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The Farm

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Overview

The new international bestseller from the author of phenomenal Child 44 trilogy...

The Farm

If you refuse to believe me, I will no longer consider you my son.

Daniel believed that his parents were enjoying a peaceful retirement on a remote farm in Sweden. But with a single phone call, everything changes.

Your mother...she's not well, his ...

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Overview

The new international bestseller from the author of phenomenal Child 44 trilogy...

The Farm

If you refuse to believe me, I will no longer consider you my son.

Daniel believed that his parents were enjoying a peaceful retirement on a remote farm in Sweden. But with a single phone call, everything changes.

Your mother...she's not well, his father tells him. She's been imagining things - terrible, terrible things. She's had a psychotic breakdown, and been committed to a mental hospital.

Before Daniel can board a plane to Sweden, his mother calls: Everything that man has told you is a lie. I'm not mad... I need the police... Meet me at Heathrow.

Caught between his parents, and unsure of who to believe or trust, Daniel becomes his mother's unwilling judge and jury as she tells him an urgent tale of secrets, of lies, of a crime and a conspiracy that implicates his own father.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
Is there anything more unnerving than the realization that you can't trust your own mother? Maybe the realization that you can't trust your father either. That's the killer premise of The Farm, a psychological thriller…that draws on the universal fear of losing a parent.
Publishers Weekly
★ 03/31/2014
At the start of this superior psychological thriller from Thriller Award–winner Smith (Child 44), the narrator, a Londoner known only as Daniel, receives a phone call from his father, who has retired with his wife to a farm in Sweden. The father tells Daniel that his mother is in the hospital. For months, she has been “imagining things—terrible, terrible things.” Before Daniel can fly to Sweden, his father calls again to inform him that she persuaded the doctors to authorize her discharge and has disappeared. As Daniel struggles to accept that news, his mother phones to announce that she’s flying to Heathrow and that everything his father has told him “is a lie.” When she arrives, she offers a complex tale to buttress her conviction that she has been plotted against, leaving Daniel uncertain as to whom and what to believe. Smith keeps the reader guessing up to the powerfully effective resolution that’s refreshingly devoid of contrivances. Agent: Felicity Blunt, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (June)
Jojo Moyes
"I read this book in two greedy sittings, absolutely and joyfully clueless as to where it was leading. Tom Rob Smith has created a truly original and chilling thriller, which makes you ask yourself 'who would I believe'?"
Mark Billingham
"Chilling, hypnotic and thoroughly compelling. You will not read a better thriller this year."
Entertainment Weekly on Child 44
"Sensational...crackling...Smith's prose is propulsive...his real genius is his careful potting...an elaborate mystery."
Chicago Tribune on Child 44
"One of the rare pleasures of the book-reviewing trade is first hearing all sorts of advance hype about a novel and then finding out that every word was true."
The Independent (UK)
"Tom Rob Smith breathes new life into the landscape, transcending the traditional crime fiction genre with an intricately-knitted thriller steeped in mythology...[Smith] demonstrates the same craftsmanship that saw his highly-acclaimed novel Child 44 claim the Galaxy Book Award for Best New Writer and long-listed for the Manbooker Prize, among its many plaudits. Meticulously weaving together literary themes of revenge and madness...this latest offering is a tapestry of fairytales old and new; so unsettling and oppressive that it blurs the distinctions between sanity and madness, reality and fantasy, leaving the reader guessing until the bitter end."
The Guardian (UK)
"This is a neatly plotted book full of stories within stories, which gradually unravel to confound our expectations...Smith's twisting, turning novel shows that Scandi crime also retains the ability to surprise and thrill."
Good Housekeeping (UK) - Thriller of the Month
"A pacey page-turner with an ending you'll be dying to talk about."
Stylist (UK)
"A mind-blowing, addictive plot that will have you on the edge of your seat, tearing through the pages as the truth - involving a missing teenage girl, Swedish folklore and some sinister neighbors - slowly leaks out."
Jeffery Deaver
"On rare occasions, an author pulls off the high-wire act of writing a crime-oriented novel that easily transcends the genre. The Farm is one of these...[Smith's] skills are as finely honed as ever, with this tale that's both a page turner and a searing examination of the lives of our protagonist, his lover and his family. Structurally innovative and stylistically resonant, The Farm is a remarkable achievement."
Kirkus Reviews
2014-05-07
