From the internationally bestselling author of Beautiful Malice comes a captivating novel of psychological suspense about love and friendship, loyalty and betrayal—perfect for readers of S. J. Watson and Lisa Unger.
Tim Ellison feels lucky when he finds a cheap place to rent in his dream location, close to the restaurant where he works as a chef, and even closer to his favorite surf spot at Sydney’s popular Manly Beach. But the cavernous house is infused with a sense of foreboding, and his furnished room there comes with a condition: He must look after the mansion’s mysterious owner.
Anna London is withdrawn and frail, a twenty-year-old with the inexplicable demeanor and habits of an elderly woman. From her grand home on the hill, she can see the city and the ocean, but she can never leave. Her anxieties keep her locked inside, unable to face the outside world.
As Tim settles in, he struggles to get to know the person who depends on him for food and care. Slowly, Anna reveals glimpses of herself—her history, her sadness, her crippling fears. And then strange things begin to happen: loud banging in the night, unexplained figures in the shadows, sinister messages on the walls. Tim is startled to find that even as his unease about the house grows, he is increasingly attracted to its hauntingly beautiful owner. But is Anna London someone to pity, someone to love, or someone to fear?
Taut and intense, Sweet Damage is an addictive novel about vulnerability, obsession, and duplicity, with a modern Gothic twist.
Praise for Sweet Damage
“As the feelings between Tim and Anna intensify, so do the weird happenings inside their home . . . as well as the urge to turn the novel’s pages and find out what happens next.”—All You
“There are some surprises, and the characters are appealing—and, in one case, awful—enough to keep the pages turning.”—Booklist
“Rebecca James weaves an engaging and well-depicted tale. . . . The tension and suspense mount almost imperceptibly. . . . [For readers] who like atmospheric psychological thrillers.”—Crime Review
“Touches of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca haunt the novel, mixed with . . . social issues, sex and identity.”—Booktrust
Praise for Rebecca James and Beautiful Malice
“Utterly gripping! Rebecca James is an exciting new writer.”—Cecelia Ahern, author of PS, I Love You
“[An] impressive debut . . . This unflinching exploration of psychological manipulation and the tragedies it creates introduces a promising new talent in literary suspense.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“As the truth unfolds towards a devastating climax, no one escapes untouched. . . . One can only imagine what else Rebecca James has up her sleeve.”—The Daily Mail
“A good, suspenseful, psychological thriller . . . worthy of passing on to friends.”—The Roanoke Times
“Powerfully emotional . . . a mesmerizing story.”—Wichita Falls Times Record News