I spent the entire time I read the book Cat Out of Hell asking myself, “Is it humor? Or is it horror?” I would alternately laugh out loud or expect creepy music. This strange English tale begins at the seaside, where we find retired Cambridge periodicals’ librarian Alec Charlesworth. Recently widowed, Alec has rented a tiny cottage to get away from all the memories of his beloved wife, Mary.
A colleague asks him to read over a file he was working on with Mary. Alec begins to read, and then he begins to wonder, as I did, whether the file is a spoof or a work of fiction. For the file reports interviews between a man and, wait for it, an elegant, refined, and well-educated cat. Yes, a tomcat named Roger. Who sounds like Vincent Price (before you get huffy, the dog sounds like Daniel Craig).
Then there are deaths. More deaths, in the cellar, at the library, up north—people who have been involved in some way with Roger and his life story. Alec is suspicious someone is trying to put one over on him until he visits his old workplace (which was Mary’s workplace, too) and sees what a cat has done to Mary’s rented carrel. Appalled by the size of the claw marks and by the horrendous smell, Alec is suddenly uneasy. But the story is only beginning!
When I finished the book, I asked myself, “Is it humor? Or is it horror?” And I answered, “Yes,exceedingly!” A short little book, it’s sort of fun. (By the author of Eats, shoots and leaves.) ~ Tessa March 2015 3.5 out of 5 stars