Alec has recently lost his wife and heads to a coastal village in North Norfolk with his lovable dog Watson looking for some peace from his loss. Grieving and yearning for some mental stimulation, Alec reads through some files on his laptop. He finds a folder sent by a former colleague. One folder titled “Roger,” contains a story told by a man name Wiggy. Roger, it turns out, is talking cat. One that’s been alive for a long, long time. Roger holds many secrets – what cats used to be like, that cats do in fact have nine lives, and he just may know what happened to Alec’s wife. Roger’s tale is linked with another cat – this one named the Captain – who seems to be the most wicked cat alive. Alec gets caught up in Roger’s tale and it leads to the most surprising of conclusions.
Cat Out of Hell, by Lynne Truss, was a fun, slightly disturbing, fast read. Alec’s almost frantic search to find what led up to his wife’s death is tinged with his painful sense of loneliness and sorrow. The story flips from Wiggy’s tale to Alec’s experiences to Roger’s tale and then eventually melds the three to a mildly frightful conclusion. Revealing too much would spoil the whole book, but the reader does wonder if Roger himself is as bad as the Captain or is he actually a cat with good intentions.
This was a fairly short book – 256 pages – and kept my interest even though it raced though some situations and details. There’s an interesting “Notes from the author” at the end of the book that sheds some light into Truss’ inspiration for this book and well worth taking the few minutes to read through. If you are looking for a fun yet creepy read, this book is for you. It’ll certainly give you a whole new outlook on cats.