Once a major reporter for a national newspaper, Catherine Winslow has retreated to the Upper Valley of Vermont to write a household hints column. While out walking during an early spring thaw, Catherine discovers the body of a woman leaning against an apple tree near her house. From the corpse's pink parka, Winslow recognizes her as the latest victim of a serial killer, a woman reported missing weeks before during a blizzard.
When her neighbor, a forensic psychiatrist, is pulled into the investigation, Catherine begins to discover some unexpected connections to the serial murders. One is that the murders might be based on a rare unfinished Wilkie Collins novel that is missing from her personal library. The other is her much younger lover from her failed affair has unexpectedly resurfaced and is trying to maneuver his way back into her affections.
Elegant, haunting and profoundly gripping, Cloudland is an ingenious psychological trap baited with murder, deception and the intricacies of desire.
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"In this refreshingly cliché-free serial killer tale, Olshan tries his hand with a female narrator/heroine, whom he handles just as deftly as his sensitive male heroes." - Kirkus Reviews
"Unlike the more common, adrenaline-fueled serial-killer thrillers, this is literary, character-driven fiction with remarkable empathy not only for those whom murder leaves behind but also for the perpetrator. Another fine performance from a critically acclaimed author." - Booklist
"Olshan (The Conversion), known for his literary fiction, delivers a crime novel more likely to satisfy mainstream than genre readers." - Publishers Weekly
"Cloudland is a beautiful and original novel. Murder, darkness and snow we immediately felt at home. The depth is painted with precise brushstrokes. The language is as light as snowflakes swirling across a frozen field. The characters are alive, constantly interesting and very cleverly drawn. The murder mystery is deep and intricate. It was genuine and moving. As readers, we'd love to linger in this book, but the story forces us forward. This is true quality crime fiction." - Lars Kepler, author of The Hypnotist
"In Cloudland, Joseph Olshan has written a truly involving thriller with the bones and brain of a serious work of literature, which gives great depth and resonance to the well-wrought thriller plot. This is so difficult an accomplishment that to my knowledge it has been managed only once before in this century. Cloudland could also be thought of as a tribute to Wilkie Collins, as much one of Olshan's grandfathers as he is of mine. It's a lovely knockout, this book." - Peter Straub, author of Ghost Story and A Dark Matter
"A thriller in the widest sense of the word - where not only does the reader wonder what happens next, they wonder why it will happen. Written in consistently elegant prose, with memorable psychological acuity, Cloudland is both exciting and compelling and will keep readers turning pages energetically." - John Katzenbach, author of The Wrong Man
"Cloudland is Joseph Olshan's best work since Clara's Heart, a novel of high suspense that's written in prose as lyrical as The Lovely Bones." - Author Steven Gaines
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Joseph Olshan is the award-winning author of nine novels. His broad-ranging subjects vary from the wise, tough-minded, hilarious Clara Mayfield who became the model of the film character based on his novel, Clara's Heart, to an aristocratic, politically savvy Italian novelist who lives in a villa in Tuscany (The Conversion). Cloudland is based on a true crime story: the serial murders of 6 women that occurred in the Connecticut River valley of Vermont and New Hampshire, crimes that were never solved. His writing has been translated into sixteen languages. He lives between Vermont and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Visit him at josepholshan.com.
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