The BookBrowse Review

Published January 22, 2020

ISSN: 1930-0018

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Book Jacket

The Truants
by Kate Weinberg
28 Jan 2020
320 pages
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
ISBN-13: 9780525541967
Genre: Thrillers
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Seductive, unsettling, and beautifully written, The Truants is a debut novel of literary suspense perfect for lovers of Agatha Christie and The Secret History - a thrilling exploration of deceit, first love, and the depths to which obsession can drive us.

People disappear when they most want to be seen.

Jess Walker has come to a concrete campus under the flat grey skies of East Anglia for one reason: To be taught by the mesmerizing and rebellious Dr Lorna Clay, whose seminars soon transform Jess's thinking on life, love, and Agatha Christie. Swept up in Lorna's thrall, Jess falls in with a tightly-knit group of rule-breakers--Alec, a courageous South African journalist with a nihilistic streak; Georgie, a seductive, pill-popping aristocrat; and Nick, a handsome geologist with layers of his own.

But when tragedy strikes the group, Jess turns to Lorna. Together, the two seek refuge on a remote Italian island, where Jess tastes the life she's long dreamed of--and uncovers a shocking secret that will challenge everything she's learned.

"Weinberg has written one of the best thriller debuts in recent years, with all the cleverness of Ruth Ware (and, yes, even Christie herself) and a dash of Donna Tartt's edgy darkness. Though Christie fans may be particularly delighted, this propulsive, pitch-perfect thriller has something for everyone." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Echoes Donna Tartt's The Secret History, Tom Wolfe's I Am Charlotte Simmons, Richard Russo's Straight Man, and Katie Lowe's The Furies... This slow burn of a novel explores the headiness of favoritism and the danger in meeting one's heroes." - Booklist (starred review)

"Weinberg writes incisively and evocatively about infatuation, heartbreak, and grief." - Publishers Weekly

"As much a coming-of-age tale as a murder mystery...An impressive debut." - The Times (UK)

"This is a remarkably assured debut, deftly plotted and with vivid, compelling characters that leapt off the page. I had no idea where it was going to end up - but I knew I would be satisfied, and I was. I look forward to seeing what Kate Weinberg writes next." - Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You

"A deeply affecting, artfully written, and entirely gripping story...The novel combines the best elements of a crime thriller, a campus novel, a love story and a psychological study. It is always beautifully and surprisingly written, has a perfect sense of plot, and is consistently clever. Weinberg is a major talent." - Alain de Botton, author of The Course of Love

"A mesmerizing novel of infatuation and betrayal, reminiscent of Muriel Spark and Donna Tartt. Kate Weinberg makes a stunning debut!" - Carol Goodman, author of The Lake of Dead Languages and The Night Visitors

"At once thrilling and heart breaking, The Truants is a novel that beautifully captures how easy it is to wound those we love and be wounded by them, and the long, anguished road to forgiveness that follows." - Meghan MacLean Weir, author of The Book of Essie

Kate Weinberg was born and lives in London. She studied English at Oxford and creative writing in East Anglia. She has worked as a slush pile reader, a bookshop assistant, a journalist and a ghost writer. The Truants is her first novel.

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