“Quickly and assuredly, Jewell builds an ecosystem of countervailing suspicions…Tricky, clever, unexpected.” —New York Times Book Review
“Brace yourself as Jewell stacks up the secrets, then lights a long, slow fuse.” —People
“A seize-you-by-the-throat thriller and a genuinely moving family drama.” —A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
The instant New York Times and #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of the Then She Was Gone delivers another suspenseful page-turner about a shocking murder in a picturesque and well-to-do English town, perfect “for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, and Luckiest Girl Alive” (Library Journal).
Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.
As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.
One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.
Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…
In Lisa Jewell’s latest brilliant “bone-chilling suspense” (People) no one is who they seem—and everyone is hiding something. Who has been murdered—and who would have wanted one of their neighbors dead? As “Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace” (Booklist, starred review), you will be kept guessing until the startling revelation on the very last page.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
At the beginning of this beguiling mystery, we know that someone’s been murdered and that Joey Mullen, an underemployed new bride, is the prime suspect. Joey lives two doors down from dashing school headmaster Tom Fitzwilliam, whom everyone in her posh British suburb seems to be obsessed with…but who may not be as irreproachable as he seems. As the story unspools, alternating points of view—including a student at Tom’s school, Tom’s son, and Joey herself—keep us on our toes. Lisa Jewell’s character development is so compelling and thorough, we haven’t been able to stop thinking about this book.
In the prologue of this crafty conundrum from bestseller Jewell (Then She Was Gone), a dead body lies on the kitchen floor of the Fitzwilliam family's Victorian house in a posh neighborhood of Bristol, England. The author smoothly juggles multiple story lines some dating back 20 years centering on paterfamilias Tom Fitzwilliam. For some reason, the now middle-aged, nationally honored schoolmaster seems to effortlessly bewitch women and girls alike, among them his slavishly solicitous wife, Nicola; increasingly paranoid stalker Frances Tripp, the mother of one of his students, 15-year-old Jenna; and Jenna's best friend, Bess Ridley, who has a schoolgirl crush on him. While all the people watching Tom facilitate the serpentine plot, they're also the novel's weakest link, since their respective obsessions remains baffling and at times border on the tedious. That said, prepare to be blindsided by the murder victim's identity, not revealed until late in the game and an even more stunning final surprise. Jewell does a masterly job of maintaining suspense.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Such an incredible read!
So captivated from the very beginning. The story brings the reader in and out of different characters lives going back and forth in time as they slowly share their part in this tragic story. LOVED IT!
First book of 2019 sets a high standard
I loved this book! It sucked me in right away and kept me hooked. The pace was perfect and it had all of the elements of an amazing story: love, justice, plot twists and moral lessons. Lisa Jewel is like the perfect mix of two of my most favorite authors,m: Judy Blume and Jodi Picoult.
Interesting premise and characters.