Meet Polly: eleven years old and smart beyond her years. But she’s a loner, always on the outside, until she is unexpectedly reunited with her father.
Meet Nate: fresh out of jail and driving a stolen car, Nate takes Polly from the safety of her quiet existence into a world of robbery, violence and the constant threat of death.
And he does it to save her life.
A Lesson in Violence is a gripping and emotionally wrenching novel that upends even our most long-held expectations about heroes, villains and victims. Nate takes Polly to save her life, but in the end it may very well be Polly who saves him.
'One of the best debuts I've ever read. Beautifully and lyrically written, it's like a perfect song you hear for the first time and feel like you've always known it. It's an instant classic and if I read a better novel this year I will be amazed'
Simon Toyne, author of Sunday Times bestseller Solomon Creed
'An electrifying thriller, a shattering family tragedy, and a pitch-black coming of age story, all rolled into one. The language is searing, the action relentless, the beauty wrenched from ugliness truly astounding—this book will grab you by the throat and hang on tight until you’ve greedily swallowed every last word....like taking a taser to your heart'
Robin Wasserman, author of Girls on Fire
'An exquisitely violent father-daughter story, burns bright and fast. I kept waiting for the inevitable slow-down, but it never came. An extremely impressive debut'
Peter Swanson, author of Sunday Times bestseller The Kind Worth Killing
'In Polly McClusky, the eleven-year-old girl at the heart of his darkly irresistible debut novel, Jordan Harper gives us a hero for our times. With shades of Mattie Ross but an intelligence and fervor all her own, she is unforgettable’
Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me
‘Has more kicks than any crime fiction out there, sure, but it's also got a heart that'll keep you up nights, slapping your head and pacing. Don't try to tell me this is a debut novel; I won't hear anything but Jordan Harper's a master’
Benjamin Whitmer, author of Cry Father
‘Confident, brutal, but always human, it’s a violent parable of family and sacrifice. The best debut novel that I’ve read this year’
Johnny Shaw, Anthony Award-winning author of Big Maria
‘A dark, original take on the chase novel and a strangely touching portrait of a father-daughter relationship framed in barbed wire’
Booklist (starred review)
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
‘The characters’ loyalty, love, and struggle for redemption grip the reader and don’t let go'