Emily Murdock Baker
Emily Murdock Baker was an editor at Penguin Books and Viking, where she edited a broad range of fiction and nonfiction, and produced enhanced e-books. Before she was an editor, she went to film school and worked in development in Hollywood for several years.
While at Penguin, her notable fiction titles included Alex Marwood’s Edgar and Macavity Award-winning psychological thrillers The Wicked Girls, The Killer Next Door, which was recently optioned by James Franco, and the upcoming The Darkest Secret. She edited Sarah Hilary’s DI Marnie Rome series; Someone Else’s Skin won the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and was a finalist for the Macavity. She also edited Patricia Bracewell’s Emma of Normandy historical fiction trilogy, and Andi Teran’s modern retelling of Anne of Green Gables, Ana of California.
Notable nonfiction included Paul French’s New York Times bestseller and Edgar Award-winner Midnight in Peking, Catherine Bailey’s New York Times bestseller The Secret Rooms, which has been optioned by Ridley Scott’s production company Scott Free, and Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy’s The Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Taj Hotel, which won the CWA Nonfiction Dagger Award and is in development as a feature film.
Emily's select booklist can be found below.
“A tense, poignant and ingeniously crafted mystery.” —The Guardian
“The Darkest Secret is Alex Marwood's best book yet -- no small thing when one considers that her first two crime novels were both award winners. Her plots are always top-notch – deft, twisty – but it's the humanity she grants all her characters that makes her one of our best. This story will grip you to the final page, but Milly and her troubled family may never leave you.” – Laura Lippman
Perfectly paced all the way through its devastating conclusion, The Darkest Secret is one that fans of Gillian Flynn and Liane Moriarty won't be able to put down.
Twelve years ago, Mila Jackson’s three-year-old half-sister Coco disappeared during their father’s fiftieth birthday party. Her identical twin Ruby was left behind as the only witness. The girls’ father, Sean, was wealthy and influential, as were the friends gathered at their seaside vacation home for the weekend’s debauchery. The case ignited a media frenzy and forever changed the lives of everyone involved.
Now, Sean Jackson is dead, and the people who were present that terrible night must gather once more for a funeral that will reveal that the secrets of the past can never stay hidden.
“With The Darkest Secret, Alex Marwood has become one of my must-read crime writers. It's an amazingly gripping book, and the structure is a thing of beauty.” – Sophie Hannah
“Simply tremendous, so tense and packed with pathos. I loved every page of it.” – Sarah Hilary
“Twisted River is a superb thriller – gripping, surprising, and terrifically rewarding.” – Chris Pavone, New York Times bestselling author of The Expats
“MacDonald toys with the reader, leading right then feinting left with plot twists that genuinely surprise. Infidelity, deception, revenge, and murder all come into play, but the big thrill here is the constant undermining of assumptions.” – Kirkus Reviews
In Twisted River Hazel and Oscar Harvey and their two children live on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Though they seem successful and happy, Hazel has mysterious bruises, and Oscar is hiding things about his dental practice. They, too, need a change of pace. Hazel has always wanted her children to see her native Limerick, and the house swap offers a perfect chance to soothe two troubled marriages. But this will be anything but a perfect vacation. And the body in the trunk is just the beginning.
“A skillfully wrought thriller that exposes the dangers of secrecy.” – Booklist
“MacDonald develops her twin stories with masterly control of mood and scene, setting you up for jolts that, even if you somehow see them coming, lose nothing in sinister shock value.” – The Chicago Tribune
“This is a dark exploration of the intricacies of control and desire, and what can happen when they turn horribly warped. This may be Sophie Hannah’s best book yet.” – Tana French, bestselling author of In The Woods
"... a final twist proves the perfect coda for this exemplar of psychological suspense.” — Booklist (starred review)
It's past midnight, but Connie Bowskill can't sleep. To pass the time, she logs on to a real estate website in search of a particular house, one she is obsessed with for reasons she's too scared to even admit to herself. As she clicks through the virtual tour, she comes across a scene from a nightmare: a woman lying facedown on the living room floor in a pool of blood. But when she returns to show her husband, there is no body, no blood—just a perfectly ordinary room, with a perfectly clean beige carpet.
