Red Leaves

"Here is a writer who is surely due his time in the bestseller list in the UK"


Eric Moore believes he lives the life many people would pay good money for. He has everything: a loving wife, a son, a big house and his own business. What more could he ask for? It isn't until a young girl goes missing that everything suddenly turns on its head. His son, Keith, was baby-sitting Amy Giordano when she allegedly went missing. Is Eric's 15 year-old son a kidnapper, a paedophile, a murderer - or all three?

As suspicion descends on the household, Eric begins to see that for many years he has been deluding himself about the state of his marriage, his non-communicative son and other family members. Eric begins to look back at his tragic family past and wonders what enactments were being played out whilst he decided to turn a blind eye. He believes that by discovering the past he will discover resonances into the present day.

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I have greatly enjoyed a number of Thomas H. Cook's novels, my favourite being The Interrogation, which I believe is one of the best crime novels I have ever read. Red Leaves easily matches his previous books. Red Leaves, which is currently short listed for the Edgar Award 2006, is a novel of suspense. It describes the Moore family being slowly dismantled - as accusations are either thrown or quietly insinuated during the disappearance of a young girl. I simply couldn't stop reading this novel as the powerful writing forced me to continue until I knew what was going on - and what was going to happen to this desperate family. The ending is very potent and very sad at the same time. Again, Cook delivers a blinder of a solution. There are no car chases or bloodied crime scenes within the covers of Red Leaves. What you do have is a very well written, suspenseful, humane story of a dysfunctional family seen through the eyes of the father. I hope that, with this novel, Cook, who is a great talent in America, is finally appreciated in the UK. Here is a writer who is surely due his time in the bestseller list in the UK.

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