by Jennifer Haigh
Whatever had been going on behind the closed doors of the shuttered old house, the couple who lived there kept it to themselves. Among the locals, there’s only chilling speculation.
Neighbors are shocked when Harold Pardee reports his wife dead. No one even knew the eccentric TV repairman was married. Within hours, horrible rumors spread about what that poor woman must have endured for thirty years. Until the Pardees’ carefully guarded world is exposed. New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Haigh delivers an endearing short story about our misguided perception of strangers, the nature of love, and the need for secrets.
Jennifer Haigh’s Zenith Man is part of Inheritance, a collection of five stories about secrets, unspoken desires, and dangerous revelations between loved ones. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single setting. By yourself, behind closed doors, or shared with someone you trust.
“Zenith Man” is another speedy short story published as part of the Inheritance series by Amazon Originals. I’m really fond of these stories as I find myself invested in the characters so quickly.
“This story begins with a 911 call.
The first shock was that Harold Pardee’s wife was dead.
The second shock was that he had a wife.”
Harold Pardee is a TV repair man living in Pennsylvania and until now, no one except his best friend was aware that he had been a married man for the past 30 years. Harold lives in a small town and the death of his wife, Barbara Jean Pardee, gets everyone talking and rumours over the circumstances soon begin to spread.
“How to prove a woman had been murdered if you couldn’t prove she’d ever lived?”
This is a bizarre little story that kept me guessing until the end. As with all books in this series, the story would be spoiled if I were to say too much about the plot, but I will say that, despite being very short, this is an intriguing, well-written and descriptive story.
When I got to the end I was fascinated to read that this book was inspired by real events and now I really want to find out more – I’d love to read a full length novel!
Overall rating: “Zenith Man” is an impressive little story and Harold Pardee is a well-developed character and an intriguing man. This book isn’t going to take you long to read, but it’s a sweet read that I’d recommend.