Black Chalk

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A compulsively readable psychological thriller set in New York and at Oxford University in which a group of six students play an elaborate game of dares and consequences with tragic result

It was only ever meant to be a game played by six best friends in their first year at Oxford University; a game of consequences, silly forfeits, and childish dares. But then the game changed: The stakes grew higher and the dares more personal and more humiliating, finally evolving into a vicious struggle with unpredictable and tragic results. Now, fourteen years later, the remaining players must meet again for the final round. Who knows better than your best friends what would break you? A gripping psychological thriller partly inspired by the author's own time at Oxford University, Black Chalk is perfect for fans of the high tension and expert pacing of The Secret History and The Bellwether Revivals. Christopher J. Yates' background in puzzle writing and setting can clearly be seen in the plotting of this clever, tricky book that will keep you guessing to the very end.

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About the author

CHRISTOPHER J. YATES was born and raised in Kent and studied law at Oxford University before working as a puzzle editor in London. He now lives in New York City with his wife and dog. 'Black Chalk' is his debut novel.
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3.8
34 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Picador
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Published on
Aug 4, 2015
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9781250075567
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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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You can never escape your past...

‘The Lies We Tell has a sense of tension and skewed reality from page one. Delightfully creepy and skilfully plotted ... it's a can’t-wait-to-get-back-to-it book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.’ Hilary Boyd, author of Thursdays in the Park.

‘After a dramatic opening, The Lies We Tell develops into an intriguing story full of slow-burning suspense.' Sophie McKenzie, author of Close My Eyes and Here We Lie.

The last time Katy saw Jude was on a school trip, when Jude was attacked by a stranger and Katy ran away. Twenty years later, Jude is back, and her reappearance coincides with a series of unsettling incidents: a stranger appears in the downstairs flat; Katy’s house is vandalised; her mother is mugged and her home ransacked.

And Jude seems to know an uncomfortable amount about Katy’s current life...

Forced to revisit the same rocky waters of friendship and power they inhabited when they were fifteen, Jude and Katy realise that when it comes to memory, truth and family – nothing and no-one are what they seem.

THE LIES WE TELL is an explosive and completely gripping psychological thriller in which present and past intertwine to devastating effect.

Meg Carter worked as a journalist for twenty years before turning her hand to fiction. Her features have appeared in many newspapers, magazines and online with contributions to titles including You magazine, Independent, Guardian, Financial Times, and Radio Times. She is on the advisory committee of Women in Journalism. The Lies We Tell is her first novel.

In the electrifying tradition of Minette Walters and Ruth Rendell, J. M. Morris savagely plumbs the depths of psychological terror in an uncompromising and brutally brilliant suspense debut. The Lonely Places etches a fiendishly compelling portrait of madness and menace, eroticism and terror, that pits a woman’s mind against a world where nothing is as it seems.

THE LONELY PLACES

“Then along came a spider Who sat down beside her...”

Ruth Gemmill is broken. All she has known, all she has loved, all she has ever desired, have laid her waste. As autumn’s shadows begin to seep through her London home, Ruth escapes to the fading twilight of northern England in a last, desperate attempt to stave off the encroaching darkness. She needs the consolation of her brother, Alex: a man she cannot breathe without.

It’s not the first time. She couldn’t breathe without Matt either. Matt, who used to beat her. Matt, who loved to hurt her. Matt, whom she loved with a masochistic passion that destroyed everything in its path. But Ruth moved on, reinvented herself. Ruth found the strength to escape the terrifying abuse of her domestic existence. Or so she would like to think. Little does she realize the extent of the crippling cobwebs her vicious lover has spun throughout her mind.

But in the grim, foreboding town of Greenwell, where her brother now lives, fate deals Ruth another blow. For Alex has disappeared. To bring him safely home, she will be forced to confront her emotional demons through a bewildering landscape, where the phantoms of a menacing past lurk around every corner, wielding memories, determined to wake Ruth up to the most horrifying reality of all. Some webs can never be swept away, some spiders sting to destroy....

With chilling emotional precision and searing insight, J. M. Morris has created a novel that is at once devastatingly plausible, utterly poignant—and impossible to forget.
An Entertainment Weekly "Must Read" • One of the NPR Book Concierge's "Best Books of the Year"
"Twisty and told from multiple perspectives, this meaty thriller races to a satisfying finish." —People magazine

"The intensity of the storytelling is exhilarating and unsettling." —Booklist (starred review)

Twenty-six years ago Hannah had her eye shot out. Now she wants justice. But is she blind to the truth?

"Arresting...Twisting backward and forward in time, entering the minds of each character in turn, Yates examines both how they reached this point and what happens years later, when the past wreaks havoc on the present....[A] sophisticated...elegant narrative." —The New York Times

"The plot is darkly, intricately layered, full of pitfalls and switchbacks, smart and funny and moving and merciless." —Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of In the Woods and The Trespasser

"Dark, intense, and disturbing...Highly recommended." —Krysten Ritter, author of Bonfire

"Two of life's delicious pleasures—gourmet delectations and a sinister, plot-twisty tale—come together in this intelligent thriller." —Oprah.com

Christopher J. Yates’s cult hit Black Chalk introduced that rare writerly talent: a literary writer who could write a plot with the intricacy of a brilliant mental puzzle, and with characters so absorbing that readers are immediately gripped. Yates’s new book does not disappoint. Grist Mill Road is a dark, twisted, and expertly plotted Rashomon-style tale. The year is 1982; the setting, an Edenic hamlet some ninety miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends—Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah—are bound together by a terrible and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty-six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves never could have predicted, the three meet again—with even more devastating results.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl, and the basis for the major motion picture starring Charlize Theron

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben.

Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

Praise for Dark Places

“[A] nerve-fraying thriller.”—The New York Times

“Flynn’s well-paced story deftly shows the fallibility of memory and the lies a child tells herself to get through a trauma.”—The New Yorker

“Gillian Flynn coolly demolished the notion that little girls are made of sugar and spice in Sharp Objects, her sensuous and chilling first thriller. In Dark Places, her equally sensuous and chilling follow-up, Flynn . . . has conjured up a whole new crew of feral and troubled young females. . . . [A] propulsive and twisty mystery.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Flynn follows her deliciously creepy Sharp Objects with another dark tale . . . The story, alternating between the 1985 murders and the present, has a tense momentum that works beautifully. And when the truth emerges, it’s so macabre not even twisted little Libby Day could see it coming.”—People (4 stars)

“Crackles with peevish energy and corrosive wit.” —Dallas Morning News

“A riveting tale of true horror by a writer who has all the gifts to pull it off.”—Chicago Tribune

"It's Flynn's gift that she can make a caustic, self-loathing, unpleasant protagonist someone you come to root for.”—New York Magazine

“[A] gripping thriller.”—Cosmopolitan

"Gillian Flynn is the real deal, a sharp, acerbic, and compelling storyteller with a knack for the macabre.”—Stephen King
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It—publishing just as the second part of It, the movie, lands in theaters.

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.
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