Mama's gone crazy, daddy's gone crazy, and Smith (Child 44, 2008) has skipped over from Stalin's Russia to the idyllic Swedish countryside for his latest thriller.The change of scene puts Smith squarely atop territory claimed by Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell and other masters of Scandinavian mayhem. Smith, who has family ties to Sweden, works a customarily Nordic twist, too, by setting family members at one another's throats—and quite unnicely, too. A frantic email ("Nothing else, just my name, an exclamation mark") alerts Daniel to the fact that something is rotten across the North Sea, where Mum has been parked in a hospital while Dad mutters worriedly about her declining mental faculties. Ah, but Mum, who turns up in London, having fled, may not be loony at all. Indeed, she has a bag full of notes about Dad's late-blooming nefariousness: "In this satchel," she intones, "is some of the evidence I've collected over the summer." Evidence of what? Well, out among the cornflowers and hollyhocks, a corpse, maybe more than one, might just lie, for Dad has a kinky, hidden side. Meanwhile, Mum is old-school enough to believe that the fairy-tale world of trolls and goblins lies on the edge of the forest, though her hypotheses about the teenage girl who's gone missing from their bucolic farm town have an eminently practical side. Smith does creepy very well, setting scenes that slowly build in intensity, and he keeps readers guessing about who can and cannot be trusted. He also has a knack for finding the ominous in the picturesque, so a candlelight procession of "women dressed in bridal white" turns into a backdrop for a discovery that Daniel isn't quite prepared to make. And, it being Sweden, even bad guys and red herrings are neat, orderly and eminently polite: "It wasn't enough for Håkan to attack me," notes Daniel. "He wanted my permission to do so."They're resourcefully lethal as well. A satisfying mystery on ground that, though familiar, manages to yield surprises in Smith's skillful telling.
Booklist on Agent 6 (starred review)
"This concluding installment [is] another first-class, must-read crime novel...In [the] first two volumes, Smith brilliantly illuminated the horrors of Stalin's Russia and the Gulag. He also gave readers Leo Demidov, duty-bound, introspective, enduring, and ultimately a figure both tragic and heroic."
BookPage on Agent 6
"When a trilogy is as unpredictable and riveting as Tom Rob Smith's Child 44 series, set as it is both in the harsh Russian landscape and the dense thicket of the human soul, expectations quickly evaporate in a page-turning frenzy....Smith, a young British screenwriter turned best-selling novelist, has created in Leo Demidov a Kafkaesque modern hero for our times, a good man trapped in a corrupt, manipulative system, forced to choose between loyalties to family, country and conscience. With a cinematographer's eye for settings and historical detail, Smith uses Leo's journey to examine larger issues, especially the political, social and religious systems that both unite and divide us."
Dallas Morning News on Agent 6
"Agent 6 has all the elements that made the first two books in the series hits: relentless action, a flawed but fascinating protagonist and a clear-eyed view of the absolute brutality of an authoritarian government."
The Guardian on Agent 6
"The best thrillers combine narrative tension, first-rate plotting and enough psychological insight to satisfy the human hunger for identification...Smith can do all this."
Suspense Magazine on Agent 6
"With Agent 6, Smith has created an epic finale...Smith has a gift for sharply-etched characterization...A twisty thriller in a class with le Carré, Agent 6 is a satisfying culmination to the trilogy."
Agent 6 — Ten Best Crime Novels
"Tom Rob Smith is a name to watch."
Juxtabook on Agent 6
"An intricate game, a history lesson, philosophy in action."
Metro on Agent 6
"Superb ... action-packed, immaculately researched ... pungent and powerful."
Scotsman on Agent 6
"The phrase 'master storyteller' simply cannot do him justice...The curtain may have fallen on this particular dark tale, but it has been well and truly raised on a new talent who looks set to be entertaining and moving us for many decades to come."
Corriere della Sera on Agent 6
"Tom Rob Smith is back, from Russia without love. Reading his books is a roller coaster experience ... In the amusement park of contemporary literature, Smith's attractions are among the most exciting ones."
Mirror on Agent 6
"After the stunning Child 44... comes the sweeping, brilliant finale of his Cold War epic."
Daily Telegraph on Agent 6
"[Agent 6 has] an improvised feel, a terrific, freewheeling energy and pace, to which Rob Smith's non-nonsense prose is perfectly suited."
Financial Times on Child 44
"His mastery of suspense will make any reader's heart pound."
From the Publisher
"Tom Rob-Smith breathes new life into the landscape, transcending the traditional crime fiction genre with an intricately-knitted thriller steeped in mythology...[Smith] demonstrates the same craftsmanship that saw his highly-acclaimed novel Child 44 claim the Galaxy Book Award for Best New Writer and long-listed for the Manbooker Prize, among its many plaudits. Meticulously weaving together literary themes of revenge and madness...this latest offering is a tapestry of fairytales old and new; so unsettling and oppressive that it blurs the distinctions between sanity and madness, reality and fantasy, leaving the reader guessing until the bitter end."—The Independent (UK)

