In the short story The Neighbour’s Cat, Ellis introduces us to Theodore, a little black-and-white cat who just so happens to be owned by a serial killer. Theodore’s owner develops a worrying fixation with the married woman living in the opposite house leaving the cat, fearing for her life, no option but to come up with a way to stop him.
I’ve read my fair share of anthropomorphic animal tales, and they tend to work because they usually don’t take themselves too seriously – this one does, and it’s to its detriment. There’s very little in Theodore which would lead you to know that he’s a cat if you hadn’t already been explicitly told that he was. The story in general is very simplistic, but I’ve read enough short stories and novellas to know that brevity doesn’t have to come at the cost of characterisation and plot development.
All in all, an average stop-the-killer thriller that doesn’t require too much from the reader, ideally sized for the commute.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.