5 stars out of 5
Two points to note here: First, this is a very short story, not a book. Second, it's not new; it was first published as "What Do You Do?" in George R.R. Martin's Rogues anthology that includes all-new works by a number of other authors. Recently - I suppose to capitalize on author Gillian Flynn's success with Gone Girl - this was released as a standalone Kindle Single. While I rarely read short stories, my love of Gone Girl prompted me to ante up $2.99 for this one.
At just 66 pages and a single chapter, it was a quick read. Happily, it also was quite good; starting to read it perhaps an hour before bedtime wasn't very smart. In the end bedtime won, but I finished it the next morning before my usual two cups of coffee were empty.
The story centers on a young woman who makes a pretty good living "servicing" men in a back room at a psychic reading parlor. When she ends up with carpal tunnel syndrome and for the most part is unable to ply her trade, she moves to the front of the building to hand out (pun intended) her take on auras. Not long thereafter (this is a short story, after all), she meets a woman who claims to be terrified; she's living in a Victorian mansion that has a shady history with her often-gone husband, their son, and her stepson. The latter, a 15-year-old terror, is intent on killing her.
Needless to say, the woman foresees an income opportunity and agrees to help. More than that I can't reveal, but it's a really good story for those who aren't put off by the world's oldest profession and a some rather explicit language.
The Grownup by Gillian Flynn (November 2015); 66 pp.