Dec 9, 2020
hailed by the New York Times as one of the seven best crime / thriller books this year
Liz Nugent's Little Cruelties
Little Cruelties, published by Gallery / Scout Press in the US and by Simon & Schuster in Canada this month, gazes unflinchingly into the darkness: the darkness collecting in the corners of childhood homes, hiding beneath marriage beds, clasped in the palms of two brothers shaking hands.
It confirms Liz Nugent - whose work has invited comparisons to Patricia Highsmith and Barbara Vine and has been celebrated as "captivating" (People) and "highly entertaining" (The Washington Post)—as one of the most exciting, perceptive voices in contemporary fiction.
“..The cruelties the three Drumm brothers inflict on one another include lying, bullying, stealing, seducing one another’s girlfriends and, finally, murder…..a fascinating reminder that no story is complete unless you hear it from everyone involved. “Little Cruelties” shows how thoroughly families can mess one another up, and how sometimes the greatest mysteries are found within the psyche." - New York Times
"[A] chilling tale of the sociopathic mind... Readers who love sinister psychological thrillers will tear through these pages."-- "Library Journal (starred review)"
“The much-decorated writer again displays a flair for plot and an uncanny ability to get under the skin of characters in the dysfunctional family drama … Nugent builds her narrative skilfully, with the ellipses in each brother’s account gradually filled in by the ensuing tales. All their psychologies are incisively laid out, consistent and layered across all sections … nobody is a mere cliché in Nugent’s clear, propulsive writing, and the author masterfully unveils the damage and hurt behind every motivation, and the petty resentments, delusions and carelessness that lie behind every nick and cut the family members inflict upon one another over the four decades of her tale … Nugent has won four Irish Book Awards for her previous three novels; it would be a cruelty to deny her further honours for her fourth.”
Crimereads.com novels of the month, November 2020