The sixth book in Sophie Hannah’s beloved Zailer and Waterhouse series, The Other Woman’s House offers unforgettable suspense and a heart-stopping conclusion that Ruth Rendell and Tana French fans will love.
“Sophie Hannah has been rightly praised for intricate and accomplished psychological thrillers which dissect the dark side of human relationships, and her fifth novel, A ROOM SWEPT WHITE, covers obsession, manipulation, meltdown and all points in between.” - Guardian
“Classic Hannah, with genuinely thought-provoking issues and thoroughly believable characters - eshing out a plot of satisfying complexity. Compelling.” — Yorkshire Evening Post
“Hannah, who understands psychological mayhem as well as Ruth Rendell and maybe even Sigmund Freud, is best read with a crisis counselor on speed-dial. The tight plotting and excruciatingly precise clues make for a superlatively uneasy read.” — Kirkus
Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. Nominated for the Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel and the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original; optioned by James Franco
“The suspense keeps the pages flying, but what sets this one apart is the palpable sense of onrushing doom.” – Stephen King
On a fateful summer morning in 1986, two eleven-year-old girls meet for the first time. By the end of the day, they will both be charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of sickening attacks on young female tourists in a seaside vacation town when her investigation leads her to interview carnival cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it’s the first time they’ve seen each other since that dark day so many years ago. Now with new, vastly different lives—and unknowing families to protect—will they really be able to keep their wicked secret hidden?
Gripping and fast-paced, with an ending that will stay with you long after you’ve read it, The Wicked Girls will appeal to fans of Laura Lippman, Liane Moriarty, and Tana French.
“Harrowing… while the received wisdom on violence committed by children seems to be that ‘some people just are born evil,’ Marwood makes a strong case that these crimes are more likely rooted in poverty, abuse and parental abandonment.” – Marilyn Stasio, The New York Time Book Review
“The Best Books I Read This Year” – Entertainment Weekly
Winner of the Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel and nominated for the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original; optioned by James Franco
“If you read Alex Marwood's THE WICKED GIRLS, her new one – THE KILLER NEXT DOOR – is even better. Scary as hell. Great characters.” – Stephen King
“Marwood is emerging as a master of contemporary British suspense.” – Booklist
Everyone who lives at 23 Beulah Grove has a secret. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be renting rooms in a dodgy old building for cash—no credit check, no lease. It’s the kind of place you end up when you you’ve run out of other options. The six residents mostly keep to themselves, but one unbearably hot summer night, a terrible accident pushes them into an uneasy alliance. What they don’t know is that one of them is a killer. Worse yet, The Killer Next Door has already chosen his next victim, and he’ll do anything to protect his secret.
“Although not as dark as Marwood’s first novel, The Wicked Girls, this psychological thriller is more macabre, in a creepy comic vein, and vividly nasty when it gets to the physical details. But in its own disturbing way, this is a story about love and friendship” – Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
“A well-plotted ending filled with unexpected surprises.” – Publisher’s Weekly
Winner of Crime Thriller of the Year, 2013 UK National Book Awards
“Hannah bores down deep into her tiny cast’s secret lives, then still deeper…Fans will love the endlessly knotty complications.” – Kirkus Reviews
When her plane is delayed overnight, Gaby Struthers finds herself forced to share a hotel room with a stranger, a terrified young woman named Lauren Cookson. Lauren reveals an insidious secret: an innocent man may go to prison for a murder he didn’t commit.
The murder victim is none other than Francine Breary, the wife of the only man Gaby has ever truly loved. Tim Breary has confessed and even provided the police with the pillow he used to smother Francine. The only thing he hasn’t given them is a motive. He claims to have no idea why he murdered his wife…it's up to Gaby to find out.
