The Quiet Tenant
by Clémence Michallon
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Pub Date 20 Jun 2023 | Archive Date Not set
A PULSE-POUNDING PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER ABOUT A SERIAL KILLER NARRATED BY THOSE CLOSEST TO HIM: HIS 13-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER, HIS GIRLFRIEND—AND THE ONE VICTIM HE HAS SPARED
"Intelligent and suspenseful." —Paul Tremblay, author of The Cabin at the End of the World
“All…of the expected suspense and psychological tension, but offering a story about women—the ones who didn’t know the evil that lurked within, the ones who tried to placate or fight but still perished, the ones who might actually survive. Haunting but never prurient…truly unforgettable.” — Alafair Burke, author of The Wife
Aidan Thomas is a hard-working family man and a somewhat beloved figure in the small upstate New York town where he lives. He’s the kind of man who always lends a hand and has a good word for everyone. But Aidan has a dark secret he’s been keeping from everyone in town and those closest to him. He’s a kidnapper and serial killer. Aidan has murdered eight women and there’s a ninth he has earmarked for death: Rachel, imprisoned in a backyard shed, fearing for her life.
When Aidan’s wife dies, he and his thirteen-year-old daughter Cecilia are forced to move. Aidan has no choice but to bring Rachel along, introducing her to Cecilia as a “family friend” who needs a place to stay. Aidan is betting on Rachel, after five years of captivity, being too brainwashed and fearful to attempt to escape. But Rachel is a fighter and survivor, and recognizes Cecilia might just be the lifeline she has waited for all these years. As Rachel tests the boundaries of her new living situation, she begins to form a tenuous connection with Cecilia. And when Emily, a local restaurant owner, develops a crush on the handsome widower, she finds herself drawn into Rachel and Cecilia’s orbit, coming dangerously close to discovering Aidan’s secret.
Told through the perspectives of Rachel, Cecilia, and Emily, The Quiet Tenant explores the psychological impact of Aidan’s crimes on the women in his life—and the bonds between those women that give them the strength to fight back. Both a searing thriller and an astute study of trauma, survival, and the dynamics of power, The Quiet Tenant is an electrifying debut thriller by a major talent.
“Clémence Michallon has managed to reimagine the serial killer novel, delivering all (and frankly, more) of the expected suspense and psychological tension, but offering a story about women—the ones who didn’t know the evil that lurked within, the ones who tried to placate or fight but still perished, the ones who might actually survive. Haunting but never prurient, The Quiet Tenant is truly unforgettable. Read it.” — Alafair Burke
“Clémence Michallon has written a classic on her first try. The Quiet Tenant is a daring and completely satisfying mystery; a one-of-a-kind; a bravura feat of storytelling . . . Who in her right mind would attempt a novel utilizing the first, second, and third-person? And then have the skill to actually pull it off.” —James Patterson
“Expertly structured and luminously rendered, The Quiet Tenant is told from the perspectives of several different women bound, both wittingly and unwittingly, to a single, terrifyingly familiar predator. A mystery that is at once riveting and heartrending, The Quiet Tenant is a sharply insightful look at what it means to live and love as a woman in this harrowing world. It is truly extraordinary.” — Kimberly McCreight
Available on NetGalley
Thank you to Netgalley, and the publisher for a chance to review this book.
I devoured this! It was amazing, and thrilling. Definitely a page turner that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
I love that it has multiple perspectives. One of them being the victim, and the way it's written you feel like you become the character. I felt like I was trapped inside with the character, and going through everything she went through. I highly recommend this to all thriller fans. I think even true crime fans would like this. (I'm one myself).
Pick up this book,and read it. I'm pretty sure you'll like it.
I loved this book!!! What a debut. Loved the different perspectives and the fact that I could not stop turning the pages to find out what would happen next. Highly recommend!
Maybe one of my favorite books I’ve read this year so far! I went into this book blind and could not be happier that I received an ARC copy. Thank you to the publisher. This book did an amazing job at talking about the complexities of psychological trauma and I can’t recommend it enough!
This man is a father. This man is handsome. This man is a pillar of the community.
This man also happens to be a serial killer.
THE QUIET TENANT is a thriller that 5-star dreams are made of. The story is primarily told from an unnamed woman who was kidnapped by Aidan Thomas and imprisoned in his shed for five years. When Aidan is forced to sell his house, he moves the woman into the new home he shares with his daughter under the guise of being a roommate.
