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Apple Tree Yardby Louise Doughty
Synopses & Reviews
An intelligent, erotically charged thriller with deep moral implications
Yvonne Carmichael, a renowned geneticist, public authority, and happily married mother of two, sits in the witness box. The charge is murder. Across the courtroom, not meeting her eye, sits her alleged accomplice. He wears the beautiful pin-striped suit he wore on their first meeting in the Houses of Parliament, when he put his hand on her elbow and guided her to a deserted chapel, where she began to undress. As the barristers voice grows low and sinuous, Yvonne realizes shes lost herself and the life shed built so carefully to a man who never existed at all.
After their first liaison, Yvonnes lover tells her very little about himself, but she comes to suspect his secrecy has an explanation connected with the British government. So thrilled and absorbed is she in her newfound sexual power that she fails to notice the real danger about to blindside her from a seemingly innocuous angle. Then, reeling from an act of violence, Yvonne discovers that her desire for justice and revenge has already been compromised. Everything hinges on one night in a dark little alley called Apple Tree Yard.
Suspenseful, erotically charged, and masterfully paced, Louise Doughtys Apple Tree Yard is an intelligent psychological thriller about desire and its consequences by a writer of phenomenal gifts.
"Riveting from the opening scene of geneticist Yvonne Carmichael on the stand being cross-examined — at what readers will eventually discover is her trial at London's Old Bailey, along with her lover, for murder — this taut British psychological thriller from Doughty (Whatever You Love) boasts just about everything a mystery lover could want, except a truly likable protagonist. Which proves to be a problem in the case of narrator Yvonne, a successful scientist who, at age 52, gambles her marriage, family, career, and future on what starts as furtive sex with a stranger in a secluded chapel beneath the Houses of Parliament, and progresses to something approaching folie Ã deux. It's even more of an issue with her paramour, known initially as 'X,' a man whose true nature she discovers only after it is too late. Eventually, even Doughty's cunningly constructed and cannily revealed plot can't camouflage the emotional void at what should be Apple Tree's core. Agent: Anthony Harwood, Anthony Harwood Ltd. (U.K.)." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
ONE OF THE SEASON'S TEN BEST SUSPENSE NOVELS (Vogue)
Yvonne Carmichael sits in the witness box. The charge is murder. Before all of this, she was happily married, a successful scientist, a mother of two. Now she is a suspect, squirming under florescent lights and the penetrating gaze of the alleged accomplice who is sitting across from her, watching: a man who is also her lover. As Yvonne faces hostile questioning, she must piece together the story of her affair with this unnamed figure who has charmed and haunted her. It is a tale of sexual intrigue and ruthless urges—and of danger, which has blindsided her from a seemingly innocuous angle. Here, in the courtroom, everything hinges on one night in a dark alley called Apple Tree Yard.
Shot through with suspense and masterfully paced, this novel is "a must read . . . if you liked The Silent Wife, youll fall hard for Apple Tree Yard" (AARP).
About the Author
Louise Doughtys novel Whatever You Love was short-listed for the Costa Book Award and long-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She is the author of several other novels and a book of nonfiction, A Novel in a Year, based on her hugely popular newspaper column. She also writes plays and journalism and broadcasts regularly for BBC Radio 4. Doughty lives in London.
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