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Starred Review. Distracted by the daffodil-flocked Wiltshire countryside speeding past her, or perhaps by the condom wrapper she has found in her husband's car, the unnamed doctor's wife plows into the doomed bicyclist—shattering several lives and launching a haunting journey that should burnish the reputation of Joss (Half Broken Things, which won the CWA's Silver Dagger Award) as one of Britain's most original crafters of psychological suspense. The guilt-ridden hit-and-run driver becomes increasingly obsessed with the victim, recently retired English teacher Ruth Mitchell, and Ruth's devastated widower, Arthur. Providing emotional contrast are the notes Arthur leaves for Ruth and excerpts from The Cold and the Beauty and the Dark, the slow-paced multigenerational saga Ruth was bringing to her writing group on the fateful day. As the narrator finds herself irresistibly drawn to the Mitchells' home, a nightly witness to Arthur's decline, boundaries begin to blur. Increasingly, her flashbacks to her own family history begin eerily to mirror the clan in Ruth's manuscript. But, Joss asks provocatively, who are any of us apart from the stories we choose to believe—those we create and those we appropriate? (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Scottish mystery writer Joss (whose 2003 novel, Half Broken Things, won the UK Crime Writers Association’s Silver Dagger Award and who writes the Sara Selkirk novels, set in Bath) has concocted a haunting psychological suspense tale here. Joss’ main vehicle for playing on readers’ nerves is the first-person narration of a woman who has just left the scene of a hit-and-run accident that seems to have left the victim, another woman, well and truly dead. The narrator was distracted after finding evidence that her husband was having an affair. This novel offers an extended meditation on the loss of the narrator’s marriage and the loss of the stranger she killed. Suspense comes from figuring out who the narrator is and how she is going to cope with her guilt and leave the periphery of life to which she has condemned herself. Joss is very like Ruth Rendell in the way she entices and disturbs. --Connie Fletcher --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Awful, awful. Is this what's call experimental writing? Did the writer just lift this out of a journal and plot it in a book. Ugh. I really wasted my money. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Cynthia Bowen
Morag Joss is one of the finest novelists on the literary scene. She has won the Silver Dagger award and in this novel brilliantly builds up the suspense to almost unbearable... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Lynn Waldorf
What makes Morag Joss compelling in her writing is the consistent descriptive that runs almost imperceptively throughout the narrative. Read morePublished on April 5, 2012 by ralph gilliam
When I started this book, I knew I would be drawn into it. I was, the further I got, and up until the last few chapters I would have considered this a five-star. Read morePublished on August 24, 2010 by Elizabeth
I really enjoyed the author's "Half-Broken Things", but this book, although
beautifully written, was terribly depressing without any redeeming message. Read more
Although there were sections I must admit I skimmed through (Ruth's story), the book held my attention throughout. Read morePublished on July 17, 2009 by Karen Gibson
Didn't care too much for this book. Bought it on the strength of a review in The Atlantic and found it dragged. Read morePublished on May 4, 2009 by A. Parks
Interesting book. Saw a review in the Boston Blobe so I ordered it. I read it and almost did not finish it but I did. Very different and I was not familiar with the author. Read morePublished on March 21, 2009 by zanzibar
The unnamed character is using her husband's car while hers is in the shop. While rummaging in the glove compartment, she finds a condom. Read morePublished on February 26, 2009 by michael a. draper