The Deaths (Paperback)Mark Lawson (author)
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Four families live in a beautiful stretch of English countryside in magnificent listed houses, built for the old aristocracy. They are the new aristocracy and the elite of their village: financiers, business tycoons, lawyers, doctors, magistrates. They leave their rural idyll only to commute first-class to London for meetings, deals and theatre outings or Heathrow flights to winter sun or half-term skiing. They and their children are protected by investments, pensions and expensive security systems.
But the money is running out in Britain, and as tensions and relationships develop within the group of friends, finally, deep in the English winter, an unthinkable act of violence destroys these dream lives and demonstrates that the biggest threat may come from unexpected places. This horrific act happens on the first pages but Lawson provides dramatic twists and false turns and it is only by the end of the book that we discover who the victims are and who committed the crime.
Mark Lawson's first novel in eight years is his most ambitious yet. Combining ingenious plotting with forensic social comedy, this is a dark and brilliant novel of life in twenty-first-century England.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 383 g
Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 29 mm
'Mark Lawson's dark social satire on the British upper middle classes, skewers with precision this group of rich professionals who have grown fat and well-holidayed during the New Labour boom years but are now coming to a crunch point . . . Lawson's skill is to make his characters believable and, despite their odiousness, to make us care about them and their (possibly terrible) fate.'
' Financial Times
'Mark Lawson writes with a forensic eye for detail, exposing the foibles of his characters with scalpel-like precision. A wonderful, bitingly satirical, achingly true, warts and all portrait of modern middle-class England - and a true shocker of an ending' Peter James
'A wickedly witty snapshot of contemporary life' Cambridge News
'Sharp and very funny . . . wonderfully vivid and detailed' Guardian
'A cleverly constructed crime novel that's really a dark comedy of social observation and satire.' Choice Magazine
'a wickedly witty snapshot of contemporary life.' Irish Examiner
'sharply observed and blackly funny' Metro Scotland
'Mark Lawson's bleak satire on England's new aristocracy pulls no punches' Observer
'packed with superbly sharp observation' Sunday Times
'written with panache' The Times (Saturday Review)
ambitious, relevant, brave and full of humour and heart -- Julie Myerson, Books of the Year * Observer *
a biting satire which skewers the moneyed classes while throwing them the occasional sliver of sympathy. We know from the start that the father from one of four wealthy families from the same idyllic village has massacre his wife and offspring and then himself, but Lawson takes us through several hundred gripping, intricately plotted pages before we find out 'whodunnit' -- Annual Books Round-Up 2013 * guardian *
The dialogue is good, the social comedy of manners is excellent . . . both fluent and funny . . . it is sharply written and astutely observed. This is an amusing and at times hilarious novel . . . The conclusion is moving, even redemptive . . . The Deaths is memorable and enjoyable -- Novel of the Week * The Tablet *
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