"This is a neatly plotted book full of stories within stories, which gradually unravel to confound our expectations...Smith's twisting, turning novel shows that Scandi crime also retains the ability to surprise and thrill."—The Guardian (UK)

"A pacey page-turner with an ending you'll be dying to talk about."—Good Housekeeping (UK) - Thriller of the Month

"A mind-blowing, addictive plot that will have you on the edge of your seat, tearing through the pages as the truth - involving a missing teenage girl, Swedish folklore and some sinister neighbors - slowly leaks out."—Stylist (UK)

"On rare occasions, an author pulls off the high-wire act of writing a crime-oriented novel that easily transcends the genre. The Farm is one of these...[Smith's] skills are as finely honed as ever, with this tale that's both a page turner and a searing examination of the lives of our protagonist, his lover and his family. Structurally innovative and stylistically resonant, The Farm is a remarkable achievement."—Jeffery Deaver, bestselling author of The Kill Room

"I read this book in two greedy sittings, absolutely and joyfully clueless as to where it was leading. Tom Rob Smith has created a truly original and chilling thriller, which makes you ask yourself 'who would I believe'?"
Jojo Moyes, New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You

"Chilling, hypnotic and thoroughly compelling. You will not read a better thriller this year."—Mark Billingham, international bestselling author of Sleepyhead

"Another first-class, must-read crime novel."—Booklist on Agent 6 (starred review)

"A gripping, relentless whodunit plot...Most readers will reach the final page with regret and in awe of Smith's uncompromising vision."—Publisher's Weekly on Agent 6 (starred review)

"An old-fashioned thriller that would do Ludlum and le Carré proud...A big book, in every sense, that's sure to draw attention."
Kirkus on Agent 6 (starred review)

"When a trilogy is as unpredictable and riveting as Tom Rob Smith's Child 44 series...expectations quickly evaporate in a page-turning frenzy...With a cinematographer's eye for settings and historical detail, Smith uses Leo's journey to examine larger issues, especially the political, social and religious systems that both unite and divide us."—BookPage on Agent 6

"Fans of Smith's first two books will avidly seek out the final chapter, though this one stands on its own as well... The buildup of suspense over several decades is the armchair equivalent of a jaw-jarringly extreme ride at an amusement park."—Library Journal on Agent 6

"Tom Rob Smith secures his place in the pantheon of crime writers with this taut, absorbing conclusion to the trilogy he so brilliantly began with Child 44 and The Secret Speech."On Agent 6 — Amazon's Best Books of the Month for January

"Relentless action, a flawed but fascinating protagonist and a clear-eyed view of the absolute brutality of an authoritarian government."—Dallas Morning News on Agent 6

