“The Snakes is many things—a parable and an ancient drama where a father’s greed devours his children, a police procedural, an avid take on tabloid venality, and a bitter comedy, superbly observed, where behind a woman’s eyes she is ‘all movement inside herself, like a wasp in a glass.’ I admit that I’m still shaken by parts of this novel. Sadie Jones writes with pitiless aplomb and corrosive intelligence.”—Louise Erdrich
A chilling page-turner and impossible to put down, THE SNAKES is Sadie Jones at her best: breathtakingly powerful, brilliantly incisive, and utterly devastating.
The new novel by Sadie Jones tells the tense and violent story of the Adamsons, a dysfunctional English family, with exceptional wealth, whose darkest secrets come back to bite them. Set mostly in rural France during contemporary times, THE SNAKES is an all-consuming read and a devastating portrait of how money corrupts, and how chance can deal a deadly hand.
THE SNAKES exposes the damage wreaked by parents on children as observed by a new member of the family, Dan, a mixed-race man from Peckham who marries Bea, the daughter who refuses to take any of her father’s filthy money. But when Bea’s brother Alex (who runs a shabby hotel in Paligny, France) dies suddenly in unexplained circumstances, the confusion and suspicion which arise bring other dark family secrets—and violence—to the surface. And none of the family, even the good members, go untouched.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A word of warning: Sadie Jones’ taut, character-driven thriller is not suitable for bedtime reading. You’ll want to reserve it for the daylight hours, when you can read about young couple Bea and Dan—who leave London for a much-needed and, as it turns out, extremely dangerous vacation—without constantly checking under your bed. Jones’ intense family drama reads like a psychological thriller, complete with suspense, mounting dread, and a few truly shocking twists, which, like certain slithery reptiles (or creepy humans), show up when you least expect them.
Jones's propulsive yet thoughtful fifth novel (after Fallout) grips readers from the first page. Bea Adamson is a 30-year-old psychotherapist living in a modest one-bedroom in London with her real estate agent husband, Dan Durrant, despite her moneyed background. Dan, who is of a much humbler background, dreams of becoming an artist. When Bea and Dan take three months off to travel, their first stop is France, where Bea's older brother, Alex, runs a hotel. When they arrive, they're greeted by a hotel devoid of guests other than the snake infestation in the attic and an erratic, newly sober Alex. When Alex and Bea's extremely wealthy parents, Griff and Liv, unexpectedly arrive at the hotel, Bea, who has long cut financial and personal ties with her severe father and cloying mother, resigns herself to making nice. And with Griff and Liv's arrival, Dan begins to understand just how well-off Bea is, no matter how much she wants to forsake her upbringing. However, when Alex goes out one night and doesn't return, the Adamson family is upturned, and their secrets and twisted relationships with each other are brought to light. The campy ending doesn't quite live up to the rest of the book but what precedes is a tightly crafted, deeply moving, and thrilling story about how money corrupts and all the myriad ways members of a family can ruin each other.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A good quick read. I would have liked more character development but overall recommend this book.
I didn’t love the book as I was reading it but kept going to see it through and when I finished I thought “SERIOUSLY”????? I can’t remember a time I read a book so disappointing....ugh
This book is billed as a thriller, but the satisfaction of a thriller comes with a killer being brought to justice. This doesn’t even try to do that. Ending is very disappointing.