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Little Deaths Hardcover – 12 Jan 2017
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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)
It's every mother's worst nightmare. But Ruth Malone is not like other mothers . . .See all Product description
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Set in Queens, New York during the hot Summer of 1965 the story unfolds with the abduction of two little children from their apartment they share with their single mother Ruth Malone. With a determined and unwavering police detective who is committed to prove the mothers guilt, an obsessive and bewitched journalist who is on a personal quest to find her innocent, Little Deaths is a thought-provoking tale of prejudice, morality and is a wonderful debut novel.
I did find parts of this novel quite slow, and while it reflected how slowly information was revealed, I did find that at times, I was wishing the pace would hurry a little so new information regarding the investigation into what happened to the children would be revealed.
Ruth was a very interesting character, it was clear that she was “broken,” her self-loathing and pain was so evident, but I couldn’t decide if I thought she was innocent or not and so while I wanted to show her compassion, I was reluctant to, just in case she was guilty. This feeling of confliction is something new to me, as usually you find a protagonist, in this situation, instantly unlikeable, or you root for them from the get go – and I found this confliction intriguing and a testament to Flint’s ability to craft a tale.
And, as I mentioned earlier, I love the tone, the sadness, Flint created through her writing:
“They knew nothing of guilt. They were not mothers.”
Out of context the above quote may not seem much, but in context, I thought it was extremely powerful.
The ending to this novel was very clever, and unexpected; it really hit home the themes of this novel: “love, morality and obsession, exploring the capacity for good and evil within us all.” Despite liking so much about this novel, I felt myself feeling underwhelmed when I finished it. But on reflection, I’m not sure it was me being underwhelmed, instead, it was the tone (the melancholy) of the book staying with me, me constantly thinking about what I had read, and in hindsight, it could be viewed as a reflection of the power of this plot. I hope I’m making sense; I don’t want to spoil anything so I’m being as vague as I can.
Little Deaths has a slow pace and I think it’s a book you’re meant to take your time with, absorb slowly, and stay thinking about afterwards – and that’s exactly what I did. I think this book with appeal to fans of Literary Fiction, rather than those looking for a psychological thriller. Yes, there is a mystery here, but it is not central to what this novel is conveying, and if you can get on board with that, I think you’ll really enjoy this one, as I did.
You don't really know where you are with Ruth, much like some of the characters in the novel. Is she broken? Is she damaged? Or does she really not care? The denouement is predictable but doesn't lose any of its impact for being so. Great read.
This first novel based on a true story had me in its grip from page one. An atmospheric, dark tale with so many characters to hold you through to the final page.
I was left breathless by the end.
A first class debut by Emma Flint.
I'm sorry I have to wait for the next adventure.