The Punished By Peter Meredith

12-year-old Curt Regis lives the carefree life of a beggar and a thief. Homeless since the age of six, he uses his guile and street smarts, as well as a glib, smooth lying tongue to reign as king of the street rats. So when he is caught breaking into a school and is sent back into foster care for the ninth time, he is quite confident that it will be a short stay. He is secure in the knowledge that he will be gone again in a day or two with a new set of clothes on his back and his bag filled with silverware, jewelry and maybe if he is really lucky, a Play station to pawn.

However, this time his luck has run out. Curt is sent to what many in the foster-care system consider the perfect home. It is a home from which no one has ever runaway from. A beautiful home where not a word of complaint is ever heard, where in fact very few words are ever spoken and where the only real sounds that disturbs the stagnant air are the screams of the punished.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, images of Tracey Beaker and Our House sprang into my head after reading the synopsis, and the cover, well, the cover is rather chilling.  On a side note, the cover is a prime example of just how easy it is to get an effective cover done right.  It’s simple yet powerful, and conveys a lot about the tone of the book. Folks please take notice, I DO JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER.  THE COVER GOES A LONG WAY IN MY DECISION PROCESS AS TO PICK UP A BOOK OR NOT.

So anyway back to book, I liked it a lot, and I was glad I picked it up.   Sometimes the most enjoyable books are ones where the lead character, actually has a character. A strong well developed lead can go a long way to the overall reading experience, and Meredith has created a first class character in Curt.  Shaped by his life into a rather unappealing person, you can’t help but root for him throughout this story.

This a  good creepy novel, that manages to disturb and shock with being over the top, that shows  that good writing is more effective in scaring a reader than over the top gore.  I really enjoyed the fact the Silence is God, and ideal I try to instil in this household.  The descriptions of the language that the kids developed to communicate in house of silence was good.

This is also one of those books, that will suffer if you give away too much of the plot, so I am at pains to say much more about it except, there is a  killer twist in there somewhere.  Where I hear you ask, well you got to read this book to find out for yourself.  And I do recommend that you read this book.  It’s a refreshing entry into the horror market


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