Synopses & Reviews
“Extremely intense and powerfully intriguing.”
“[Ashworth] Evokes a damaged mind with the empathy and confidence of Ruth Rendell.”
—The Times (London)
Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth is a hauntingly beautiful and shocking psychological thriller in the vein of the bestselling novels of Tana French—a darkly compelling story of secrets between two teenage friends in a small English town. Ashworth already has created great buzz in the U.K. thanks to her stunning debut novel, A Kind of Intimacy, winner of the prestigious Betty Trask Award, and now Cold Light places her in elite literary company—alongside Laura Lippman, Kate Atkinson, and other acclaimed masters of intelligent, emotionally powerful mystery and suspense. An unforgettable tale of friendship and memory—and the shattering truth behind a forgotten dead body newly unearthed—Cold Light is a most welcome addition to the crime fiction and thriller ranks.
"Set in a small English town, Ashworth's second novel (after A Kind of Intimacy) offers an object lesson in the perils of concealing the past. For ten years, twenty-something Laura has kept mum about at least one dreadful secret: What really happened when her best friend Chloe drowned at age 14. The knowledge has crippled Laura's hopes for a meaningful life. She holds a menial job as a shopping center cleaner and lives alone, fearful that mutual friend Emma might expose her. In her first-person recollections of the fateful months preceding Chloe's death, Laura dwells perhaps overmuch on the minute details of her angst-ridden adolescence. Ashworth pulls no punches. Though some of the dark, British humor may be lost on an American audience, the author's narrative is revealing, timely, and damning of tabloid-media sensationalism. Agent: Anthony Goff, David Highham Associates. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Evokes a damaged mind with the empathy and confidence of Ruth Rendell.” The Times (London)
“Hugely readable debut novel […] about the inability to know others and ourselves.” The Independent
“Extremely intense and powerfully intriguing.” Waterstone's
‘Ashworth has the rare gift of being able to make her reader feel perverse and voyeuristic, implicated somehow in the tragedy laid out on the pages. Sunday Times (London)
A grimly atmospheric mystery. Sunday Express (London)
A psychological thriller of the first order. The Age (Australia)
Another cleverly skewed tale told from the self-conscious perspective of an outsider... arrestingly observant... Ashworths second book confirms that the first was no one-off... her talent could take her a long way The Guardian
A wonderful tale, beautifully told. Bella
A chilling, blackly funny novel with a surreal edge about the intensity of teenage friendship. Grazia
Im sitting on my couch, watching the local news. Theres Chloes parents, the mayor, the hangers on, all grouped round the pond for the ceremony. Its ten years since Chloe and Carl drowned. You can tell from their faces that something has gone wrong. But Im the one who knows straightaway that the mayor has found a body. And I know who it is.
Jenn Ashworths gripping and unforgettable Cold Light is the story of a friendship unsettling in its intensity and of one terrible summer when lies, secrets, jealousy, and perversion result in tragedy more twisted and evil than one unsuspecting community can handle. A dark tale with a surreal edge, it follows two fourteen-year-old girls, best friends, as they confront the dangers of a predatory adult world, where truth is cruelly sacrificed in the name of innocence.
About the Author
Jenn Ashworth's first book, A Kind of Intimacy