holding hands, kissing and hugging openly, but they harbour an unexpected secret which puzzles and intrigues the cast of characters.
The book is written from the point of view of one of the Tim’s, an aged pretty boy who is long past his prime and now confined to a wheelchair. Weber writes in Tim’s Yorkshire dialect and initially I found the voice of Tim slightly off putting with elements of rambling verbosity and a tendency to digress. I’m glad I persevered though as the tale unfolded and the novel became a compelling meditation on the nature of sexuality and relationships written in a readable but literary style. Weber maintains a strong sense of intrigue and the backdrop of Edinburgh suits the dark atmosphere of the tale.