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A tightly spun, atmospheric and powerful psychological suspense. Living in a remote Devon farmhouse, Anna and her family have always been close to nature, surrounded by the haunting beauty of the moor. But when a convict escapes from nearby Dartmoor prison, their isolation suddenly begins to feel more claustrophobic than free. Fearing for her children's safety, Anna's behaviour becomes increasingly irrational. But why is she so distant from her kind husband Robert, and why does she suspect something sinister of her son Paul? All teenagers have their difficult phases... Meanwhile, a young idealistic teacher has just started her first job, determined to 'make a difference'. But when she is brutally attacked by one of her students, her version of events is doubted by even those closest to her. Struggling to deal with the terrible consequences, she does what she can to move on and start afresh. As the two narratives converge, the tension builds to a devastating denouement, shattering everything you thought you believed about nature, nurture and the true meaning of family.
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An award-winning writer living in south-west England, Tom Vowler's short story collection THE METHOD won the inaugural Scott Prize in 2010 and, in 2011, the Edge Hill Readers' Prize. This is his debut novel.Review:
As unsettling as it is minutely imagined, this striking debut novel from Tom Vowler will give serious pause for thought to anyone considering downsizing for a cosy life in the countryside―Patrick Gale
Tom Vowler's debut novel is a finely achieved work. Sensitively written and beautifully crafted, it explores sexual violence and the resilience of human tenderness, set against the austere beauty and underlying threat of Dartmoor...hard to put down, impossible to forget―Graham Mort
Taut and compelling, you won't just read this book, you'll devour it―Alex Preston
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