The Crooked House: A Novel

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"A taut psychological thriller, loaded with mood, and a puzzle tricky enough to keep you guessing to the final page" —The Washington Post

In the chilling tradition of Daphne du Maurier and with the acuity of Kate Atkinson comes an atmospheric psychological thriller about an isolated British village and the sinister abandoned house that holds the key to its most shameful secrets.

Alison is as close to anonymous as you can get: she has no ties and no home, and her only anchors are her boyfriend and her small backroom job in publishing. Which is exactly how she wants it. Because once, Alison was a teenager named Esme who lived in a remote, dilapidated house by a bleak estuary with her parents and three siblings. One night something terrible happened in the family’s crooked house, leaving Alison the only survivor. In order to escape from the horror she witnessed, she moved away from the village, changed her name, and cut herself off from her past.

But now her boyfriend has invited her to a wedding being held in her old hometown, which means returning there for the first time since that night. She decides that she’s never going to overcome the trauma of what happened to her without confronting it, so she accepts his invitation. But soon Alison realizes that the events of that night left their awful mark not just on her but on the entire village, and she begins to suspect that everyone there might somehow be implicated in her family’s murder.

Christobel Kent’s The Crooked House is a haunting thriller about one woman’s search for the truth about her past through a closed community full of dark secrets.

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About the author

Christobel Kent was born in London and was educated at Cambridge. She has lived variously in Essex, London, and Italy. Her childhood included several years spent on a Thames sailing barge in Maldon, Essex, with her father, stepmother, three siblings, and four step-siblings. She now lives in both Cambridge and Florence with her husband and five children.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Sarah Crichton Books
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Published on
Jan 12, 2016
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9780374714475
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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From Christobel Kent—whose psychological thrillers have been called “terrifyingly good,” “perfectly paced,” “addictive,” “tense, dense, extremely well-plotted and beautifully written”—a new nerve-racking novel about a disappeared barmaid and the friend who will do anything to find her.

When Beth disappears, everyone says she’s run off with another man. She’s just a fly-by-night party girl who can’t be trusted. But Natalie, her best friend, doesn’t believe it, not at all. She’s sure something more sinister is going on. So sure that proving it just might kill her . . .

Meanwhile, Victor, one of Beth’s and Nat’s favorite bar patrons, has fallen and ended up in the hospital. When he hears that Beth is gone, he doesn’t buy it either. And slowly, a hazy memory comes back to him. Something menacing . . . something important . . . something just out of his grasp . . .

As Nat tries to piece together the events—and people—in Beth’s life, it becomes more difficult to discern who can and can’t be trusted. The little town in the English countryside takes on an ominous air, with a threat behind every corner, outside every window. And someone is always watching . . .

Kent’s most recent novel, The Loving Husband, was an international bestseller, and it is in no way hyperbole to declare The Day She Disappeared her very best. It is as brutally unsettling as The Loving Husband, but even more intricate and surprising; as claustrophobic and atmospheric as The Crooked House, but even more heartbreaking in its truths.

Kent has been compared to such masters as Daphne du Maurier and P. D. James. With The Day She Disappeared, a new crop of writers will be compared to Christobel Kent.

Sandro Cellini, P. I., Florence's answer to Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti, returns in this atmospheric mystery set in a forbidding castle.

As Sandro Cellini comes to grips with the tough realities of life as a private detective, touting for business among old contacts and following errant teenagers, an old case comes back to haunt him.

Once the subject of a routine background check back in Sandro's earliest days as a private investigator, the glamorous, charming, and ruthless Loni Meadows, the director of an American-Italian artistic retreat in a castle in the hills outside Florence, goes off the icy road in her car one night. The circumstances of her death seem less than accidental to Sandro. However inconvenient his suspicions might be, both to Sandro—whose marriage appears to be disintegrating in the aftermath of his wife's illness—and to Meadows's erstwhile employers, the detective presses on. As he attempts to uncover the truth of Meadows's violent and lonely death, Sandro finds himself drawn into the lives of the castle's highly strung community and the closed world they inhabit in the isolated Etruscan hills of the Maremma.

Reminiscent of a locked-room mystery in the style of Agatha Christie, A Murder in Tuscany leads the reader from one possible perpetrator to the next; to Sandro's chagrin, all of the artists in residence at the time of Loni's demise had more than enough reason to dislike her. But who in the group had the most compelling motive to want her dead?

Kent is a masterful investigator of character and mood, and her second mystery conveys the gloom of the Orfeo castle as well as the individual dark lives of its inhabitants in a chilling, memorable way.

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