‘Brilliant’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘Compelling and unnerving’ SPECTATOR
This first collection of stories by Lawrence Osborne perfectly showcases his talent for tension, atmosphere – and characters out of their depth
A naïve young linguist sent to the forests of Irian Jaya is manipulated into betraying her mission by a ruthless and disturbed pastor. A deaf girl hired as a maid by a wealthy New York couple turns the tables on her obliviously abusive employers and answers blackmail with blackmail. A psychiatrist treating a girl in rural England becomes ensnared in a love affair that threatens to destroy her career; while a young couple on holiday in Oman accidentally witness a killing, which leads to their being hunted as well. An entomologist at a remote hotel in the Andamans survives a tsunami and uses a dead body to further her study of ants.
Collected here for the first time, Lawrence Osborne’s stories, like his novels – ‘elaborate and intricately plotted dances macabres‘ (The Times) – feel like nightmares set against calmly and meticulously observed backgrounds. With their nods to Daphne du Maurier and Roald Dahl, these nine long-form stories explore characters lost in the shadowed borders between the mundane, the fantastical and the violence of the natural world.