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The Resource A double life, Flynn Berry

A double life, Flynn Berry

Label
A double life
Title
A double life
Statement of responsibility
Flynn Berry
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
London. Nearly thirty years ago, while Claire and her infant brother slept upstairs, a brutal crime was committed in her family's townhouse. Her father's car was found abandoned near the English Channel the next morning, with bloodstains on the front seat. Her mother insisted she'd seen him in the house that night, but his powerful, privileged friends maintained his innocence. The first lord accused of murder in more than a century, he has been missing ever since-- and now the police may have found him. As her life as a quiet, hardworking doctor starts to fracture, how far will Claire go to find the truth? -- adapted from jacket
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Berry’s debut, Under the Harrow (2016), won an Edgar for Best First Novel and garnered multiple “best books” listings, making it a hard act to follow. Critics praised Berry’s striking, original voice and Hitchcockian twists, both in evidence again here, along with the themes of obsession and memory. The major difference between the two books is that rather than an abrupt and surprising ending, A Double Life features a somewhat protracted and shocking conclusion that will have nail-biters gnawing down to their nubs. Claire is a dedicated doctor living an insular life in London under an assumed name because she is the daughter of a notorious murder suspect. Nearly 30 years earlier, while Claire and her brother slept, their father was assumed to have killed their nanny and brutally assaulted their mother, then disappeared without a trace. She believes that his powerful and privileged friends are protecting him and goes to extraordinary lengths to ingratiate herself with them, recklessly blackmailing them for his current location. Bound to please Berry’s fans as well as followers of domestic-noir masters of the be-careful-what-you-wish-for tale, including Hallie Ephron, Gillian Flynn, and Paula Hawkins. -- Murphy, Jane (Reviewed 6/1/2018) (Booklist, vol 114, number 19, p42)
  • London doctor Claire Alden, the 34-year-old narrator of this engrossing psychological thriller from Edgar-winner Berry (Under the Harrow), remains obsessed with finding answers decades after the horrific night when her nanny was slaughtered in her family’s Belgravia townhouse and her mother, Faye, was left near death. The crime’s prime suspect, Claire’s titled father, Colin Spenser, vanished without a trace. Claire, who leads an almost hermitlike existence, can’t stop her sleuthing. She tails some of her father’s posh friends in a desperate hunt for clues to his whereabouts as well as why they hated her working-class mother so much that they would shield a murderer. Claire combs through her own memories and Faye’s extensive diary entries and other research to vividly imagine her parents’ relationship, then subsequently manages to befriend, unrecognized, the daughter of one of Colin’s closest chums in the hope of discovering further leads. The action builds to a shocking but satisfying conclusion. Berry tells this shattering story with surprising grace. Agent: Emily Forland, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents. (July) --Staff (Reviewed 04/16/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 16, p)
  • Claire Alden is a young doctor in London, obsessed with the disappearance of her father. The first lord to be accused of murder in nearly a century, he vanished when she was a child; her nanny also disappeared at the same time. Claire's father left no trace except the bloodstains in his car, which was abandoned near the sea. Claire's mother claims her husband was home when the murder occurred, but his titled cronies say no. Is he innocent or is Claire the daughter of a brutal murderer? She is consumed by her need for the truth, but how far will she go, and how much of her life will she sacrifice to find it? Calm and deliberate in its unfolding, the story steadily gains momentum to the snap of the very last page. VERDICT Loosely based on the infamous 1974 Lord Lucan case, in which a British lord suspected in the murder of his family's nanny disappeared, this second novel from Edgar Award-winning Berry (Under the Harrow) presents a polished psychological thriller that will be devoured by fans of Ruth Ware, Gillian Flynn, and Paula Hawkins. --Susan Clifford Braun (Reviewed 06/15/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 11, p71)
  • Berry's (Under the Harrow, 2016) second thriller explores the effects of a brutal crime on the family of the alleged perpetrator nearly 30 years later. Claire's father, Lord Spenser, notorious for being one of the highest-ranking members of British society to be accused of murder, disappeared 26 years ago, after Claire's mother and nanny were both attacked. The police contact her when there is a sighting or a lead, but so far, these have all turned out to be false. Driven by her need for closure and her concern for her opium-addicted brother, Claire befriends the daughter of her father's best friend under false pretenses so she can be invited to the family estate and conduct her own investigation. Claire's first-person narrative alternates with a third-person account of her parents' early courtship and marriage and Claire's own childhood memories leading up to the murder. Berry is an expert at slow pacing, letting the characters' tension gradually build to a boiling point, but that's also a drawback. The mystery, and the characters, seems to lack true passion. By the time the climax comes around, the level of action and violence contradicts the tone of the rest of the novel. She does have a talent for setting, and the emphasis on the insulation of the arrogant, if declining, aristocracy resonates as a larger commentary on British society. The most fascinating side of the novel, implied but not openly developed, is that Claire's obsession with her father leads her to make some pretty shady choices of her own, and she strongly believes that the end justifies the means. She's not quite an unreliable narrator, but those patches of darkness in her character do add an extra layer that could have been explored more deeply. A competent psychological mystery that lacks greater human resonance. (Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2018)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10677114
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1986-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Berry, Flynn
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3602.E76367
LC item number
D68 2018
Literary form
fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Murder
  • Women physicians
  • Murder
  • London (England)
Label
A double life, Flynn Berry
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
261 pages
Isbn
9780735224964
Lccn
2018025071
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1020313256
Label
A double life, Flynn Berry
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
261 pages
Isbn
9780735224964
Lccn
2018025071
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1020313256

Library Locations

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