“Hannah’s police procedurals…elevate the whydunit as well as the more standard whodunit to a high art. By delving deep into the most basic-yet-twisted psychological elements that drive apparently normal human beings to perform dastardly deeds such as homicide, Hannah creates truly chilling novels that strike a nimble balance between the joys of her detectives’ insights and humor and a true, intractable sense of all-too-real menace.” – The Boston Globe
Winner of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2015; nominated for a Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel. In development at the BBC.
“[Hilary] skilfully interweaves multiple viewpoints on the way to the mystery’s unsettling conclusion.” – Publisher’s Weekly
In Someone Else's Skin, DI Marnie Rome knows this better than most. Five years ago, her family home was the scene of a shocking and bloody crime that left her parents dead and her foster brother in prison. Marnie doesn’t talk much about her personal life, preferring to focus on work. Not even her partner, DS Noah Jake, knows much about Marnie’s past. Though as one of the few gay officers on the force and half Jamaican to boot, Noah’s not one to overshare about his private life either. Now Marnie and Noah are tackling a case of domestic violence, and a different brand of victim.
“Fans of Val McDermid and Ian Rankin will love this tremendous debut. Someone Else’s Skin puts Sarah Hilary and DI Marnie Rome squarely on the map. A gripping, disturbing examination of domestic violence with gravitas in spades, this book haunts you well after its finish.” – Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times bestselling author of Through Evil Days
“Riveting . . . Sarah Hilary delivers in this enthralling tale of a haunted detective, terrible crime, and the secrets all of us try to keep” – Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Both victims and villains abound in Hilary’s searing, intricately plotted police procedural” – Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
The gripping follow-up to Sarah Hilary’s acclaimed debut Someone Else’s Skin, No Other Darkness finds mystery’s “impressive new cop-heroine” (The Times, London) on a case that hauntingly echoes her own family tragedy. Detective Inspector Marnie Rome and her partner Detective Sergeant Noah Jake are investigating the recent discovery of two dead boys in a bunker beneath a London garden. Terry and Beth, under whose garden the bodies were discovered, have two children of their own, and are also fostering a difficult boy named Clancy. Clancy reminds Marnie of her foster brother Stephen, who murdered her parents. Is Marnie’s past blinding her to the truth? Only one thing is certain: when Terry and Beth’s biological children vanish, Marnie can’t waste a moment finding them.
“Last year, Sarah Hilary’s Someone Else’s Skin was acclaimed a superb debut. It was no fluke. No Other Darkness is just as excellent, and DI Marnie Rome is a three-dimensional character of an emotional depth rarely encountered in the world of fictional cops.” – The Times (London)
“Murder in the Rue Dumas is even more spectacular than her first novel, which is no small feat. The pacing is perfect, the characters delightful, and the setting so real it's impossible not to think you can reach out and touch it. Do not miss this book!” – Tasha Alexander, author of the Lady Emily series
“A promising debut for Longworth, who shows there's more to France than Paris and more to mystery than Maigret.” – Kirkus
When the director of the theology department at the university in Aix is found dead, Judge Verlaque is dumbfounded. Professor Moutte was about to announce the recipient of both a fellowship, and his position as Director—which includes the coveted apartment in a 17th century mansion. The prospective recipients and others close to Moutte make up a long list of suspects in Murder in the Rue Dumas, but Verlaque isn’t convinced any of the eager students or desperate teachers are capable of murder, and he must dig deeper. With Marine’s help—and that of her plucky mother—Verlaque uncovers a world that proves more complicated than university politics.
