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Head of Zeus
The Gone and the Forgotten
09 Jun 2022 * EBOOK * £7.99 * 9781838932763

A psychological thriller from the author of People of Abandoned Character. A missing girl. Buried family secrets. An absent father. Is the truth worth searching for?

Fiction / FH (Thrillers)
Extent: 384 pages
Exclusive: GB CA AU NZ IN ZA SG US
People of Abandoned Character
Also by Clare Whitfield
The Gone and the Forgottenby Clare Whitfield

Part psychological thriller, part coming-of-age novel from the author of People of Abandoned Character.

A missing girl. Buried family secrets. An absent father. Is the truth worth searching for?

Summer, 1993. In the aftermath of her mother's suicide attempt, 16-year-old Prue must spend the summer holidays on a remote island in the Shetlands with her favourite Aunt Ruth and Uncle Archie, a man she's barely met since her aunt married him. Prue hopes to re-establish the relationship, and that her aunt might help her understand some of the parts of the past she has been forbidden to discuss by her mother – including the identity of her father.

Prue soon finds out that her uncle was the only suspect in the disappearance of a local girl some twenty years ago. As she grows closer to him, she learns there are differing views on how the beguiling Evelyn O'Hara disappeared, but is her uncle innocent?

Truth is something Prue has always had a fractured relationship with. A single version of the truth seems impossible for her to lock down...

'I wanted to explore how ordinary families can condition themselves to keep the darkest of secrets – until the truth forces its way out. It's the story of a family's unravelling through the eyes of a confused and isolated 16-year-old girl trying to make sense of the past.' Clare Whitfield

Clare Whitfield is a UK-based writer living in a suburb where the main cultural landmark is a home store/Starbucks combo. She is the wife of a tattoo artist, mother of a small benign dictator and relies on a black Labrador for emotional stability. She has been a dancer, copywriter, amateur fire breather, buyer and mediocre weight lifter. Her first novel, People of Abandoned Character, was a Goldsboro book of the month.

'I wanted to explore how ordinary families can condition themselves to keep the darkest of secrets – until the truth forces its way out. It's the story of a family's unravelling through the eyes of a confused and isolated 16-year-old girl trying to make sense of the past.' Clare Whitfield.

Dark, twisty, sophisticated crime with a complex central heroine, set in a remote Shetland island – perfect for book clubs.

Second novel by author of Sunday Times Top 30 bestselling People of Abandoned Character. Winner of the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award 2021, and shortlisted for the Historical Writers Association Debut Crown Award 2021. Still a thriller, but this time botanical and psychological.

MARKET: For readers of Elizabeth McNeal, Shirley Jackson, Deborah Levy but also could reach readers of more conventional crime like Ann Cleeves.


PRAISE FOR PEOPLE OF ABANDONED CHARACTER:
'An astonishing book set in a Victorian London plagued by Jack the Ripper. Whitfield's narrator is Susannah, an ex-nurse who rushed into a rapidly souring marriage with a wealthy surgeon and starts to believe that her husband might be Leather Apron himself. I'd be amazed if it isn't dominating the shortlists come next year's awards season' M.W. Craven.
'This impressive debut builds up pace, pathos and intrigue superbly, with plenty of twists and turns' Woman's Weekly.
'A gripping and original take on the world's most notorious serial killer. A perfectly thrilling read for those long winter nights. Highly recommended' Adam Hamdy.
'A mistreated wife suspects her husband might be the Whitechapel killer... Compelling'
Sunday Times

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