STARRED REVIEW
March 2015

A hilarious hellcat

By Lynne Truss
Review by
What if your cat was secretly plotting against you? Anyone who’s ever owned a cat has probably asked themselves that question more than once. But Cat Out of Hell takes things further: What if that plot was part of an ancient occult conspiracy, a feline cabal at the beck and call of a dark lord?
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What if your cat was secretly plotting against you? Anyone who’s ever owned a cat has probably asked themselves that question more than once. But Cat Out of Hell takes things further: What if that plot was part of an ancient occult conspiracy, a feline cabal at the beck and call of a dark lord?

Lynne Truss is best known for her humorous defense of English grammar, Eats, Shoots & Leaves, but before that breakthrough, she had published four novels. Her latest work of fiction is a nimble mix of horror, Gothic mystery and dark comedy that will delight fans of authors like Neil Gaiman and Susanna Clarke, who infuse supernatural stories with British humor.

In a quiet cottage on the English coast, a librarian receives a mysterious collection of files. Through audio recordings, photos and written documents, he relays the story of Will “Wiggy” Caton-Pines and his cat, Roger. But Roger is no ordinary cat. He talks—in a voice that “sounds like Vincent Price,” no less. He reads. He does crossword puzzles. And he may or may not be immortal.

Is it a coincidence that both of the novel’s human protagonists—Wiggy and the librarian—have recently lost loved ones to death or disappearance? The suspense comes to a boil in the book’s latter half, where Roger proves himself to be one of the funniest villains in recent memory, human or otherwise. Cat Out of Hell is a brisk, clever, darkly hilarious book that begs to be read in one gut-busting sitting.

 

This article was originally published in the March 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Cat Out of Hell

Cat Out of Hell

By Lynne Truss
Melville House
ISBN 9781612194424

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