"In Smith's hands [the] scenes attain a pulse of exhilaration worthy of Dickens by way of Conrad...a broadening of moral scope and thematic richness."—Dennis Lehane for The New York Times Book Review on The Secret Speech

"His mastery of suspense will make any reader's heart pound."—Financial Times on Child 44

Agent 6 -- Ten Best Crime Novels
"Tom Rob Smith is a name to watch."
Dennis Lehane for The New York Times Book Review on The Secret Speech
"In Smith's hands [the] scenes attain a pulse of exhilaration worthy of Dickens by way of Conrad...a broadening of moral scope and thematic richness."
Library Journal
06/01/2014
The author's first stand-alone novel after his wildly successful Soviet-era trilogy (Child 44; The Secret Speech; Agent 6) hits the ground running. While living in the London flat of his partner, Daniel receives an urgent phone call from his father in Sweden. His mother, Tilde, has been committed to an asylum, believing she is the target of a local conspiracy. No sooner does Daniel get to the airport than his phone rings again: "Everything that man has told you is a lie," Tilde says. "I'm about to board a flight to London." A shocked Daniel spends the rest of the novel listening, as his paranoid mother methodically unspools a story about an elaborate plot set in the Swedish wilderness, which includes an officious neighbor, a missing girl, and a buried secret from Tilde's past. Daniel, like us, can barely believe what he's hearing, but soon gets wrapped up in the mystery himself. VERDICT The unreliability of Tilde's narration—is she telling the truth about this sinister scheme or is she crazy?—provides the novel with a constant tension, but her deliberate and frustrating withholding of information also keeps it from truly taking off. Still, this is a worthy addition to the growing canon of Scandinavian crime thrillers that also includes Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbø. [Smith's mother is Swedish.—Ed.; See Prepub Alert, 1/6/14.]—Michael Pucci, South Orange P.L., NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446550734
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/3/2014
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 25,750
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Rob Smith

Tom Rob Smith graduated from Cambridge University in 2001 and lives in London. His novels in the Child 44 trilogy were New York Times bestsellers and international publishing sensations. Among its many honors, Child 44 won the ITW 2009 Thriller Award for Best First Novel, The Strand Magazine 2008 Critics Award for Best First Novel, the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Biography

After graduating from Cambridge University in 2001 and spending a year in Italy on a creative writing scholarship, Tom Rob Smith went to work writing scripts and storylines for British television. He lived for a while in Phnom Penh, working on Cambodia's first-ever soap opera and doing freelance screenwriting in his spare time.

While researching material for a film adaptation of a short story by British sci-fi writer Jeff Noon, Smith stumbled across the real-life case of "Rostov Ripper" Andrei Chikkatilo, a Russian serial killer who murdered more than 60 women and children in the 1980s. Chikkatilo's killing spree went unchecked for nearly 13 years, largely because Soviet officials refused to admit that crime existed in their perfect state. Intrigued, Smith recognized the potential of this concept as a work of fiction and worked up a script "treatment." His agent, however, suggested the material would be better showcased in a novel.

The result was Child 44, a gripping crime thriller about a Soviet policeman determined to stop a child serial killer his superiors won't even admit exists. Smith upped the action ante by setting the story in the Stalinist era of the 1950s, a period when opposing the state could cost you your life. And, in MGB officer Leo Stepanovich Demidov, he created the most fascinating Russian detective since Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko.

Child 44 became the object of an intense bidding war at the 2007 London Book Fair. (The buzz only increased when director Ridley Scott bought the film rights.) But the book proved worthy of its hype, garnering glowing reviews on its publication in the spring of 2008. Scott Turow (no slouch in the thriller department himself) proclaimed, "Child 44 is a remarkable debut novel -- inventive, edgy and relentlessly gripping from the first page to the last."

