Little playground of horrors
This unsettling mystery-thriller possesses elements of horror as well as apocalyptic overtones. The protagonist of Liz Jensen's The Uninvited (Bloomsbury USA, $25) is Hesketh Lock, a brilliant fellow with Asperger's syndrome who works as a claims investigator for a British firm. He can't help but look for patterns and rely on observations when he detects something abnormal about some recent, exceptionally bloody violence from very young children. Working in Taiwan, he finds that some children there are also engaging in sudden violent acts. Part mystery and part ghost story with a double twist, The Uninvited might make you keep your distance from the playground.