- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Picador; Main Market Ed. edition (12 Jan. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1509826572
- ISBN-13: 978-1509826575
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.6 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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)
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)
It's every mother's worst nightmare. But Ruth Malone is not like other mothers . . .See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
From the get go, the idea seems extraordinary, but the execution could have been better. There could have been more of an emphasis on the use of appearance in the prejudice of society, the role of women in 1965 New York, and general corruption of the police. Also, upon further reflection, perhaps not explicitly, but there are themes of abuse, specifically domestic, due to 'slapping' and many other situations, and this is not mentioned as wrong or right -- although it could be reflecting the view of the time, as 'don't talk about it and it didn't happen', but all of the men in the book are abusive, lingering creeps.Read more ›
We are introduced to the mother, now Ruth Malone, who lives in an apartment in Queens whose two children Frankie and Cindy went missing from their bedroom. With little Cindy found strangled in a nearby parking lot a day later, Frankie remained missing for a further ten days, and then he too was found murdered. Despite the horrible crime as the book unfolds we see that Ruth was tried, not as much on hard evidence but because the former cocktail waitress did not behave as the public expects a bereaved mother to act.
I was instantly drawn into the tale, the world that Ruth lived in is one that is relatively easy to sympathise with. Her life hadn’t turned out as she expected, her dreams stunted by the birth of her two children and then she separated from her husband Frank. At the time the children went missing the two were locked in a custody battle with Ruth determined not to relinquish her children but at the same time nor was she going to live like a nun. Contrary to the working class values that was Queens at that time, her neighbours disapproved of her association with a number of other men,added to which she cared about her appearance, drank and smoked. The hard truth is that Ruth wanted more from her life but did that mean she was the one who killed the children? The countless crimes against Ruth mount throughout the book as the police, certain of her guilt, have her under almost constant surveillance so when she buys a new dress soon after Cindy’s body was found, her guilt was almost confirmed.Read more ›
The setting for this novel is Queens, New York in the mid 1960s. It is July, hot and sweltering, the locals are edgy. The murder of two young children, Frankie Junior and Cindy, stirs the community into a frenzy.
Ruth – mother to the two murdered children – has separated from her husband, Frank, and has been struggling to make ends meet. The two parents are in the middle of a custody battle, tempers are fraught. She also has a desperate need to be loved and nurtured, and therefore actively seeks the attentions of men to counter the deep loneliness and disconnectedness that blights her life. She is not purely a social drinker, but someone who will dribble vodka into her morning coffee to stave off the profound emptiness.
As investigations into the murder of her two young children progress, rookie reporter Pete Wonicke is drawn to the story like a moth to a light, he is enthralled by the woman who increasingly becomes the main suspect. So much so that he puts his job on the line….
In some ways this is a very prescient story for today – a woman who is seen to have loose morals is vilified by those around her, mainly by the men but sadly also by some of the women. No-one really bothers to look at the bigger picture of her life, her upbringing, and social circumstance. She is deemed “.. the very picture of a scandalous woman“. As the case against her builds, Pete becomes more and more convinced of her innocence. Whilst all the focus is on her – her lifestyle, her alcohol consumption, her natty and revealing dress style, is the real perpetrator of these crimes being overlooked?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a page-turner which had me,and everyone i have leant it to since, gripped from start to finish. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Angela L
I loved everything about this book - the prose, the setting, the characters. I was completely immersed in the story, unable to switch off from it when I wasn't reading it, even... Read morePublished 1 month ago by MB
Love this book- exciting new voice. Looking forward to her next offering.Published 1 month ago by fiona melrose
In mid-sixties Queens, two small children disappear from their apartment – later found dead, presumed murdered. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Claire Hennessy
This novel drew me in at the first page. The unusual theme, the feeling if never being sure what actually happened and the gradual reveal of characters and the justice system of... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a good read - stylish, atmospheric, intelligent in its portrayal of the time (being the mid-sixties). Read morePublished 2 months ago by M. London
I had heard a lot about this book and wondered if it would live up to the hype surrounding it. It is definitely a book I was looking forward to reading as it was so... Read morePublished 2 months ago by The Little Bookworm