Baileys’ Women’s Prize for Fiction
An Indie Next List Pick for January 2017
A Library Journal Audio-in-Advance Pick for January 2017
It’s 1965 in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, and Ruth Malone—a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress—wakes to discover her two small children, Frankie Jr. and Cindy, have gone missing. Later that day, Cindy’s body is found in a derelict lot a half mile from her home, strangled. Ten days later, Frankie Jr.’s decomposing body is found. Immediately, all fingers point to Ruth.
As police investigate the murders, the detritus of Ruth’s life is exposed. Seen through the eyes of the cops, the empty bourbon bottles and provocative clothing which litter her apartment, the piles of letters from countless men and Ruth’s little black book of phone numbers, make her a drunk, a loose woman—and therefore a bad mother. The lead detective, a strict Catholic who believes women belong in the home, leaps to the obvious conclusion: facing divorce and a custody battle, Malone took her children’s lives.
Pete Wonicke is a rookie tabloid reporter who finagles an assignment to cover the murders. Determined to make his name in the paper, he begins digging into the case. Pete’s interest in the story develops into an obsession with Ruth, and he comes to believe there’s something more to the woman whom prosecutors, the press, and the public have painted as a promiscuous femme fatale. Did Ruth Malone violently kill her own children, is she a victim of circumstance—or is there something more sinister at play?
Inspired by a true story, Little Deaths, like celebrated novels by Sarah Waters and Megan Abbott, is compelling literary crime fiction that explores the capacity for good and evil in us all.
Little Deaths is a stunning feat . . . Ruth Malone's descent into hell is a riveting tale of bad luck, heartbreak, and prejudice, written with the pace of a thriller and the rich detail of a historical novel.Jane Casey, author of The MissingThis accomplished debut novel will intrigue fans of both true crime and noir fiction. Flint...is a welcome addition to the world of literary crime fiction. Readers of Megan Abbott may want to investigate.Library Journal (starred review)
Sharply rendered literary noir.Kirkus Reviews
[An] excellent debut... Flint is unsparing and convincing in her portrayal of Malone, a woman of little education and flawed habits, fighting a society that believes she could not be a good mother.The Times (UK)Involving and atmospheric, and immensely gripping.Sophie Hannah, author of Woman with a Secret
Wonderfully atmospheric.... Simmering with tension, Little Deaths is a stylish, troubling look at how appearances can deceive.The Express (UK)
This thrilling suspense story will make you question your loyalties at every turn.Harper's Bazaar
Gripping and shattering. Ruth's story will stay with me for the rest of my life.Erin Kelly, author of The Poison TreeI couldn't put it down . . . So utterly satisfying, intriguing, and brilliant that everything else falls short. I can't wait for Emma Flint's next book.Emma Chapman, author of How To Be a Good Wife
“An absolutely gripping debut! Emma Flint spins a lyrical tale of horror and suspense in the vivid and thick atmosphere of 1965 Queens. Even after I finished, the story would not leave me. I cannot wait to read more from this talented author.”Beth Harbison, New York Times bestselling author “Little Deaths is a rarity: a period piece and police procedural that is wrenching and real and deeply moving. I fell fast and hard under the spell of this lush, moody, film noir of a novel.”Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author
“Emma Flint’s Little Deaths beguiles readers with a most harrowing crime: two children dead, their mother, Ruth, the likely suspect. Readers will as easily pity Ruth as doubt and denounce her, as Flint seduces us with a gem of a whodunit, making us question our every instinct. Deeply moody and moving, Little Deaths embodies the role of women in the sixties, especially those who dared to deviate from societal norms.”Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author
“Compelling…the closing scene is a jaw-dropper…This is absolutely absorbing literary crime fiction, perfect for fans of Megan Abbott and Sarah Waters.”Booklist (starred review)Compelling ... the closing scene is a jaw-dropper.... This is absolutely absorbing literary crime fiction, perfect for fans of Megan Abbott and Sarah Waters.Booklist (starred review)
Utterly atmospheric and with style to burn, Emma Flint's Little Deaths is a novel that troubles and transfixes from its simmering first pages all the way to its searing final words.Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know MeA phenomenal achievement. Little Deaths is one of those so-very-rare accomplishments: a lightning fast, heart-pounding, psychologically resonant crime novel that effortlessly transcends genre. If you believed that literary fiction can't be a one-sitting read, think again.Jeffery Deaver
“A phenomenal achievement. Little Deaths is one of those so-very-rare accomplishments: a lightning fast, heart-pounding, psychologically resonant crime novel that effortlessly transcends genre. If you believed that literary fiction can’t be a one-sitting read, think again.”
“Utterly atmospheric and with style to burn, Emma Flint’s Little Deaths is a novel that troubles and transfixes from its simmering first pages all the way to its searing final words.”
Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me
"Little Deaths is a rarity: a period piece and police procedural that is wrenching and real and deeply moving. I fell fast and hard under the spell of this lush, moody, film noir of a novel.”
Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author
Graham Halstead is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator and a professionally trained actor and voice artist born and raised in Virginia and now living and working in Brooklyn. As an actor, he has worked internationally in Edinburgh and London, as well as back home at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. His youthful, easy-flowing voice can be heard on television and radio voicing spots for Airborne and Allegra.
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- Publisher: Hachette Books
- Genre: Fiction/Literary
- ISBN-13: 9781478940722