Good To Know

  • "One of my first jobs was working in a sports complex, and I had to fill up all the vending machines. It was boring work and lonely, carrying boxes of Mars Bars down very long, fluorescent-lit corridors. But a moment sticks out. I was restocking a machine when a young boy, maybe five years old, approached me and asked if he could have a chocolate bar. I told him they were for sale: he needed to buy one. He thought about this very seriously for a while, ran off, and came back five minutes later with a conker [horse chestnut]. He honestly believed this was a fair exchange. I guess it must have had some value to him. Anyway, I gave him the chocolate bar for free. It wasn't mine, I suppose, to give away, but it made a dull day a little brighter."

  • "My Swedish grandparents used to be beekeepers. They made the best honey I've ever tasted. I spent my summer holidays living on their farm. It was a wonderful place to spend a summer. My parents, now retired, live on a small farm -- a different farm -- near the sea in the South of Sweden. So now I have another place to retreat from the world. They're not beekeepers though."

  • "I like running, although I suffer from a problem with my knees. They slide out of position, which has caused me some problems recently. If anyone out there can help, I'd be more than happy to hear suggestions. Hours of physiotherapy haven't really worked."
  • Read More Show Less
      1. Hometown:
        London, England
      1. Date of Birth:
        February 19, 1979
      2. Place of Birth:
        London, England
      1. Education:
        St. John's College, Cambridge, 2001
      2. Website:

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4
    ( 20 )
    Rating Distribution

    5 Star

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    3 Star

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    Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted July 31, 2014

      Meh.....

      Intriguing concept. But it was really tedious (maybe kind of boring even?) to read and not as thrilling as I would have expected. I didn't really like any of the characters and ultimately didn't care whether mom was nutty or dad was evil. What should have been a page turner turned into a pleasant enough summer read, but nothing I'd recommend.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted June 26, 2014

      I received this book at Book Expo America in New York City and a

      I received this book at Book Expo America in New York City and author Tom Rob Smith was kind enough to sign it personally for me. The autograph just makes it extra special because inside I discovered a tale told by a skilled author in a very thrilling way. 
      Daniel gets a phone call from his father saying that his mother had a psychotic breakdown and is in a mental hospital. He urges his son to drop everything and come immediately to Sweden. But Daniel is surprised when his mother calls next and says she is coming to him and not to believe anything his father has told him, and most especially not to mention her arrival.
      These two desperate phone calls take Daniel on a roller coaster ride of events which leaves him wondering which one of his parents he should believe. 
      This is a remarkable read filled with intrigue. Page after page, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well done, Tom. I can't wait to read more from you.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted June 23, 2014

      The synopsis of this book excited me but in the end I was a litt

      The synopsis of this book excited me but in the end I was a little disappointed and as a result only rated it at three stars, instead of four. Had the author provided more hooks a third of the way through, I would not have hesitated to award four. In the end I had to work hard to stay the course to receive the reward at the end. The style is mostly narration which in itself was a little tedious however the storyline was excellent.

      Daniel's parents retired to his mothers homeland Sweden, buying a small farm in an isolated location in the rural south. The idea of setting up a guest house to generate income never got off the ground, as Daniel found out following Tilda's call announcing her arrival at Heathrow. With mixed messages from both his parents Daniel has to unravel the truth of his mothers illness.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 21, 2014

      Tilde believes she has discovered hidden evil and corruption in

      Tilde believes she has discovered hidden evil and corruption in her rural community in Sweden. In desperation, she flees her husband and her remote farm, turning to her son Daniel for help. But what exactly is she running from? Absolutely could not put this book down!

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 27, 2014

      Intriguing New Read!

      This is by far one of the best books I have read in a long time! I brought this along with me on a week trip and couldn't put it down, it was so good. The story was so intriguing and I read it in 2 days. I gave it to my neighbor and she also loved it and we are recommending it to our book club! Excellent book!

