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Mr. Flood's Last Resort

Review

Mr. Flood's Last Resort

Maud Drennan, a young Irish caregiver, has a new charge: Cathal Flood, a beanpole giant with wild white hair and an abusive mouth. Some have said that Mr. Flood might be more than odd; he might be dangerous. Looking at him, it seems conceivable. He slinks about his cavernous house, unbathed, long arms floating around him, with a sly grin on his face. The man sneaks up on Maud, taunts her, curses her and then disappears behind a mound of debris. She certainly has her work cut out for her.

The Flood mansion, a rundown old manor once grand but gone to seed since Mr. Flood’s wife died, needs a lot of TLC at this point. The old widower has been hoarding pretty much everything --- magazines, cans, bottles, wrappers, you name it. And cats. Lots of cats. While the cats are a challenge, the old man himself is a menace. Maud has moxie, but the stories that surround the Flood family and the discoveries she makes in the house put her on edge. Inevitably, she finds herself turned to sleuthing, despite warnings from her shut-in friend Renata and the legion of saints that follow Maud around in her daily life.

"What a romp MR. FLOOD’S LAST RESORT is! The characters fairly leap off the pages at you.... There is no way a reader can open this book and not fall under its spell."

Yes, saints. Since her own traumatic childhood, Maud has befriended invisible saints that accompany her everywhere she goes. It may sound strange, but in fact they provide great comfort to her. Maybe one day she won’t need them, but that day has not yet come. And, frankly, they do more than give her comfort. They sort of save her life.

But back to Mr. Flood. There’s a soft spot in the caregiver that sees the good in the eccentric old man. He lost his wife to…was it an accident? Surely, he deserves compassion merely because of that. And his son Gabriel wants to move him to a care facility. That never goes over well. With Mr. Flood, the simple mention of a care facility elicits roars of outrage and fist shaking with spittle flying. It’s actually why he doesn’t allow Gabriel to set foot on the property. Or at least one reason.

Maud, meanwhile, goes about her daily work with a wary eye and a curious nature. The house seems to want to send her messages. At the same time, Mr. Flood makes it clear she’s forbidden from certain rooms. Secrets, though, ooze from the walls. Almost literally. As clues appear, Maud begins to wonder: Did the Floods have a daughter? Mr. Flood only ever mentions Gabriel --- and not in a nice way. But Maud has seen photos of two children, a boy and a girl. Could something have happened to cause the family to try to forget their daughter? Maud has to know. So off she goes to nose around.

What a romp MR. FLOOD’S LAST RESORT is! The characters fairly leap off the pages at you. They run their own lives, and it’s pretty much impossible to guess what they’ll do next. That makes it a heap of fun to read. Besides, the story defies pigeonholing into a genre. It’s fiction for sure; a mystery, yes; and a bit of a ghost story, too. Plus, well, something else, something that will touch a spot in your heart. There is no way a reader can open this book and not fall under its spell.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on May 11, 2018

Mr. Flood's Last Resort
by Jess Kidd

  • Publication Date: May 1, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Humor, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • ISBN-10: 1501180630
  • ISBN-13: 9781501180637