The Night Following

Finalist Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel 2009

cover_nightfollowing1On a blustery April day, the wife of a doctor discovers that her husband has been having an affair. Moments later, driving along a country road, she fails to see sixty-one-year-old Ruth Mitchell up ahead, riding her bicycle. She hits her, killing her instantly, and drives away. Horrified by what she has done, the narrator retreats into the night, and turns her attention to Ruth’s devastated widower Arthur, a man as unhinged by grief as she herself is by guilt. As she finds herself irresistibly drawn to the Mitchells’ home as a nightly witness to Arthur’s decline, boundaries begin to blur; her flashbacks to her own family history begin eerily to mirror the characters in the novel Ruth was writing, a multigenerational saga that she was bringing to her writing group on the fateful day. And as the unnamed woman insinuates herself further and further into his life, Arthur begins to leave notes around the unlit house for Ruth and starts to believe that, by means beyond his understanding, his wife has returned to him. For what is real, apart from the stories we choose to believe, both the ones we create and those we appropriate? Who of any of us is not in some measure blind?

‘Dazzling … Richly nuanced and beautifully written.’The Night Following #61D549
Seattle Times

‘… a haunting journey that should burnish the reputation of Joss as one of Britain’s most original crafters of psychological suspense.’
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

‘In this bleak, exquisitely written novel, Joss braids together three stories of shattering loneliness that intersect in surprising, haunting ways.’
Entertainment Weekly

‘Morag Joss has been compared with the high priestesses of British crime fiction: P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, and Minette Walters.  The Night Following, her latest and perhaps her best, not only travels the same elegantly dark path of those writers, but tears into territory totally unbeholden to genre conventions.’

‘For her mastery of mood, her complex story lines and her shrewd appreciation of the frail boundaries that divided the sane from the mad, Morag Joss has been compared to … Ruth Rendell, Barbara Vine, and Minette Walters.  Such compliments are tossed about too lightly in the publishing world, but this one is so justified it seems like an understatement.’
Washington Post

‘ … an arresting central idea … a compelling plot, superbly developed.  Understated, and written in Joss’s – as ever – sparse and elegant prose, this is a novel about us all.  It’s about the way we hover between what we have to do and what we want to do and what we need to do, and it is beautifully accomplished.’
Frank Delaney

‘As a study of grief, sacrifice and the struggle for redemption this is an unsettling but absorbing read.’
Scottish Herald

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