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A Novel

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An electrifying psychological thriller about a mother and daughter pushed to their limits.

Shelley and her mom have been menaced long enough. Excused from high school where a trio of bullies nearly killed her, and still reeling from her parents' humiliating divorce, Shelley has retreated with her mother to the quiet of Honeysuckle Cottage in the countryside. Thinking their troubles are over, they revel in their cozy, secure life of gardening and books, hot chocolate and Brahms by the fire. But on the eve of Shelley's sixteenth birthday, an unwelcome guest disturbs their peace and something inside Shelley snaps. What happens next will shatter all their certainties-about their safety, their moral convictions, the limits of what they are willing to accept, and what they're capable of.

Debut novelist Gordon Reece has written a taut tale of gripping suspense, packed with action both comic and terrifying. Shelley is a spellbinding narrator, and her delectable mix of wit, irony, and innocence transforms the major current issue of bullying into an edge- of-your-seat story of fear, violence, family loyalty, and the outer reaches of right and wrong.

From Publishers Weekly

Jun 27, 2011 – Early on in Reece's disappointing first novel, a predictable psychological thriller, bullies attack shy, unpopular Shelley Rivers in the girls' bathroom at her London secondary school, setting her hair on fire with a cigarette lighter. After Shelley gets out of the hospital, her recently divorced mother, Elizabeth, withdraws her from school, and they move to Honeysuckle Cottage, a remote country property bought with Elizabeth's share of the divorce settlement from her stock cad of a husband. At first, everything is looking up: Shelley's former school arranges for tutors so she can prepare for her exams, and Elizabeth throws herself into her job at a law office. But their peace is shattered in the early morning of Shelley's 16th birthday when a burglar breaks into the cottage. The violent repercussions force Shelley and Elizabeth to question how far they're willing to go to protect the new life they've built. While bullying is a hot topic, much of the plot relies too heavily on known genre tropes and coincidence.

Customer Reviews

Great book

I'll bet there are many people who could relate to the two main characters in this book. Hope I don't give anything away by saying "From mouse to RAT" !!


This book is beautifully written and incredibly tense and dark. I loved it!!


Loved the story..kept me turning the pages..I was so scared for Shelley and her mom..great ending,!!

View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
  • Published: Aug 18, 2011
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings