The Long, Long Afternoon: The most atmospheric and compelling debut novel of the year
The sunniest places hold the darkest secrets . . .
A stunning debut novel brimming with atmosphere and perfect for fans of Tangerine or Tigers In Red Weather with echoes of Mad Men.
Yesterday, I kissed my husband for the last time . . .
It's the summer of 1959, and the well-trimmed lawns of Sunnylakes, California, wilt under the sun. At some point during the long, long afternoon, Joyce Haney, wife, mother, vanishes from her home, leaving behind two terrified children and a bloodstain on the kitchen floor.
While the Haney's neighbours get busy organising search parties, it is Ruby Wright, the family's 'help', who may hold the key to this unsettling mystery. Ruby knows more about the secrets behind Sunnylakes' starched curtains than anyone, and it isn't long before the detective in charge of the case wants her help. But what might it cost her to get involved? In these long hot summer afternoons, simmering with lies, mistrust and prejudice, it could only take one spark for this whole 'perfect' world to set alight . . .
A beguiling, deeply atmospheric debut novel from the cracked heart of the American Dream, The Long, Long Afternoon is at once a page-turning mystery and an intoxicating vision of the ways in which women everywhere are diminished, silenced and ultimately under-estimated.
Everyone is talking about The Long, Long Afternoon:
'Beautifully crafted, claustrophobic and compelling, Inga Vesper's skilfully woven suburban noir is as delicious as a long drink on a hot day' Stacey Halls, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Familiars and The Foundling
'Such a vivid atmosphere of stifling LA heat and stifling 50s domesticity - the brittle facades of those suburban mansions with their manicured lawns and maddened housewives. A homage to hard-boiled American crime fiction, but told with a distinctive female sensibility. Lovely!' Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures
'It's hard to express just how much I loved The Long, Long Afternoon. It's breathtakingly stylish, hypnotic and masterfully gripping. Inga paints the most beautiful portrait of 50s suburbia, yet each page scratches away at the sunny gloss to reveal the darkness beneath. Outstanding' Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin at the End, Waterstones Thriller of the Month
'A perfect read. California, 1959, a nation divided. In one stifling suburb murder plays out against a backdrop of racial & gender injustice. The desire for change rises from the pages like heat off a sidewalk' - Mary Paulson Ellis
'Loved this taut slice of classic noir. Shimmering Santa Monica skies, technicolor fifties suburbia hiding the darkest of secrets. All set against a backdrop of stifling racial tension. If there isn't a film in the pipeline I'd be shocked!' - CJ Tudor
'Beautifully written and brilliantly observed, as well as being a page-turning mystery. The 1950s come alive with issues that resonate today.' - Simon Lelic
'Raced through this very atmospheric novel set in a hot American 50s summer. Not just a beguiling murder mystery but also has important things to say about race, gender and class. Loved it!' -Araminta Hall
'I was hooked from the opening sentence. A sharp examination of privilege and oppression, it's completely gripping and kept me guessing right to the end.' - Amanda Mason, author of The Wayward Girls
'This wonderful, beautifully written novel held me to the very last word. A perfect period piece that manages to bring new light to the world we live in today.' - Stephanie Butland, author of Lost for Words
'Stunning. Set against a backdrop of increasing racial tension and the rise of the Women's Movement, a personal story of female friendship and tragedy unfolds. I loved every page.' - Amanda Reynolds, author of Close To Me'Reminscent of Hollywood noir, The Long Long Afternoon is a tense, gripping exploration of the darkness beneath the sunny exterior of 50s suburbia' - Zoe Somerville, author of The Night of the Flood
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