In this affecting crime novel from Edgar-winner Cook ("The Chatham School Affair"), Eric Moore, a prosperous businessman, watches his safe, solid world disintegrate. When eight-year-old Amy Giordano, whom Eric's teenage son, Keith, was babysitting, disappears from her family's house, many believe Keith is an obvious suspect, and not even his parents are completely convinced that he wasn't somehow involved. As time passes without Amy being found, a corrosive suspicion seeps into every aspect of Eric's life. That suspicion is fed by Eric's shaky family history - a father whose failed plans led from moderate wealth to near penury, an alcoholic older brother who's never amounted to much, a younger sister fatally stricken with a brain tumour and a mother driven to suicide. Not even Eric's loving wife, Meredith, is immune from his doubts as he begins to examine and re-examine every aspect of his life. The ongoing police investigation and the anguish of the missing girl's father provide periodic goads as Eric's futile attempts to allay his own misgivings seem only to lead him into more desperate straits. The totally unexpected resolution is both shocking and perfectly apt.
Quercus Publishing Plc
Publisher and industry reviews
"Thomas Cook writes like a wounded angel and Red Leaves is one of his masterworks. Sorrow, suspicion, fear and forgiveness hang suspended over an almost unbearably increasing tension. In Cook's hands, the crime novel, if that's what this is, moves firmly into literature." Peter Straub "Red Leaves is one of the best novels you'll read this year - gripping, beautifully written, surprising and devastating. Thomas H. Cook has long been one of my favourite writers. Red Leaves will show you why." Harlan Coben Quercus is a brand new imprint with a lot of fine crime titles to be published this year, and if this, the first I've seen, is anything to go by, it will be a big success. Something ugly rears its head in smalltown America as a little girl goes missing while being baby-sat by a teenage boy. Slowly but surely the boy's father, Eric Moore, who narrates the story, begins to suspect everything his son does and says, and realises that his whole life is based on falsehood. As his wife who is cuckolding him says: "Everybody lies", which mirrors the comment by his alcoholic brother: "Everybody's a fake." Red Leaves is a brilliant description of how a seemingly perfect life can fall apart all because of one phone call. Outstanding, and so very melancholic. Independent on Sunday Thomas H Cook is a crime writer's crime writer; he's been around for several decades now, praised by his peers but never totally embraced by the reading public. His latest novel, currently shortlisted for the US Edgar Award, should surely help to put a stop to this neglect. Set in small-town America, it traces the steady and agonising destruction of a seemingly normal family, following the disappearance of a local teenager. Narrated by a local businessman blissfully unaware of how tenuous the ground is under his feet, this is a splendid if painful destruction of the American dream by everyday evil. It makes for a most bitter but powerful tale, guaranteed to leave a bad taste in the mouth; you won't be able to put it down. Guardian '...a cracking book ... deserves to put Cook up in the top bracket among readers as well as fellow writers.' Manchester Evening News 'A terrific piece of work' Guardian 'Red Leaves is a brilliant description of how a seemingly perfect life can fall apart all because of one phone call. Outstanding.' Independent on Sunday
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