At St Oswald's, a long-established boys' grammar school in the north of England, a new year has just begun. For the staff and boys of the school, a wind of unwelcome change is blowing. Suits, paperwork and Information Technology rule the world; and Roy Straitley, the eccentric veteran Latin master, is finally - reluctantly - contemplating retirement.
But beneath the little rivalries, petty disputes and everyday crises of the school, a darker undercurrent stirs. And a bitter grudge, hidden and carefully nurtured for thirteen years, is about to erupt.
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[A ] gripping psychological thriller... Harris is one of our most accomplished novelists and GENTLEMEN & PLAYERS, with its pace, wit and acute observation, shows her at the top of her form' DAILY EXPRESS -
[A] delicious black comedy ... the plot is so cleverly constructed, the tension so unflagging, you'd think she'd been writing thrillers all her life - DAILY MAIL
'With a lightness of touch, Harris illuminates just how resentment of privilege and exclusion can lead to violent resolutions... Marvellously mischievous' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING -
'[A] clever story of obsession and revenge... Ms Harris has scored another success' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH -
'A classic whodunnit with the characters carefully crafted and the tension at a knife edge' SUNDAY EXPRESS TOP TEN FICTION 2005 -
'A terrific and absorbing suspense novel, with a cast of characters you come to really care about and enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes' PETER ROBINSON -
'Book groups of the world, watch out' GUARDIAN -
A wonderfully clever book, rich in atmosphere, crawling with fascinating characters, and packing a terrific surprise as well -
[A] literary gobstopper with an aniseed heart ... wildly entertaining - INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
A diverting and absorbing story which will delight her legions of fans - THE SCOTSMAN
A perfectly plotted lesson in murderous retribution ... pitch perfect - GLAMOUR
A delicious black comedy... a clever story of obsession and revenge, with a spectacular final twist - DAILY EXPRESS
This is a satisfying and absorbing read from a best-selling author and mistress of her craft. -
This gripping page-turner is Joanne Harris at her best. -
Joanne Harris is the author of the Whitbread-shortlisted Chocolat (made into a major film starring Juliette Binoche), Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange, Coastliners, Holy Fools, Jigs & Reels, Sleep Pale Sister, Gentlemen & Players and, with Fran Warde, The French Kitchen: A Cookbook and The French Market: More Recipes from a French Kitchen. She lives in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, with her husband and daughter.