The Farm by Tom Rob Smith, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Farm

The Farm

3.8 27
by Tom Rob Smith
     
 

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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

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.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446550734
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
06/03/2014
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
797,886
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

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Meet the Author

International #1 bestselling author 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.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
London, England
Date of Birth:
February 19, 1979
Place of Birth:
London, England
Education:
St. John's College, Cambridge, 2001
Website:
http://www.tomrobsmith.com

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