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted October 23, 2014

      Loved it! This is the first book I've read by this author but no

      Loved it! This is the first book I've read by this author but not the last! Flawless plot and gorgeous prose make this psychological thriller a cut above. You may also like: anything by Ruth Rendell (aka Barbara Vine), the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child, The Devil's Feather and The Shape of Snakes by Minette Walters and Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted September 26, 2014

      Author Tom Rob Smith has moved away from the recurring character

      Author Tom Rob Smith has moved away from the recurring character Leo Demidov and 1950s Russia setting of his first 3 novels, setting this standalone novel in London and rural Sweden. He has also moved away from the action/suspense scenes that were interspersed throughout his earlier work. Instead, author Smith provides us with a psychological drama involving a Swedish expatriate’s return the country where she spent her first 16 years. She returns to London in an attempt to convince her son to assist her against the local power base that is attempting to gaslight her – or, is it that they are trying to help a woman recognize and receive needed help as she begins an escalating mental break from reality?

      I found this novel frustrating. Smith, through his character Tilda, took a deliberate slow-paced explanation of the facts, at least as she saw and interpreted them. For my tastes, the pace was much too slow; basically, the first 6 of the 8 CDs in the audio version consisted of this narrative. I considered actually putting the CDs aside and moving on to something else, and do that to a book less than once a year! However, once son Daniel makes the decision to journey to Sweden and attempt to determine for himself what happened, the book turns 180 degrees. All of the background provided in the first ¾ of the book is needed to understand, interpret, and follow the plot twists – for me, most unexpected – in the last quarter of the novel. In my opinion, the last 25% of the book was incredible, and it needed the first 75% to serve as a base.

      I must give props to the narrators of the audio version of this book. James Langton provides his talents to everything and everyone except for the mother, who is voiced by Suzanne Toren. The decision to break out this important character and provide a gender-correct separate voice for her was winning decision by the director, producer, or whoever made it.

      RATING: 4 stars. This is a tough call. I’d LIKE to give the author 5 stars, as this book left what I believe will be a lasting impression on me. However, I cannot award that honor to a book that I also almost quit reading halfway through. Therefore, I believe that 4 stars is appropriate.

      Postscript – I was surprised to learn that the book, while fiction, is grounded in real life autobiography, as the author had to deal with a similar situation between his own parents in 2009.

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    • Posted August 25, 2014

      more from this reviewer

      Tom Rob Smith is the award winning author of the Child 44 trilog

      Tom Rob Smith is the award winning author of the Child 44 trilogy, but an author I hadn't read until now. His newest release is The Farm.

      Daniel's parents,Tilde and Chris, for personal and financial reasons, have decided to move from England to Sweden - Tilde's birth country. They buy a small farm in an isolated community and look forward to a bucolic retirement.Daniel keeps meaning to visit, but for his own reasons, keeps putting it off, believing his parents are happily pursuing their dream.

      But when his father calls saying his Mum isn't well and has in fact has been hospitalized, he is shaken. Then his Mum calls, saying she has fled Sweden - and Chris - and is on her way to see him in England. She is cryptic, saying she will only reveal what has been going on in when she gets there. But, he must believe her.....his father is dangerous and her life is in danger....If he doesn't believe her, he is no longer her son.

      What a great premise! Smith slowly lets Tilde tell her carefully documented story, complete with her proof. The reader is inexorably caught up in Tilde's slowly built case. But Daniel is torn - this is not the father he knows. Could his mother be mistaken? The reader is never sure of what is the truth - Tilde's 'evidence' seems quite plausible, but her manic paranoia makes her an unreliable narrator.

      I really enjoy this style of book - not knowing who is telling the truth, trying to find the thread of what has truly happened in the narrative. I thought Smith did a fabulous job with this.

      It was only after I finished the book and was reading more about Tom Rob Smith, that I discovered that the inspiration for The Farm was his from his own life. (Spoiler if you click through). In fact, this book is a mirror of that situation - underlining why I thought the writing was so compelling. While Smith's personal situation was resolved much quicker, the fictional tale had me wondering until the final pages what was real and what would happen.

      I really enjoyed The Farm.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted August 7, 2014

      Farm clan map and rules

      Res 1 map/rules. Res 2 camp. Res 3 nersery. Res 4 warriors den. Res 5 apprentices den. Res 6 med cat den. Res 7 leaders den. Res 8 hunting grounds. Res 9 training hollow. Res 10 river. Res 11 fresh kill pile. Res 12 elders den. Res 13 highrock. Res 14 borders.

