Bailey's Women Prize for Fiction 2017 Longlist
Longlisted for the Gold Dagger
It's the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York shimmer in a heatwave. One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young children missing. After a desperate search, the police make a horrifying discovery.
Noting Ruth's perfectly made-up face and provocative clothing, the empty liquor bottles and love letters that litter her apartment, the detectives leap to convenient conclusions, fuelled by neighbourhood gossip and speculation. Sent to cover the case on his first major assignment, tabloid reporter Pete Wonicke at first can't help but do the same. But the longer he spends watching Ruth, the more he learns about the darker workings of the police and the press.Soon, Pete begins to doubt everything he thought he knew.
Ruth Malone is enthralling, challenging and secretive - is she really capable of murder?
Haunting, intoxicating and heart-poundingly suspenseful, Little Deaths by Emma Flint is a gripping debut novel about love, morality and obsession, exploring the capacity for good and evil within us all.
A phenomenal achievement. Little Deaths is one of those so-very-rare accomplishments: a lightning fast, heart-pounding, psychologically resonant crime novel that effortlessly transcends genre.If you believed that literary fiction can't be a one-sitting read, think again (Jeffery Deaver)Utterly atmospheric and with style to burn, Emma Flint's Little Deaths is a novel that troubles and transfixes from its simmering first pages all the way to its searing final words (Megan Abbott)Wrenching and real and deeply moving. I fell fast and hard under the spell of this lush, moody, film noir of a novel (Chris Bohjalian)A stunning feat . . . Ruth Malone's descent into hell is a riveting tale of bad luck, heartbreak and prejudice, written with the pace of a thriller and the rich detail of a historical novel (Jane Casey)A gripping read that is at the same time deeply real. A beautifully written and realized debut. I absolutely loved it. (Kate Hamer, author of The Girl In The Red Coat)Destined to make waves this year. In the evocative Little Deaths by Emma Flint, two young children are brutally killed in New York in 1965. Is their mother guilty of murder or simply guilty of defying society's norms? (Express)I absolutely believed in the setting: the sleaze, the corruption and the glamour.The dialogue is pitch perfect and Ruth Malone is a complex and fascinating character.This is a novel about sex, obsession and discrimination, but it’s also a thriller that keeps you guessing until the last page (Ann Cleeves)Emma Flint’s debut is compelling and atmospheric. (Emerald Street)Her writing is by turns gutsy, involving and vivid.The story left an overwhelmingly poignant impression on me . . . a wonderful book (?Janet Ellis, author of The Butcher's Hook?)Involving and atmospheric and immensely gripping (Sophie Hannah)An excellent debut . . . unsparing and convincing (The Times Book of the Month)There’s plenty of buzz around Emma Flint’s evocative debut thriller inspired by a true crime story and filled with murder, sex and obsession during a heatwave in Sixties New York (Daily Telegraph)Guilt, loneliness and trial by tabloid are explored in this fascinating debut . . . Steaming with the heat of a New York July, Little Deaths is redolent of 60s noir . . . where Little Deaths excels is in its portrayals of different kinds of loneliness . . . this fascinating debut suggests [Flint’s next novel] will be one to watch out for (Observer Book of the Month)A hotly tipped debut destined to make waves this year . . . evocative (Daily Express)As dark as any period noir and simmering with tension (Express S Magazine)I absolutely believed the setting: the sleaze, the corruption and the glamour. The dialogue is pitch perfect and Ruth Malone is a complex and fascinating woman . . . This is a novel about sex, obsession and discrimination, but it’s also a thriller that keeps us guessing until the last page (Ann Cleeves Big Issue)Heart-pounding feminist thriller . . . a heady and haunting read (Elle)Flint gives the femme fatale back her soul . . . an engaging read (Literary Review)This is one writer who is definitely going places (Crime Scene magazine)Little Deaths convinces as a meticulously detailed period piece, a searching exploration of sexual hypocrisy and a twisty and enthralling murder mystery . . . Flint writes superbly . . . with something of the hallucinatory force of Eoin McNamee’s Blue trilogy and the dark fire of Megan Abbott’s early noirs . . . It’s an absorbing, seductive read; I absolutely loved it (Irish Times)Accomplished . . . deftly done . . . finely observed . . . wonderfully written . . . excellent . . . gripping . . . Flint writes powerfully . . . absolutely riveting . . . a strong and confident addition to the growing trend of domestic dystopias (Guardian)A pageturner . . . A terrifying, evocative read . . . compelling (Glamour)Inspired by true events, this thrilling suspense story will make you question your loyalties at every turn (Harpers Bazaar)Blowing apart stereotypes of mothers and femme fatales, Flint has marked herself out as one to watch (Stylist)Even though Flint is British, she nails the voices with authority . . . Flint is scrupulous about centering this moody thriller in the facts, yet giving them a deeper psychological spin . . . atmospheric and plausible (Washington Post)
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