Synopses & Reviews
In this stunning psychological thriller for readers of Tana French, Kate Atkinson, and Donna Tartt, Emily Winslow has crafted a literary prism told through the eyes of her many intricately drawn characters. Masterly and mesmerizing, The Start of Everything will captivate until the very last page.
“If you don’t want to see me again, say so. But it’s not right to say nothing. It’s not right to go silent. You know what to do.”
Cambridge, England: Outside the city, the badly decomposed body of a teenage girl has washed up in the flooded fens. Detective Inspector Chloe Frohmann and her partner, Morris Keene, must work quickly to identify the victim before the press takes off with the salacious story.
Across the hallowed paths and storied squares of Cambridge University, the detectives follow scant clues toward the identity of the dead girl. Eventually, their search leads them to Deeping House, an imposing country manor where, over the course of one Christmas holiday, three families, two nannies, and one young writer were snowed in together. Chloe Frohmann begins to unravel a tangled web of passions and secrets, of long-buried crimes and freshly committed horrors. But in order to reveal the truth—about misaddressed letters, a devastating affair, and a murdered teenager—she may have to betray her partner.
“Emily Winslow effortlessly weaves together separate lives with intertwined lies, creating a powerful web of small deceits and horrifying misdeeds. The Start of Everything is a must read!”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner
"A misaddressed letter connects the threads of Winslow's sometimes compelling but ultimately frustrating second novel (after The Whole World). When a badly decomposed body is discovered in a fen near Cambridge University, the case lands with Det. Insp. Chloe Frohmann and her partner, Det. Chief Insp. Morris Keene, recently back on the job after a violent encounter with a suspect left him with limited use of his right hand. In the Cambridge registrar's office, Mathilde Oliver, who seems to have something akin to Asperger's, becomes obsessed with a series of letters written by a man named Stephen to a woman named Katja, whose connection to the nameless corpse soon emerges. The detectives wrestle with demons both personal and professional, including Chloe's misplaced guilt over Morris's injury, as their search leads to a renovated manor house and the twisted lives of its inhabitants. Despite the characters' flashes of depth, the excessively complicated plot makes for slow-going. Agent: Cameron McClure, Donald Maass Literary." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Emily Winslow is an American living in England. She’s the author of The Whole World (published by Delacorte in 2010) and is at work on her next novel of suspense, also to be set in Cambridge. Her training as an actress at Carnegie Mellon’s elite drama conservatory is put to use in her multiple first-person narrators, and her years designing puzzles for Games magazine inform her playful, complex plot structures. She and her husband live in Cambridge with their two sons, in a house full of books.