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The Uninvited

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  1,335 ratings  ·  319 reviews
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.

Hardcover, 303 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA (first published July 5th 2012)
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liz. jensen.

so super-psyched that i was able to get a netgalley pre-u.s release of this book. not that many of you care, because so few people read liz jensen. which is, i think, the cause of most of the world's ills. floundering economy? probably because not enough people are reading liz jensen. hurricane sandy?? happened 'cuz not enough people have read liz jensen. rihanna and katy perry are fighting?? all of this could have been avoided by just one or two more of you reading some liz jensen.

I'm going to tell you two things that made me want to read this book:

1) The cover - I mean, c' kick-ass creepy is this?

2) The first sentence of the book jacket description: "A seven-year-old girl puts a nail gun to her grandmother's neck and fires."

Creepy, evil kids doing creepy evil things is usually a win for me. So it was a foregone conclusion that I would dive into this book with abandon.

First of all -- it isn't horror, despite the cover and the book jacket description. It's more a
[I received this book as an ARC through a Goodreads give-away.]

The narrator of this book, Hesketh Lock, has a PhD in Anthropology and now works as a special kind of trouble-shooter for the firm of Phipps and Wexman. What does this firm do? It’s never exactly clarified. As Hesketh says, it regularly treads “the space between sharp practice and corporate fraud. ‘After a catastrophic PR shock, our job is to ensure nothing like that ever happens again anywhere on your global team, because it won’t n
This is the first book I’ve read in a long time that defies easy categorizing. Some may call it a dystopian sci-fi fable; others may believe it is a psychological cautionary tale; still others may view it as an anthropological-based literary thriller. In fact, it is all of these and none of these. It is a truly original piece of work.

The main character, Hesketh Lock, is a handsome, intelligent anthropologist with Asperger’s syndrome. He excels at this work because he can eliminate all the messy
"A seven-year-old girl puts a nail gun to her grandmother's neck and fires." How can you not be drawn to a book with a blurb that starts like that?! What... just me? Ahem... But seriously, the premise of kids killing their families all over the world grabbed me straight away. I don't know what that says about me. But there's something about murderous children that makes them the most unsettling kind of villains in the horror genre. The Uninvited certainly delivered on the creepy children front.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
When a seven year old kills her grandmother and blinds her father with a nail-gun, it is considered a tragic, yet isolated incident. Hesketh Lock works for a company that investigates corporate sabotage and is sent to Taiwan to unearth a whistle-blower at a timber plant. The man in question is a loyal employee and claims he was forced into it. His behaviour is bizarre and he speaks of the Hungry Ghosts and starving children. A few days later he commits suicide. But Sunny Chen is only the first, ...more
What a strange read.

I enjoyed it, but it's difficult to describe beyond the hook in the description. A wave of violence perpetrated by children sweeps the globe, and a man tasked to investigate corporate saboteurs is lured into investigating the cause, partly due to his love for the little boy he had to leave behind when he split with his girlfriend.

It's not nearly that simple though. The protagonist, Hesketh, feels a limited emotional connection with people due to Asperger's. He is rather bri
The blurb to this LIES, don't believe it!

I picked up this book because of the first line of the blurb, 'A seven-year-old girl puts a nail-gun to her grandmothers neck and fires.' Interesting, eh? I was hooked from that alone, and then I heard that this book had kids that were cannibals! I was instantly amazed and had to have it! So you can imagine my disappointment when instead of getting some kick-ass horror book featuring feral cannibal children, I get some very light mystery where the killer
Copy received from Bloomsbury through Book Geeks.

It starts with one child, a young girl, taking a nail gun and killing her grandmother before injuring her father for no apparent reason. It seems to be a random occurrence, a one-off event, tragic and shocking but unique. Hesketh Lock hears about this murder while on his way to the airport. He is travelling from England to Taiwan to investigate a bizarre corporate scandal.
Hesketh Lock has Asperger’s Syndrome and isn’t good at relationships or read
Keith Davis
Xenogenesis is the word for when children bear little or no resemblance to their parents. If you have ever been a little creeped out by children then The Uninvited is the perfect thriller for you.