The story doesn’t stop with an incredible premise at the outset as the tension is dialed up throughout the story. The Quiet Tenant strikes the perfect balance of page-turning plot with fascinating characters. We hear from Aidan’s daughter, his love interest, and his victims who each offer vastly different perspectives on what kind of Aidan is.
True crime culture can easily portray victims and serial killers as one-dimensional, dismissing the very things that make them similar to us. By telling the woman’s perspective in second person (“you”) I was forced to consider that I am no different from women who are victims of crimes. Clemence Michallon humanizes Aidan and gives us a glimpse into the life of someone who is extremely dangerous, but also makes mac & cheese for a daughter he loves.
While human captivity is an undeniably dark topic, the story is not gratuitous with descriptions of murder, abuse, or gore. The novel is less about the specifics of what happened to women at the hands of a serial killer, and more about the spirit inside the women that cannot be dimmed.
What a book! The tension in this story is simply unrivaled. I couldn't tear myself away from these pages and appreciate the questions Clemence Michallon raises. Readers who appreciate stories that highlight the fortitude of the human spirit or enjoyed NOTES ON AN EXECUTION won’t want to miss THE QUIET TENANT.
PUB DATE: June 20, 2023
Many thanks to Knopf for an electronic ARC in exchange for an honest review. Review will be posted to www.instagram.com/kellyhook.readsbooks in advanced of publication date.
The only thing you need to know is that this novel is the ABSOLUTE BEST Thriller of 2023!!
From the start you are pulled into the story as a main character, where Clémemce Michallon is using the word "you" when referring to things happening to the main female character who has been held captive for years. This alone pulled me into the story and what kept me hooked was the plot. Michallon weaves an incredible story of a man, a serial killer, who has to move due to a tragedy but what to do with the woman he has held captive for so long?
So he moves her with him and that is just the start of the push and pull of this story. The way Michallon has captured the relationship between the victim and her kidnapper is unlike any other book I have read and it is incredible.
If you like thrillers then you have to read this book! I swear you won't be disappointed.
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC to review this book.
The HUGEST thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the eArc of this FANTASTIC read. I could not put this book down! I was so drawn into this and rooting for our main character “Rachel” to get away from Aidan and rooting for Emily to stay away from him and hoping Cecilia isn’t being hurt by her father! The last few chapters had me hanging on to every single word and I couldn’t put it down! 5 star read from me!
I LOVE THIS BOOK! Wow, such a great thriller! I can't believe it's a debut novel. I loved the different points of view. You really got a sense for how deranged this man was. 5 stars all the way!
Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this novel in exchange for an honest review!
THE QUIET TENANT by Clemence Michallon
This is the most intense, complex, captivating, suspenseful, dark psychological thriller that I have stumbled across in a long time. It was impossible to put down until I finished it. I am not going to say much about the plot other than it is a much, much different take on a serial killer and his victims than I have ever read before. I look forward to reading Ms. Michallon's future works, her debut has been extraordinary. This is a definite 5 star read.
This book hooks you from the very beginning. This story is told from 3 different characters, and their viewpoints over time.
It focuses on 4 main characters:
Rachel-- The woman in the shed/the woman in the house
Aidan-- The kidnapper/Dad/Serial Killer/etc.
Cecilia-- Aidan's daughter
Emily-- The local bartender/woman becoming obsessed with Aidan.
I will say that this story is a slow burn for sure, but if you stick with it the ending is worth it.
This book focuses primarily on Rachel. She was kidnapped 5 years ago by Aidan, a friendly family man and pillar of the community. He has a 13-year old daughter and a wife who just died. Because of his wife's passing he has to move. This forces him to move Rachel into the new house with him and Cecelia. Nobody knows or suspects the type of evil he has inside other than the nine women he has kidnapped/killed.
There are many twists in this book, and the story has a lot of suspense. The book also includes chapters from each of the other women he has taken. I enjoyed the viewpoints and how the story unfolded.
I also loved that the author did such an amazing job writing this book in her non-primary language! That was very impressive to me. If you are a fan of true crime/serial killer stories then this is the book for you. I could not put it down.
AWESOME debut!!! I almost have no words, but here goes....... I could not put this one down except to go to work! This is a serial killer story that doesn't really focus on the serial killing. Aidan is a great husband, father, and much respected man in his small town. His wife has passed away and he is now a single Dad. Poor guy. He is also a serial killer who has killed numerous women and has kept Rachel in his shed for 5 years. His family is forced to move, so he moves Rachel also. Bad idea on his part. The story is told from Rachel's POV and also his daughter Cecelia and Emily. Emily owns a local restaurant and is starting to fall for this "perfect" guy. All of these lives come crashing together in what is one of the best, most thrilling climactic endings that I have read in a long time. I loved reading how this guy manages his double life until he doesn't. I cannot wait to see what this author writes next!
