Wonderful vivid details that had me on the edge of my seat for the entire ride! Surprise twist ending - Well done!
This is a difficult book to review while avoiding spoilers, but here goes. Two women suffering from trauma and mental issues that make it difficult for them to function in society are assigned to be roommates at an exclusive facility called the Partnership Recovery Center. The food is of gourmet quality. Designer clothing is provided. They are flown to a private beach for relaxation. On the other hand, the rules are rigid and peculiar. They are frequently encouraged to bond with their roommate/partners and even given team names. Their bond is described as key to their recovery. One of the women is enthusiastic and excited about the classes and facilities. The other, the narrator, is suspicious about their vague answers to questions, but his partner continues to convince him all is well. They grow very fond of one another and become competitive with other teams. The narrator never quite loses his suspicion, and it turns out it is for very good reason.
PS: For some reason I kept thinking of the narrator as a man rather than a woman. That's probably my bad.
I very much enjoyed this horror novella. It has a great sense of tension building to a worthwhile conclusion. Most of my comparisons would reveal too much of the ending. Well written and the finale is worth the wait.
Each work by Rigden is so different, but the style is all there. "All Manner of Beast and Man" steers sharply away from the previous cryptographic intellectual action film journey and dives deeply into the relationship of your protagonist and their mental health facility roommate with a satisfying twist that's both horrific and thrilling. Truly enjoyable.