Hesketh is a corporate consultant who specializes in investigating industrial sabotage. He is also an Asbergers case whose ex-wife describes him as a "robot made of meat". He is almost Vulcan with his calm logic and lack of affect. His only real emotional connection is with his ex-wife's son Freddy who
First things first: I love this book! Love it! The Uninvited is one of those books that I just get and has so many elements that I love. I might use the word love a lot in this review, so be prepared. It’s also one of those books that I am holding close, and don’t want to hear if people didn’t like it or if they had any issues with it. I honestly don’t care, because The Uninvited is now a high favorite of mine and will remain so for a long time. It’s books like this that frustrate me because I w ...more
**Review copy received via Netgalley**

For me, this novel was such a slow-burner I wasn’t sure I would be able to get into it at all. After a surprisingly graphic, attention-grabbing opening chapter the pace settles down rather too drastically for my liking and I have to confess that I found my attention wandering a bit. Following the obligatory introduction of protagonists and a new story-thread however, I was immediately pulled back into the plot- and I’m glad I stuck with it, as ultimately I w
Originally published on Bookluvrs Haven.

Though I am not one that usually judges books by their covers, I do admit that this one caught my eye on NetGalley. It's very simple, yet there is something so undeniably creepy about a child that has that look. A look of evil intent, one could say, and deadly calculation. There is no denying that this novel in its entirety was also meticulously calculated.

I was very excited to begin this read and though I have quite a few that were ahead on my list, I co
THE UNINVITED by Liz Jensen is difficult to put into a niche. It's a distopian and psychological thriller, involving all types of evil that people embrace in their religious and societal beliefs: restless spirits of ancestors, trolls, jinns.

Children are going seemingly mad and doing evil things. Adults are sabotaging their own projects. When they realize what they've done, they commit suicide. The suicides are taking place globally and before each occurs, the victim complains of one of the evil
Feb 08, 2013 Alan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Alan by: karen
Shelves: novels, 2013
Not my sort of book, usually, this one is a kind of scifi/monster/detective mashup, a bit different from the 'dirty realism' I normally read. But Karen's review was persuasive. I'm not sure we would have world peace if everyone read Liz Jensen, but she can write: crystal clear prose.
The story is fascinating, children turning on and murdering their elders, industrial sabotage, talk of possession by djinns, trolls etc. Is there a connection? The narrator Hesketh Lock is an anthropologist/troublesh
Rosina Lippi
Two little boys murder their father with a knife, which would be shocking at any other time -- but all over the world, very young children are killing the people they love best, and remember nothing afterward. Odder still, they show no emotion about the death. Also on a global scale, established, successful, loyal business people commit senseless acts of sabotage at their companies and then commit suicide raving about being harassed by small creatures -- djinn, or elves, or similar.

Sometimes th
Terry Weyna
The Uninvited opens with a scene of intense horror, as a young child slaughters her grandmother with a nail-gun to the neck. “No reason, no warning.” Everyone’s immediate reaction is that there has been a terrible accident, especially as the girl is found staring at the wall, as if in shock; but then she comes to herself, grabs the nail gun, and puts it to her father’s face and fires again. “One murder, one blinding. Two minutes. No accident.” The girl had just turned seven.

The narrator of the t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is a gripping short story mistakenly extruded into a novel. Mass psychological events delivered in a chilling and ruthless manner it is not - the build up is painful and the characters - well lets just say after their lengthy and often tangential introductions - I was eagerly anticipating their demise. It rates an additional star because the plot is ultimately expansive and thought provoking.

To experience this theme in an efficient and satisfying manner revisit The Birds by Daphne du M
Great writing, an eccentric narrator and a global epidemic of killer kids who attack adults makes this a very good read, even for someone like me who isn't crazy about fictional apocalypses. Don't expect straight-up horror, but it is extremely creepy. Evil kids really are the best. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the little buggers were to turn on us one day. I read it while on vacation, and I swear to god, the kid at the B&B had murder in her eyes. Circled me like a tiny, silent ninja.

