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The Snow Garden [Paperback]

Christopher Rice
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Jan 2003
From the author of A DENSITY OF SOULS comes an electrifying new novel of murder and menace set on a snowy university campus. When a professor's wife is found drowned in an icy river, rumours of murder are rife within the walls of Atherton University. But then an older mystery emerges from the shadows as people recall the discovery of a corpse in a frozen creek some twenty years earlier and wonder whether the two might possibly be connected. Three friends find themselves snared in a web of lies surrounding the murders: for each of them college had promised a bright future and a way to disconnect from a dark, haunted past, but - as winter sets in - their secret histories threaten to reveal themselves in nightmarish fashion. Snowbound on the university campus, Kathryn, Randall and Jesse are the unwitting captives of a malevolent force that drives them relentlessly toward the 'snow garden' of the title - a place of horrors that is all too real...and all too near. Christopher Rice has written an unforgettable and powerful thriller that probes the terrible weight of the past on the present and the frighteningly corrosive nature of secrets. A novel not to be missed...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books (3 Jan 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330492535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330492539
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 240,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

The Snow Garden is the second novel from Christopher Rice, author of A Density of Souls. Rice's debut marked him out as a writer of irresistible narrative skills--this was a gothic mystery rich in atmospheric detail and some highly individual characterisation. Similar elements appear in The Snow Garden, but in some ways this second book is even more assured than its predecessor, with the emotional lives of its youthful protagonists (freshmen at Atherton University) delineated with real intelligence. Jesse, Randall and Kathryn find themselves connected by more than just their mutual studies.

In an ice-bound river, a professor's wife has drowned, and the unruffled surface of campus life at Atherton University is becoming agitated. Randall has had an affair with the professor, and revelations are pending in the local press. Rumours grow, and people in the town make connections with a similar death many years earlier, and the deception that binds the three friends together threatens to destroy them utterly.

It would be foolish to deny that the plot does not have strong echoes of Donna Tartt's much-acclaimed The Secret History, but Christopher Rice is very much his own man and such allusions are only momentarily distracting. Perhaps the gothic elements (so skilfully handled here) should not be too much of a surprise, as the author's mother is no less than Anne Rice, doyenne of the epic vampire novel. And as this contemporary horror story moves ineluctably to its chilling conclusion, Anne Rice may not be pleased by the fact that her son's book is considerably more impressive than anything she herself has done in some time. And the pulse-racing set-pieces here will no doubt soon be inspiring a bidding war in Hollywood. --Barry Forshaw

About the Author

Christopher Rice is the son of Anne Rice, the novelist, and Stan Rice, the poet. He lives in Los Angeles. His first novel, A DENSITY OF SOULS, is available from Pan Books.

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First Sentence
THE NEON YELLOW SIGN ATOP THE YANKEE SAVINGS & TRUST BUILDING flickered to life at just pass three in the afternoon, its light-sensitive timer tripped by the tide of gray clouds advancing off the Atlantic, casting downtown into gloomy winter shade. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely stunning! 10 Mar 2003
Okay, I'm not one to drop random chunks of hyperbole into my speech, but there are no words to describe how brilliant this novel is!! If you thought A Density Of Souls was great, try this follow up which is longer, darker and ultimately even more satisfying. Like it's predecessor, it is beautifully written and draws on themes of sexuality, relationships and friendship and centres them around some major tragedy (seemingly disperate deaths in mysterious circumstances here) to reveal all kinds of intrigue, mystery and twists (none of which I will mention as it will spoil it for you!!). The Snow Garden is a real page turner from beginning to end and I guarantee that you will not be able to put it down once you have started reading. And, for the first time in ages, I actually gasped out loud while reading it. That's how good it is!!
Buy it, read it, love it!!!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing! shocking! moving! 21 April 2002
for anyone who has read 'a density of souls' you know how powerfully christopher rice writes. and how addictive his books are.
'the snow garden' set in a elite american university, allows jesse, randall and kathryn a chance to leave their past's behind them and start again. but slowly as the mystery of a professors wife's death unravels so does the web of secrets and lies, some hidden for decades. confronting the past is painful...but the future holds danger.
building up to the climax that Rice articulates so well, this books will leave you shocked, disbelieved and...the only way to describe it is...betrayed, as the people you thought you knew turn out to be strangers.
a must read that cannot be put down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Snow Garden 29 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the kind of book that, partway through reading it, I realized that I would have to get to the end to find out what happened, then re-read it to get all the nuances of the plot.
The author is the son of Anne Rice and thankfully, he did not inherit her style of writing, otherwise I would never have finished it. I read his first "A Density of Souls" and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the denoument, but this one was more abstruce and put me off investigating him further.
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