The Orphan Choir
By Sophie Hannah
(Picador, Hardcover, 9781250041029, 288pp.)
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
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A MOTHER WITH AN EMPTY NEST IS BEING HAUNTED BY A GHOSTLY CHILDREN'S CHOIR. ARE THEY GIVING HER AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE THAT ONLY SHE CAN HEAR, OR ARE THEIR MOTIVES MORE SINISTER?
Louise Beeston is being haunted.
Louise has no reason left to stay in the city. She can’t see her son, Joseph, who is away at boarding school, where he performs in a prestigious boys’ choir. Her troublesome neighbor has begun blasting choral music at all hours of the night—and to make matters worse, she’s the only one who can hear it.
Hoping to find some peace, Louise convinces her husband, Stuart, to buy them a country house in an idyllic, sun-dappled gated community called Swallowfield. But it seems that the haunting melodies of the choir have followed her there. Could it be that her city neighbor has trailed her to Swallowfield, just to play an elaborate, malicious prank? Is there really a ghostly chorus playing outside her door? And why won’t they stop? Growing desperate, she begins to worry about her mental health.
Against the pleas and growing disquiet of her husband, Louise starts to suspect that this sinister choir is not only real but a warning. But of what? And how can it be, when no one else can hear it?
In The Orphan Choir, Sophie Hannah brings us along on a darkly suspenseful investigation of obsession, loss, and the malevolent forces that threaten to break apart a loving family.
Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling author of psychological thrillers, poetry, and short fiction including The Orphan Choir and The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery. Her work has been published in twenty-four countries, and her novel Kind of Cruel was shortlisted for the National Book Awards Crime Novel of the Year. Her poetry has been shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize, and is taught in schools throughout the United Kingdom. She has recently been commissioned by the Agatha Christie Estate to write a new novel featuring Hercule Poirot—the first and only since Christie’s death. Hannah lives with her husband and children in Cambridge, England.
“Expertly paced and brilliantly conceived.”—New York Journal of Books
“This stand-alone novel, a break from Hannah’s series of psychological police procedurals featuring Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse, is a riveting story in which suspense snowballs to a climax that is all the more dire for its everyday contemporary English setting. Absolutely haunting, in every sense of the word.”—Booklist
“Chilling. A must read.”—Daily Express (London)
“Horrifically good.”—The Independent (London)
“This bestselling thriller writer knows how to pile on the tension, and her ending is chillingly, memorably disturbing.”—The Sunday Times (London)
“An old-fashioned horror story, given a modern spin by the likeable narrator. It has a creepy cinematic feel and races along to its frightening ending.”—Sunday Mirror (London)
“A creepy, tension-filled surprise.”—Independent on Sunday
Praise for Sophie Hannah
“Sophie Hannah is a prodigous talent. I can’t wait to see what she does next.”—Laura Lippman, author of What the Dead Know
“Hannah [writes] persuasively and with style and wit about modern women who buckle under the stress of motherhood.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Gripping...It’s like watching a nightmare come alive.”—Tana French on The Truth Teller’s Lie