In West Akron, Ohio, there lived a reclusive elderly man who always wore mittens, even in July. He had no friends and no family; all over town, he was known as the Man from Primrose Lane. And on a summer day, someone murdered him.
Fast-forward four years. David Neff, the bestselling author of a true-crime book about an Ohio serial killer, is a broken man after his wife's inexplicable suicide. When an unexpected visit from an old friend introduces him to the strange mystery of "the man with a thousand mittens," David decides to investigate. What he finds draws him back into a world he thought he had left behind forever. And the closer David gets to uncovering the true identity of the Man from Primrose Lane, the more he begins to understand the dangerous power of his own obsessions and how they may be connected to the deaths of both the old hermit and his beloved wife.
Deviously plotted and full of dark wit, James Renner's The Man from Primrose Lane is an audacious debut that boasts as many twists as a roller coaster. But beneath its turns, it's a spellbinding story about our obsessions: the dangerous sway they have over us and the fates of those we love.
Paris, 1975. Camille sifts through letters of condolence after her mother's death when a strange, handwritten missive stops her short. At first she believes she received it by mistake. But then, a new letter arrives each week from a mysterious stranger, Louis, who seems intent on recounting the story of his first love, Annie. They were separated in the years before World War II when Annie befriended a wealthy, barren couple and fell victim to a merciless plot just as German troops arrive in Paris. But also awaiting Camille's discovery is the other side of the story, which will call into question Annie's innocence and reveal the devastating consequences of jealousy and revenge. As Camille reads on, she begins to realize that her own life may be the next chapter in this tragic story.
On the face of it, her death was accidental, but deputy police chief Tom Hollis - an incomer from New York - is convinced the truth lies in the intricate histories and family secrets of Amagansett's inhabitants. Meanwhile the enigmatic Labarde is pursuing his own investigation.
No-one ever called Dan a pushover. But then no-one ever called him fast-track either. He likes driving slowly, playing Sudoku on his iPhone, swapping one scruffy jumper for another. He's been with Clara for four years and he's been perfectly happy; but now she's left him, leaving nothing but a long letter filled with incriminations and a small, white, almost hairless dog, named Doggo. So now Dan is single, a man without any kind of partner whether working or in love. He's just one reluctant dog owner. Find a new home for him, that's the plan. Come on...everyone knows the old adage about the best laid plans and besides, Doggo is one special kind of a four legged friend...and an inspiration.
Luke Hamilton, a junior air intelligence officer at the British Embassy in Paris, appears to have luck on his side. Mysteriously orphaned in England as an infant, he was nurtured by a kind nun, Sister Agnes, and later adopted by a caring, wealthy couple. Now, the year is 1937, and, in Paris, Luke thrives amid the climate of intrigue, caused by the looming international trouble. Luke is taken off guard, however, when word reaches him that Sister Agnes has been brutally murdered. Before Luke has a chance to leave for the funeral, he finds himself hotly pursued as the target of an assassination attempt.
A clear case of mistaken identity-or so it first appears.
In this lightning-paced historical thriller, Mark Mills transports readers to a continent sliding towards war. As Luke is hunted from Paris to Venice by relentless, cunning killers, he gradually comes to learn the reason he is being pursued lies deep in a past that predates his abandonment as a baby on the steps of the orphanage...to an act of revenge gone wrong twenty-five years ago.
"A grand adventure, in the tradition of Graham Greene's 'entertainments,' and John Buchan's before that." - Joseph Finder, New York Times bestseller author
"The best novel I read this year. Where Dead Men Meet is an exhilarating and hair-raising charge through pre-war Europe... A powerful tale of revenge, love, and self-discovery." - Mark Pryor, author of The Paris Librarian
"..[A]n elegantly plotted mystery...Superb period drama."
-The Sunday Mirror (UK)
"Reminiscent of Eric Ambler's brilliant thrillers of the 1930s...close to matching him in page-turning readability."
-The Sunday Times (UK)