Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Asylum - Johan Theorin

The Asylum is another stunning book from Johan Theorin. The premise is fascinating - a young man applies for a job as an assistant at Dell Nursery, a child-minding facility located next door to St. Patricia's asylum. The connection between the two organisations is that the children attending the nursery are all offspring of someone residing in the asylum.

Jan, the young man, sets about cementing his place at the nursery in an effort to gain access to the asylum. He believes that a one-time famous singer lives there and he wants to meet her; he is also interested in a notorious serial killer known to be another of the residents.

As the story unfolds, the reader becomes increasingly aware of Jan's troubled past and his unsuitability as a nursery assistant. He befriends a neighbour whom he discovers once worked and resided at the asylum and gains useful information about access, and he becomes embroiled in plans by other nursery workers that will compromise the strict security regimes of the asylum.

Whilst a dark and disturbing novel on some levels, The Asylum is also riveting and memorable. The final chapters are remarkable as all becomes clear about Jan, the inmates and the nursery workers. Every book by Theorin has completely captivated me.

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