The Book Collector
In Edwardian England, Violet has a fairy tale existence: loving husband, beautiful baby son and luxurious home. She wants for nothing. But soon after the birth of her baby the idyll begins to disintegrate. Violet becomes obsessed by a book of fairy tales her husband has locked away in a safe. Paranoid hallucinations begin to haunt her and she starts to question her sanity. Meanwhile, vulnerable young women are starting to disappear from the nearby asylum. Soon Violet herself is interned in the asylum for treatment only to discover, on coming out, that her husband has hired a nanny while she has been away, the beautiful, enigmatic Clara. The brutality of the asylum is nothing compared to the horrors that now lie in wait.
With its gothic motifs, this dark portrait of a `fairytale' marriage is full of mystery and suspense ... an elegant and bloodily shocking entertainment. -- Suzi Feay * The Guardian * The Book Collector throws the essential elements of the gothic chiller into a blender and what emerges is something between pastiche and critique, in which its author never loses sight of the need to give her readers, first and foremost, an unputdownable yarn. -- Alastair Mabbott * The Herald * A brief, but substantial, horror story. -- Lynsy Spence * The Lady * Alice Thompson, one-time keyboard player for Eighties band The Woodentops, is now an established novelist, who has won praise from Ian Rankin and Stephen King. The horror master would no doubt approve of this slim Edwardian-era gothic, too, recalling as it does both Rebecca and The Silence Of The Lambs. -- Stephanie Cross * The Daily Mail * The Book Collector shows a wry and sly mind at work throughout. Scottish literature would be thinner without this kind of challenging and cleverly-wrought writing. -- Stuart Kelly * The Scotsman * The precise Edwardian vocabulary began to assume a more contemporary feel in the wake of Violet's treatment at the asylum, and this proved an interesting divergence from the general feel of the book. With flayed corpses, books covered with human skin, and raging madness, this is definitely worth checking out... * Raven Crime Reads * â â â â revel in the gothic darkness and inexorable drama -- John Lloyd * The Bookbag * â â â â With a nod to Angela Carter, Thompson takes the myth of Bluebeard, the murdering husband who keeps a tally of his dead wives, sets it down in that Edwardian summer just before the guns of the First World War go off. It's a superb settling for betrayal and revenge. -- Lesley McDowell * The Independent on Sunday *
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