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Zenith Man

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  1,949 ratings  ·  218 reviews

Whatever had been going on inside the shuttered old house, the couple who lived there kept it to themselves. Among the locals, there’s only chilling speculation.

Neighbors are shocked when Harold Pardee reports his wife dead. No one even knew the eccentric TV repairman was married. Within hours, horrible rumors spread about what that poor woman must have endured for thirty

Kindle Edition, 22 pages
Published December 19th 2019 by Amazon Original Stories
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Penny This is a collection of 5 short stories. They should be listed as 1 book under the Inheritance Collection. Hard to count these short stories as readin…moreThis is a collection of 5 short stories. They should be listed as 1 book under the Inheritance Collection. Hard to count these short stories as reading a book toward your challenge!(less)
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Average rating 3.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,949 ratings  ·  218 reviews

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I didn't care for this short story. I found it dull and confusing and the characters weren't very appealing. ...more
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harold is a man of few words, few friends (one friend, actually), and a man that the towns people realize they know less about than they ever thought they knew. You see, Harold's wife died and until she died, no one in the little town knew she existed.

So now Harold has a court appointed attorney, a young man who never seems to finish his sentences and who lives in his parent's basement. How is this young, brand new, attorney going to prove that Harold didn't murder this woman that no one even k
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Zenith Man is a short story from the Inheritance Collection and is inspired by real events.
“This story begins with a 911 call. The first shock was that Harold Pardee’s wife was dead. The second shock was that he had a wife.”
The opening line held so much promise but the drama just continued to deflate right to the end.

While my expectations aren't high with regards extensive background, character depth and plot complexity in a fictional short story, it is still important to create
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Well, I am in awe with how 23 pages can pack such a punch with so much to think about. I was completely drawn into this story and when it ended I was like "that's it" and then I remembered this is part of the Inheritance collection of five stories about "secrets, unspoken desires, and dangerous revelations between loved ones" and I will have to do some thinking here. I do love the ones that make me think!! Once I started to think about this story I do have lots to say about it, however, this is ...more
Well, that was disappointing.

Zenith Man is a short story by Jennifer Haigh which is a part of the Inheritance series. When I read the blurb of this one, it seemed to me like a short mystery/thriller, kind of like Andy Weir's collection of short stories.

"How to prove a woman had been murdered if you couldn’t prove she’d ever lived?”

Harold Pardee's wife is dead. No one knew he had a wife and that's why this death seems suspicious. Investigations ensue into the mysterious death of the woman and Ha
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happened to Harold the tv repairman’s wife? He called in to 911 to report that she’d died, in bed... but no one in town even knew she existed except her husband Harold and his best friend. People think Harold killed her.
Did he?
This was a short and mysterious little story, and I liked it.

Thanks Netgalley and Amazon Original Stories!
“The local memory was a powerful tool, an instrument so sensitive it recalled events that hadn’t actually occurred.”

Ain’t that the truth? A woman has died. A wife. A wife whom nobody ever saw. Her husband was the local TV repairman who could fix anything Zenith ever built.

How Harold Pardee ever found a wife and got married, nobody understood – or perhaps believed. Nobody ever saw her.

If she did exist, maybe she was a captive! Ever think of that?

“Rumors waxed and waned like biblical plagues
Nov 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
The blurb to this short story sounded interesting, but this book just didn’t work for me. I didn’t like the writing style at all, it seemed to ramble all over the place. The story and characters never grabbed me and I honestly didn’t care what the outcome would be.
Diane S ☔
3.5 Another author I enjoy, and have been patiently awaiting her next novel. In the meantime, I'll have to make do with this short story. It is set, where most of her novels are, in Bakersfield.

A man reports his wife has died. The problem is, no one even knew he had a wife, and no one has actually seen her. A good story, with many morals. How an accusation, even without prior, can cause damage to a person's life. Also, how easy it is to judge another person, when really no one except those invo
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth book I have read from the Amazon Inheritance collection and I enjoyed it very much. It struck me while reading it that authors must think up short stories like this one all the time and some of them grow to become full novels while others do not.

Zenith Man is one which I could imagine becoming a full book. There were so many hints that there was more behind things than met the eye and so much back story just waiting to be discovered. I wanted to know more about Harold's wife's
Till death do us part.......

Oh Harold, why did no one know about your wife......until you reported her dead?

New...young...temporary...public defender Matthew has his work cut out for him because the ZENITH MAN likes his privacy and keeps his secret life well you will see.

This touching little tale is another little goodie from the Inheritance Collection of five shorts.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Original Stories for the complimentary ebook in exchange for review.

Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a strange little story, somewhat dark and unsettling. In a small town, where everyone knows everyone and no one has any secrets, the wife of thirty years of the TV repair man, Harold Pardee, has died. The trouble is no one knew he had a wife and soon speculation is rife as to why no one has ever seen her and whether Harold killed her. The author asks the haunting and provocative question of how do you prove that a women has been murdered if you can't prove that she had ever lived?

This is
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 but had to round up...

Rounded this one up because it’s a short story I’ll remember. A man lives in a town so small there are just four stoplights. His wife dies. Only thing is, no one knew she existed. Did he kill her?

When the death was announced, the townsfolk had a field day fantasizing about her scene.

“The local memory was a powerful tool, an instrument so sensitive it recalled events that hadn’t actually occurred.”