Joanne Sheppard
The Uninvited is the third of Liz Jensen's novels I've read. Like the previous two, The Rapture and The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, it features sinister children who appear to have mysterious, possibly psychic abilities. It also returns to The Rapture's theme of a world teetering on the edge of dystopia. I can't quite decide whether this means Liz Jensen is shamelessly recycling ideas or whether she has simply invented her own genre, but because I enjoy her work so much, I'll veer towards the latt ...more
Janette Fleming
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 has never been good at relationships: Asperger’s Syndrome has seen to that. But he does have a talent for spotting behav
I very rarely give 5 stars reviews. I can be quite generous with the 4 and 4 and a half stars, but the 5 ones are kept for those very special books that affect me on the long term, make me think, or shake me to my core. The Uninvited certainly deserves all of its stars, and maybe a little more! This is one of those times when I feel my words may fail me.

The first thing to know about The Uninvited is that the book is hard to classify. While it comfortably sits in the broader category of speculati
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho

First Impression:

I am thorn between my star rating... The book until the end is near perfect... But the ending...

What a hell Liz?? :\

Second Impression:
This tale follows two linked stories. Hesketh, a man with a Asperger syndrome is an investigator for an insurance company. He travels from place to place to investigate several sabotages on some companies. First he go to China, then Sweden, Dubai and then he travels back to England. Since this book was written on a first perspective we learn a l
Esther Bernstein
Full review on Reader's Dialogue:

The Uninvited is like an environmentalist, anti-capitalist - and much more violent - Childhood's End. Arthur C. Clarke leaves many things unanswered in Childhood's End - all the whys and what for's - and I feel like The Uninvited is (intentionally or not) a sort of response to that. The group-think of the children is what led me to this train of thought at first, but as the narrative moves on, the motives and results of th
A Book Vacation
To see my full review:

This novel had a very intriguing premise, but unfortunately, I didn’t find the execution of the story itself to be all that interesting. The story revolves around Hesketh, a middle age man who interviews companies to discover who sabotaged them, and why. Right away we find out that his Asperger’s has gotten in the way of his relationships; he seems to enjoy being alone, though he loves his stepson, Freddy, dearly, and he highly enjoys
The Uninvited is a dystopian novel set in the present day, where children start behaving oddly and attacking adults close to them. From a few isolated incidents, modern society soon reaches breaking point and a new equilibrium is reached.

The underlying message of The Uninvited - that our current society and population growth is unsustainable - is an interesting one, and is explored in a novel way. However, I felt the idea was not delved into as much it could have been, and I, as a fan of dystopi
See this review and others like it at!.

I enjoy a good horror book now and then and I do have to give it to Liz Jensen on that account, she wrote one unsettling book. The imagery was super creepy and my favorite part of the book. I love a good read that can get your heart pounding and this one definitely had moments of that. Unfortunately, the plot just didn’t come together as a whole for me and I was actually very disappointed by the ending.

Hesketh Lock is our narrative voi
Suspense Magazine
A good story always has a protagonist riddled with faults, self-doubts, and obstacles. It makes for realistic reading and gives the character room for growth. But it’s a crazy brave author who imbues their lead character with Asperger’s Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder causing sufferers to struggle with correct social interaction, repetitive behavior, and obsessive interests. Author Liz Jensen’s Asperger’s sufferer Hesketh Lock, is a world authority on anthropology, employed by large organi ...more
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What did you think of this book? 4 31 Oct 20, 2014 01:24AM  
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Liz Jensen was born in Oxfordshire, the daughter of a Danish father and an Anglo-Moroccan mother. She spent two years as a journalist in the Far East before joining the BBC, first as a journalist, then as a TV and radio producer. She then moved to France where she worked as a sculptor began her first novel, Egg Dancing, which was published in 1995. Back in London she wrote Ark Baby (1998) which wa ...more
More about Liz Jensen...
The Ninth Life of Louis Drax The Rapture My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time War Crimes For The Home Ark Baby

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“The thought of losing him again kills me. This is of course a figure of speech, I will remain alive, but I will not know happiness” 0 likes
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