One family’s skeletons emerge on a 1950s seaside summer holiday in this classic mystery from ‘Britain’s Patricia Highsmith’ and ‘the grandmother of psycho-domestic noir’ (Sunday Times)
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In this Waterstones Thriller of the Month, as recommended on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book, one family’s skeletons emerge on a 1950s seaside summer holiday in this classic mystery from ‘Britain’s Patricia Highsmith’ and the ‘grandmother of psycho-domestic noir’ (Sunday Times)
‘Makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up .. Take it on holiday with you.’ Times
‘Fremlin packs a punch.’ Ian Rankin
‘Splendid … Got me hooked.’ Ruth Rendell
‘A slow-burning chill of a read by a master of suspense.’ Janice Hallett
‘A dark delight. Witty, unsettling domestic noir. Imagine Barbara Pym with arsenic.’ Clare Chambers
The holidays have begun. In a seaside caravan resort, Isabel and her sister Meg build sandcastles with the children, navigate deckchair politics, explore the pier’s delights, gorge ice cream in the sun. But their half-sister Mildred has returned to a nearby coastal cottage where her husband – the mysterious Uncle Paul – was arrested for his first wife’s attempted murder: and family skeletons emerge.
Now, on his release from prison, is he returning for revenge, seeking who betrayed him? Or are all three women letting their nerves get the better of them? Though who really is Meg’s new lover? And whose are those footsteps …?
‘Sinister, witty and utterly compelling. A genius.’ Nicola Upson
Fremlin packs a punch.
A suburb of hell .. Chekhov meets Ruth Rendell .. Great fun .. Laughter turns to terror in this beautifully contrived plot by an unjustly overlooked mystery writer .. Makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up .. Fremlin breeds monsters from the minutiae of life and shows how lack of love and loneliness can cause them .. Take it on holiday with you.
Britain's Patricia Highsmith . . . The grandmother of psycho-domestic noir.
Fremlin's admirably plotted novels and short stories are about people leading lives of quiet or vociferous desperation in suburban backwaters ... Splendid ... Got me hooked ... [I] read avidly [and] identify with kindred spirit protagonists.
Such a dark delight. Witty, unsettling 1950s domestic noir. Imagine Barbara Pym with arsenic.
Extraordinary ... A slow-burning chill of a read by a master of suspense ... A richly drawn snapshot of life, love and family in post-war Britain.
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