The Hours Before Dawn

Celia Fremlin
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ISBN 9780571312740 Format N/A
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About Book

The Hours Before Dawn (1958) was Celia Fremlin's debut fiction, and won the Edgar Award for novel of the year from the Mystery Writers of America. Over time Fremlin would earn the soubriquet of 'the mistress of psychological suspense.'

Louise Henderson is a young housewife and mother, trying her best to tend to a husband, two small daughters and a constantly crying baby. Her fatigue is such that she fears she is nearing psychosis; and she can't help but feel that a new lodger in the house, a seemingly respectable schoolmistress, poses a threat to her and her family.

'Tightly plotted and admirably concise... Fremlin expertly ratchets up the tension, notch by notch.' Laura Wilson

'Highly intelligent entertainment, beautifully written with wit and humour.' Frances Fyfield

'It grips like grim death.' Spectator

  • About Celia Fremlin

    Celia Fremlin (1914-2009) was born in Kent and educated at Berkhamsted School for Girls and Somerville College, Oxford, where she read classics and philosophy. During the Second World War she worked for the Mass Observation project, an experience that resulted in her first published book, War Factory (1943, available in Faber Finds), which recorded the experiences and attitudes of women war workers in a radar equipment factory outside Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Her first published novel of suspense was The Hours Before Dawn (1958), which went on to win the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Allan Poe award for best crime novel in 1960. Over the next 35 years Fremlin published a further eighteen titles, including three collections of stories. Faber Finds is proud to be reissuing Celia Fremlin’s complete oeuvre in paperback and ebook.

    'Britain's equivalent to Patricia Highsmith, Celia Fremlin wrote psychological thrillers that changed the landscape of crime fiction for ever: her novels are domestic, subtle, penetrating - and quite horribly chilling.' Andrew Taylor

    ‘Celia Fremlin is an astonishing writer, who explores that nightmare country where brain, mind and self battle to establish the truth. She illuminates her dark world with acute perception and great wit.’ Natasha Cooper

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