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The Man on the Middle Floor
December 17, 2018
The Man on the Middle Floor
by Elizabeth S Moore
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 01 Jan 2019
I picked up The Man on the Middle Floor because I was intrigued by the description. I was not impressed. Nick’s violence, anger and sexuality were difficult to face. I know these are issues with autistic adults but Elizabeth S Moore repeatedly pushes these aspects to the reader. It makes him impossible to identify with. Equally disturbing is Karen, who is so obsessed with her research that she is guilty of child neglect. Her selfishness and her inability to connect with or empathize with others make her a figure who it is easier to simply dislike than to understand. While she functions, it is impossible to say that she functions well, and her subsequent decay seems almost like justice. The third player, Tam is the most human of the three characters. His detachment is not born of mental illness or obsession, but rather an environment that is changing faster than he is. Of the three, he is the only character concerned about others and what they are going through.
The Man on the Middle Floor is intended as an instructive novel, but Elizabeth Moore uses her prose as a hammer, simultaneously bludgeoning the inclusion movement and reiterating that readers don’t have the ability to understand. Equally it attacks intellectualism (in the form of Karen). The Man on the Middle Floor is not a comfortable read. At the same time, it isn’t particularly edifying.
The Man on the Middle Floor will not appeal to the majority of readers, particularly those looking for escapism. It may be of more interest to readers interested in portrayals of autism and mental illness. I cannot recommend it to a general audience.
3 / 5
I received a copy of The Man on the Middle Floor from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Nick, Tam and Karen live on three floors of a south London house. One is struggling to find his place in society, one is drowning his sorrows in alcohol, and one has embarked on a life-changing research project.
Despite their proximity, they are completely disconnected. That is, until a murder in the house brings them together, irrevocably.
One of them is guilty, one wants to find out who did it, and one wants to find out why.
Unsettling, illuminating and thrilling in equal measures, The Man on the Middle Floor will make you think twice about those who lives around you. It is a book about society, about detachment, about guilt.
It’s about a crime where the question is not who but why.