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Little Deaths: Book summary and reviews of Little Deaths by Emma Flint

Little Deaths

by Emma Flint

Little Deaths
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Jan 17, 2017
    320 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

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.

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?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This stunning novel is less about whodunit than deeper social issues of motherhood, morals, and the kind of rush to judgment that can condemn someone long before the accused sees the inside of a courtroom." - Publishers Weekly

"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. This accomplished debut novel will intrigue fans of both true crime and noir fiction. Flint, a technical writer in London, is a welcome addition to the world of literary crime fiction. Readers of Megan Abbott may want to investigate." - Library Journal

"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." - Jeffery Deaver

"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 of The Good Girl

"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 of The Guest Room, The Sandcastle Girls, and Midwives

The information about Little Deaths shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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More Information

More Information

Emma Flint was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England. She studied English and History at the University of St Andrews and is a graduate of the Faber Academy writing program in London. Since her childhood, Flint has read true-crime accounts, developing an encyclopedic knowledge of real-life murder cases and of notorious historical figures, as well as a fascination with unorthodox women - past, present and fictional. Flints works as a technical writer in London, where she lives. Little Deaths is her first novel.

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