The tone of the story isn’t snazzy, but it’s so well-crafted I didn’t ca
Having read, and enjoyed, Jennifer Haigh’s Baker Towers and News From Heaven: The Bakerton Stories I was happy to see that the setting for this short story was Bakerton, Pennsylvania, a small mining town where everybody knows everybody else, and there are no secrets.

Or are there? Because when Harold Pardee, a somewhat peculiar man, reports his wife has died, people had no idea he had a wife. A wife he’s been married to, and lived in Bakerton with, for over thirty years.

It doesn’t take long for
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an intriguing short story in the Inheritance Series and free with Amazon Prime! Harold Pardee’s wife has died. No one knew that he had a wife. The paramedics summoned to the remote house in Pennsylvania couldn’t agree about what they found and so charges are brought against Harold. As for the rest, well, there’s a really good twist! I think it’s amazing that so much can be packed into such a short story and I really enjoyed reading it.
Elyse  Walters
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“How to prove a woman had been murdered if you couldn’t prove she’d ever lived?”

Harold Pardee owned the Zenith shop in town. After his wife, Barjean, died - customers stopped coming to his store.
This story took turns I didn’t see it coming.

This was a bizarre, mysterious, kind of love story.

Kind of a bizarre little story about the death of the local tv repair man's wife, who no one in town knew existed. Small town gossip can be cruel, and people are better off minding their own business. But Zenith man took it to another level. ...more
Lori Lamothe
Jennifer Haigh's “Zenith Man” appears in Inheritance and though I rated it lower than the other stories in the collection, it's the only one I read twice. The tale begins with the death of Barbara Jean Pardee, a recluse who makes Emily Dickinson look like a hypersocial extrovert. Only one person in town besides Barbara Jean's husband ever saw her and that was back in 1979. Not surprisingly, the circumstances of her death – and her life, for that matter – soon lead to rumors that Harold committed ...more
Nov 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: z2020-11, x-3-star
Rating: Good

Genre: Contemporary + Short Story

This is listed under mystery and thriller but it reads more like a contemporary with a mystery element. Zenith Man or Mr. Harold Pardee reports his wife dead. Rumors about the man mistreating his wife and eventually killing her spread and a case is filed against him. But did he do it? Did he mistreat his wife? In this short story, we go through the past and the present lives of the Pardees.

The story is somehow slow and at times I felt it was confusin
★★★✰✰ 3 stars

“Had Harold Pardee killed his wife? In hair salons, at lunch counters, the question was posed. Such a death, in Bakerton, was without precedent.”

This being the first work I've read by Jennifer Haigh, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm not sure if this story fits in the Inheritance collection. While others authors who have contributed to this series have focused on themes of reconciliation: Alice Hoffman and Anthony Marra, respectively in Everything My Mother Taught Me and
Jun 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story begins with a 911 call. The first shock was that Harold Pardee'S wife was dead. The second shock was that he had a wife.

This started out as being quite suspenseful and the author helps us "know" all of the characters perfectly, but I didn't feel it was so page-turning in the end.

Goodreads review published 23/06/20
"How to prove a woman had been murdered if you couldn't prove she'd ever lived?"

I thought the premise of this novella was very interesting, but would have liked it to be more fleshed out, as think this could make a great full length book.

What I really enjoy about these shorts is that it allows you to sample authors you've never read and see if you like their writing. In this instance, I definitely want to read Faith by same author soon.
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an intriguing and also a disturbing little book. A book that I wish would just continue on for a while. Great writing, and a story that could easily be a full length book.

Thanks to Amazon and NetGalley for my early copy, in exchange for a personal review

#ZenithMan #NetGalley
4 stars - It was great. I loved it.

This is a super short, but memorable story that reminds us things are not always as they seem. It’s very difficult, in my opinion as a reader, to craft a short story that is well developed with characters that linger in your mind. Haigh managed to accomplish it with this and I look forward to reading her novels as well.
First Sentences: This story begins with a 911 call. The first shock was that Harold Pardee’s wife was
Sonja Arlow
This is my second short story from the Inheritance series and I think this collection is just not for me.

There was not anything glaringly wrong with the writing it but it felt like a half-formed story that never achieved liftoff.

Netgalley ARC
Patty Smith
Many thanks to NetGalley, Amazon Original Stories, and Jennifer Haigh for an ARC in exchange for an honest book review of Zenith Man. My thoughts and opinion are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy.

Another little gem from the Inheritance collection. This is the third out of five stories that I have read and although I still really enjoyed this, I probably liked this a little less than the others. These are very short stories (this one is really short) and all evoke deeper qu
Another short story about an elderly man and his wife's death....good ...more
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my last story from the Amazon Inheritance Collection. Harold is the Xenith man- the repairman for TV’s. In this story, he calls 911 when his wife dies. Interestingly, no one even knew he had a wife and no one, other than one person ,had ever seen her. Foul play is suspected- I enjoyed learning their back story and what happened moving forward.

My thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Inheritance Collection for a free e copy in exchange for an honest review.
Kasa Cotugno
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on actual events, this short story depicts devotion in its purest form.
Did I miss a story? This is a very very short story.
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Jennifer Haigh is an American novelist and short story writer. Her new novel, HEAT AND LIGHT (Ecco, 2016), looks at a Pennsylvania town divided by the controversy over fracking. Her last novel, FAITH, about a beloved Boston priest accused of a molesting a child in his parish, explores the consequences of this accusation for an entire community.

Haigh's critically acclaimed debut novel MRS. KIMBLE

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