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A Thousand Cuts
Synopses & Reviews
A stunning debut novel that unravels the hidden story behind a school shooting
It should be an open-and-shut case. Samuel Szajkowski, a recently hired history teacher, walked into a school assembly with a gun and murdered three students and a colleague before turning the weapon on himself. It was a tragedy that could not have been predicted. Szajkowski, it seems clear, was a psychopath beyond help. Yet as Detective Inspector Lucia May- the only woman in her high-testosterone office in the Criminal Investigations Department-begins to piece together the testimonies of the various witnesses, an uglier and more complex picture emerges, calling into question the innocence of others. But no one, including Lucia's boss, is interested.
As the pressure to close the case builds and her colleagues' sexism takes a sinister turn, Lucia begins to realize that she has more in common with the killer than she could have imagined, and she becomes deter­mined to expose the truth. Brilliantly interweaving the witnesses' accounts with Lucia's own perspective, A Thousand Cuts is a narrative tour de force from a formidable new voice in fiction.
"In the wake of a London school shooting, Det. Insp. Lucia May finds herself unable to accept the simple version of what transpired in Lelic's outstanding debut — that Samuel Szajkowski, a new history teacher, gunned down two students and a colleague in an assembly hall before turning the weapon on himself. While Szajkowski was the subject of cruel pranks from his first day on the job, pranks that escalated to serious physical injury, May resists her supervisor's directives to write a straightforward final report, and looks into a possible link between the massacre and an off-campus beating of a student. Artfully offering a range of perspectives on the events leading up to the fatal day, Lelic manages to make the murderer sympathetic as he sensitively explores the varying degrees of responsibility for the tragedy borne by others whose response to bullying was inadequate. This deeply human and moving book heralds a bright new talent." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Who are you? Are you the police? This isn't legal, you know. You can't hold me like this."
In a near-future dystopian Britain, democracy has been undermined. Emboldened by new anti-terrorism laws, police start to “disappear” people from the streets for unspecified crimes. But when unassuming dentist Arthur Priestley is snatched and held prisoner at a top-secret facility, his estranged wife, Julia, and a brave but naive journalist named Tom Clarke embark on a harrowing quest for the truth. Following a trail that leads to the very top of government, they soon find themselves fighting for their lives. Well-crafted, fast-paced, and totally compelling, The Facility is a brilliant thriller that resonates eerily with the timbre of our times.
"In his powerful, wrenching debut, Lelic takes a sadly familiar crime and delves into the equally familiar menace at its root: bullying." -People
In this riveting debut novel about sexism, bullying, and the horrific effects of random acts of violence, Detective Inspector Lucia May investigates a school shooting in which a teacher has killed three pupils, another teacher, and then himself-a tragedy that could not have been predicted. It should be an openand- shut case. Yet as Lucia begins to piece together the testimonies of the various witnesses, an uglier and more complex picture emerges, calling into question the innocence of others. Brilliantly interweaving the witnesses' accounts with Lucia's own perspective, A Thousand Cuts is a narrative tour de force from a formidable new voice in fiction.
About the Author
Simon Lelic has worked as a journalist and currently runs his own business. A Thousand Cuts is his first novel.
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