Synopses & Reviews
At the house next door, respectability can hide all manner of sins
Fans of New York Times bestsellers Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, and The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison will love Penny Hancocks chilling debut thriller about a woman on the edge. When her neighbors fifteen-year-old nephew goes missing, Sonia is the last person that anyone would suspect. At forty-three, she is a strikingly attractive wife and mother. And like the River House, her lovely home overlooking the Thames, Sonias life is a picture of perfection and normalcyuntil she meets Jez. From the moment he shows up on Sonias doorstep, the gorgeous teenage boy awakens a torrent of memories that threaten to reveal a terrifying truth. Drawn to Jez by a compulsion that she scarcely understands, Sonia takes him captiveprepared to sacrifice everything to keep him.
"In British author Hancock's stunning debut, a psychological thriller set over less than a week, a respectable married woman kidnaps a 15-year-old boy and holds him captive in her historic Thames-side London house. When Jez Mahfoud, a friend's nephew, comes to borrow her husband's rare Tim Buckley record album, memories of an intense teenage relationship with a boy named Seb overwhelm Sonia, a voice teacher. She drugs the innocent Jez and locks him in a soundproof room. As the search for the missing Jez intensifies, so does Sonia's compulsion to keep him hidden, especially during a visit from her family. The disturbed narrator persuades herself that this drugged boy, often bound with duct tape, is a willing participant. Despite Sonia's twisted actions and her sensual feelings about Jez, Hancock is careful to show that she's not a sexual predator. Descriptions of the putrid waters of the Thames add to the gothic atmosphere. Agent: Jane Gregory, Gregory and Company. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Penny Hancock grew up in south-east London and then travelled extensively as a language teacher. She now lives in Cambridge with her husband and three children. Kept in the Dark is her first novel.