In Sophie Hannah’s THE ORPHAN CHOIR, forty-one year old Louise Beeston may be on the verge of an emotional breakdown. Her creepy next-door neighbor, Justin Clay, plays loud music late at night, usually every other weekend. Although Louise has repeatedly implored him to stop, Clay is indifferent to her pleas. (Louise’s husband, Stuart, is oblivious to the cacophony. Even if a freight train were to pass through their bedroom, Stuart would remain asleep.) Unfortunately, Louise has little hope that Clay, a pot-smoking party animal who enjoys living it up with his loud-mouthed friends, will change his ways.
Sophie Hannah’s THE DEAD LIE DOWN is a multi-faceted psychological thriller about guilt, revenge, self-destruction, and redemption. All of the major characters have something to hide and they reveal their secrets reluctantly. Aiden Seed, who frames pictures for a living, has decided that he and the woman he loves, Ruth Bussey, should be open with one another before they become intimate. Ruth hesitantly admits that she did something shameful and was punished excessively for her actions. Aiden is sympathetic, saying, “The worst things stow away in the hold, follow you wherever you go.” It is then his turn to confess: “Years ago, I killed someone.” “Her name was Mary. Mary Trelease.”