"The Guard" by Peter Terrin is a very unusual novel set in unknown country at some unspecified but future date, told by one guard of an unspecified company who together with his colleague protect the basement of an almost abandoned luxury apartment building.
The story starts a year and half after this building was almost abandoned due to only remained resident who stayed inside with his service men.
The reader isn't sure what caused the mass departure of residents, reason being some disaster, nuclear accident or some other conflict, but actually that doesn't matter a lot on two guards that maintained their routine of guarding.
The main characters are Michael who is the narrator, and Harry who is the other guard.
Although reader wouldn't know the reasons, the company they worked for continue to send them supplies, although schedule is completely disrupted not adhering to company rules and procedures any more.
They two don't understand what's going on, although they think they are under some test, and if they perform well they'll be rewarded with some better job.
And then the third guard will appear who will disturb the status quo of whom they two don't even know who this character is, or what news will be brought from the outside...
"The Guard" is an excellent study about the effects of boredom and paranoia, while author managed to convey building of suspense and gradually growing paranoia of those two almost abandoned people.
Although reader don't know when the action is taking place, it seems it's set in not too distant time from today and that something really bad happened to the outside world. Due to Michel's speculations atmosphere and suspense is slowly rising as time goes by.
The novel characters are also very interesting; Michel is at the start very dependent on Harry, being the first guard in building, and as story will unfold reader will be wondering why and when he's not doing something about all the horrible things that start happening.
Its end may be unusual because reader expects resolution and explanation, and is questionable did the end of the novel provided that.
Details of course cannot be disclosed, but the reader will wonder what a novel that has just been read represents?
Novel by Peter Terrin is beautifully written novel, full of tension and suspense that is delivered in a bit unusual way resulting in provoking book that due to its end will certainly divide readers, but certainly literature work that deserves your attention.