The Quiet Tenant
by Clémence Michallon
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Pub Date 20 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 20 Jul 2023
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
“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 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
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