Thank you to #NetGalley, Clemence Michallon and Knopf, Pantheon, Vintage, and Anchor for this ARC. All opinions are my own.
I will post to Amazon, Facebook, Instagram and other retail and social media sites upon publication.
wow I loved this! such a different story than what’s out there right now. if you liked Room by Emma Donoghue, you’ll definitely enjoy this. I went back to read the description of the book to make sure I didn’t spoil anything ahead…
the story follows Aidan and his daughter Cecilia. they live in a small town, where everyone knows each other, and he is viewed in very high regards in his community. after his wife dies, they are forced to move out of their home. this complicates things, because Aidan has had Rachel imprisoned in his shed for the past 5 years. Rachel ends up moving into the new house as a “friend of a friend subletting the extra room”. for the most part, our chapters change narrators between Aidan, Rachel and Emily, the town bartender who is crushing hard on the new widower.
I’m reading a lot of negative reviews about the narration being in second person, but I honestly didn’t give it a second thought.
I was captivated by this as soon as I started - I finished it in one day. this book covers so much, but it does it so well… kidnapping, serial killers, grief & loss of a loved one, stockholm syndrome… i will definitely be recommending it to everyone. make sure to add it to your TBR!
thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Talk about having me at the edge of my seat! I did not want to put this book down. Every chapter demanded me to keep reading until I found out what happened next! The different points of view helped to bring a new perspective and only added to the suspense. Such a great read! I will definitely recommend to every reader I know! Can’t wait to read author’s future work!!!
There are probably other books out there about serial killers told from the point of view of their victims, but this is the first one I've read that comes not only from that POV, but also from the POV of other people in the killer's life. In this specific book, the story is told from the point of view of multiple women on whose lives he has significant impact: his teenage daughter; a restaurant owner in his rural upstate town who's harbored a decades long crush on him; vignettes from some of his dead victims; and the woman he's had imprisoned on his property for 5 years. It was gripping and suspenseful without ever delving into the salaciousness of describing the killer's methodology or psychology; I appreciated very much that the story never swerved into gory details. I could not put this book down from the time I started it, and the ending was deeply satisfying. Looking forward to more from this author in the future!
What a whirlwind this was! “The Quiet Tenant’ by Clémence Michallon is definitely one of my favorite 5-star reads from this year. It tells the story of a woman who has been kept captive for 5 years by a man named Aidan. It starts right after Aidan’s wife passes and he has to move with his young daughter, Cecilia. The woman in the shed convinces him to take her, and the most heart-pounding game of cat-and-mouse ensues.
Told from the alternating perspectives of the woman, previous victims, Cecelia, and Emily—a local woman in town that has her sights set romantically on Aidan—this novel absolutely mesmerizes you. Aidan is the dependable, well-respected man in town; the guy that is always willing to help out. The man that no one would ever bat an eye at or believe could be capable of the atrocious acts he performs. It fills you with such an eerie feeling that someone whose regarded as such a conventionally attractive, stand-up man and father could be so sinister.
It’s nerve-wracking as you, the reader, is essentially left in the dark from Aidan’s conscience stream of thoughts and ultimate motive. You never know what’s going to come next. I feel like the lack of point of view from Aidan really strengthened the story. Certain aspects left me sick to my stomach and my heart pounding.
This is the perfect example of such strong writing and recognizing how to keep the momentum steady without leaving readers in the dust. I thought the pace was perfect and it kept me focused the entirety of the novel. It starts off with a bang and does not let up for the duration of the story. I so look forward to purchasing a physical copy when this comes out and re-reading it!
Absolutely unputdownable (if that’s a word)
This book is told by different perspectives.
Your ideal small town widower, Aiden, his daughter Cecilia, and his “family friend” Rachel. Seem like the ideal family right? Well they did to Emily, the local restaurant owner.
Aidens wife dies or did she? So when they are forced to leave, aiden is banking on Rachel’s state of mind to no reveal his deep dark secret. Does Rachel escape? Does she let the whole town know they’re town hero is a serial killer?
At first, I read the reviews and it definitely gave me mixed feelings on reading this book. But I was approved on NetGalley and man, this book doesn’t disappoint! I read it in two days! I hope she comes out with more books because this easily has become one of my favorites!!