Set in a small English town, Ashworth’s second novel (after A Kind of Intimacy) offers an object lesson in the perils of concealing the past. For ten years, twenty-something Laura has kept mum about at least one dreadful secret: What really happened when her best friend Chloe drowned at age 14. The knowledge has crippled Laura’s hopes for a meaningful life. She holds a menial job as a shopping center cleaner and lives alone, fearful that mutual friend Emma might expose her. In her first-person recollections of the fateful months preceding Chloe’s death, Laura dwells—perhaps overmuch—on the minute details of her angst-ridden adolescence. Ashworth pulls no punches. Though some of the dark, British humor may be lost on an American audience, the author’s narrative is revealing, timely, and damning of tabloid-media sensationalism. Agent: Anthony Goff, David Highham Associates. (Oct.)
A wonderful tale, beautifully told.
“Evokes a damaged mind with the empathy and confidence of Ruth Rendell.”
‘Ashworth has the rare gift of being able to make her reader feel perverse and voyeuristic, implicated somehow in the tragedy laid out on the pages.’
“Hugely readable debut novel […] about the inability to know others and ourselves.”
Another cleverly skewed tale told from the self-conscious perspective of an outsider... arrestingly observant... Ashworth’s second book confirms that the first was no one-off... her talent could take her a long way’
A grimly atmospheric mystery.
A psychological thriller of the first order.
“Extremely intense and powerfully intriguing.”
A chilling, blackly funny novel with a surreal edge about the intensity of teenage friendship.
Ten years after teenagers Chloe and Carol died in a suicide pact, the ground is finally being broken for their memorial—and another body is found. Compared to Tana French and Kate Atkinson, Betty Trask Award winner Ashworth offers a twisty thriller. With a 100,000-copy first printing; feeling good about this one.