      0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted August 3, 2014

      more from this reviewer

      Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite This is a review

      Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

      This is a review of the audio version of The Farm by Tom Rob Smith. Dan must determine whether his mother has lost her mind or has stumbled onto a conspiracy to hide the murder of a young woman. When his mother shows up at Heathrow airport, carrying a leather bag with “evidence,” she asks only one thing of him - to allow her to tell her story her way, systematically. After agreeing to listen, Dan sits quietly as his mother opens the bag and displays her evidence, one piece at a time, explaining its significance as she does. Could evil exist in rural Sweden or is it merely the imagination of a woman in the midst of a mental breakdown? 

      Tom Rob Smith leads the reader on a journey through what can be madness or a threat to Tilde, his main character’s life. I listened closely, trying to determine whether Tilde is insane. Along with Daniel, I became her judge and jury. Often the evidence was confusing, but it was meant to be. I did not know who to trust; the evidence at times seemed outlandish and impossible and yet … Tom Rob Smith is a talented author. He kept me guessing to the end. He also left me wanting more. When a book leaves you wanting more you know it is good. The Farm is sure to please fans of mystery and suspense. I would be remiss if I did not mention the extremely talented readers, James Langton and Suzanne Toren. Their voices brought this book to life by contributing the perfect accents and nuances to the narration.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 31, 2014

      Disappointing

      I've read and enjoyed other books by Snith. Wanted to this one. Read 150 pages and still couldn't figure out what this book is about. No reason to finish it.

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    • Posted July 24, 2014

      The Farm is a terrific psychological thriller in the vein of Gil

      The Farm is a terrific psychological thriller in the vein of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and Alice LaPlante's Turn of Mind. In The Farm, Smith gives us two potentially unreliable narrators: Tilde, who is convinced that her husband and the other men in her community are embroiled in a terrible criminal conspiracy, and her son Daniel, who must decide whether his mother is psychotic or his father a villain.

      The story unfolds in roughly alternating chapters, as Tilde presents her "evidence" to Daniel and Daniel assesses the meaning of that evidence. Much of Tilde's testimony is gleaned from her diary; this approach, reminiscent of Gone Girl, immediately sucks the reader in, exposing us to the clues as Tilde encountered them. Tilde is a sympathetic character from the moment she arrives on the page; she tells her story so calmly and logically that the reader, just as Tilde herself, feels drawn to the inescapable conclusion that something is indeed rotten in the state of Sweden. And yet . . . what happened to Tilde in the summer of 1963? Is her personal experience tainting her perception of recent events? That is the question Daniel, and the reader, must resolve.

      Compared to the fully fleshed-out character Smith has created in Tilde, Daniel is rather flat. He himself acknowledges that he is "weak," but that weakness seems to be as much a failing on Smith's part. While I can appreciate Smith's desire to juxtapose Tilde's strength against Daniel's milder personality, I felt that the only purpose Daniel ultimately served was as a foil to his mother, making his sudden decision to undertake his own investigation hard to swallow. Nevertheless, what he discovers in Sweden provides an unexpected payoff and a satisfying conclusion. I highly recommend The Farm to psychological thriller fans.

      I received a free copy of The Farm through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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    • Posted July 16, 2014

      Excellent read. The plot is well thought out and leaves you as

      Excellent read. The plot is well thought out and leaves you as undecided as the main character. You get a great mental image of people and scenes without the overabundance of description. This is one of the things that I expect from great writers. Nothing will make me put down a book faster than a too much description of setting and characters. Very well done.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 23, 2014

      The Farm

      Awful. Love his other books but this one is dreadful.

      0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 17, 2014

      Is this the hideout for Emberclan

      I hope so

      0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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      Posted October 12, 2014

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      Posted October 21, 2014

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      Posted October 21, 2014

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      Posted July 24, 2014

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      Posted September 5, 2014

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