“Here's hoping the series lasts for years.” – RT BookReviews
“What really makes Longforth’s writing special is her deep knowledge of French history, landscape, cuisine, and even contemporary cafes and restaurants. This is that rare atmospheric mystery that is street-wise and café-canny.” – Booklist (starred review)
“Judge Antoine Verlaque, the sleuth in this civilized series, discharges his professional duties with discretion. But we’re here to taste the wines, which are discussed by experts like Hippolyte Thebaud, a former wine thief, and served in beautiful settings like a 300-year-old stone farmhouse. So many bottles, so many lovely views. A reader might be forgiven for feeling woozy.” – Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
“Though the plot is hair-raising, what keeps you glued to this mystery is its vivid portrait of everyday life in Aix, which deftly juxtaposes the elegance of the city…with quotidian woes and pleasures.” – Oprah.com
Olivier Bonnard, the owner of Domaine Beauclaire winery, is devastated when he discovers the theft of a priceless cache of rare vintages. Soon after, Monsieur Gilles d’Arras reports that his wife, Pauline, has vanished from their lavish apartment. As Judge Antoine Verlaque and Commissioner Paulik tackle a new case in Death in the Vines, they receive an urgent call: Bonnard has just found Madame d’Arras—dead in his vineyard.
"...A promising debut for Longworth, who shows there's more to France than Paris and more to mystery than Maigret."— Kirkus
“I have been a huge fan of Rennie Airth’s novels featuring John Madden since first reading River of Darkness, and had been eagerly awaiting The Reckoning—it does not disappoint. Airth is at the top of his game, engaging the reader with dense plotting, page-turning narrative and expert characterization. I absolutely could not put it down!”— Jacqueline Winspear, author of the bestselling Maisie Dobbs series
On a quiet afternoon in 1947, retired bank manager Oswald Gibson is shot in the head while fishing. In Scotland, a respectable family doctor is killed in the same manner—and with the same gun. The Reckoning questions: What is the connection? Scotland Yard’s Detective Inspector Billy Styles and local detective Vic Chivers are baffled until a letter from Gibson is discovered that might shed some light on the case—a letter concerning former Scotland Yard detective John Madden. Despite Madden’s legendary memory, he has no recollection of meeting Gibson or any idea of what their relationship might have been. Madden is happily retired from police work, but agrees to help his former protégé Styles and the clues they uncover only deepen the mystery. When a third man is killed in a similar fashion, Madden and Styles find themselves in a race against time to find the killer before another man ends up dead.
“One of the best mysteries in years.” – The Boston Globe
“Andi Teran’s first novel is vivid and fully realized, an entire universe expertly condensed into the pages you hold in your hands. Ana herself is a complicated delight, and by the end of the book I wanted to scoop her up into my arms.” —New York Times bestselling author Emma Straub
In the grand tradition of Anne of Green Gables, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and The Three Weissmanns of Westport, Andi Teran’s captivating debut novel, Ana of California, offers a contemporary twist on a beloved classic. Fifteen-year-old orphan Ana Cortez has just blown her last chance with a foster family. It’s a group home next—unless she agrees to leave East Los Angeles for a farm trainee program in Northern California.
"Theodora is a best-of-all-worlds book—entertaining, gripping, thoughtful and dangerously enlightening. Stella Duffy, a versatile and gifted novelist, is uniquely suited to bringing Theodora to life. She clearly has great affection for her subject, but does not allow that to undercut her keen eye and pitch-perfect ear. An achievement that many writers will envy and few will equal." — Laura Lippman
Charming, charismatic, heroic - Theodora of Constantinople rose from nothing to become the most powerful woman in the history of Byzantine Rome. In Stella Duffy's breathtaking new novel, Theodora, she comes to life again - a fascinating, controversial and seductive woman.
When her father is killed, the young Theodora is forced into near slavery to survive. But just as she learns to control her body as a dancer, and for the men who can afford her, so she is determined to shape a very different fate for herself.
“What a great book! A fascinating, little-known period of history, a tense, exciting story, and characters who spring as naturally from their own time as mushrooms from the forest floor.” – Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series
“Bracewell delivers a highly entertaining addition to the historical fiction genre.” – Publisher’s Weekly
Determined to outmaneuver her adversaries, Emma forges alliances with influential men at court and wins the affection of the English people. But her growing love for a man who is not her husband and the imminent threat of a Viking invasion jeopardize both her crown and her life.
Based on real events recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the perfect antidote to Tudor fatigue, Shadow on the Crown is packed with nonstop action, romance, and plenty of deliciously creepy Gothic flavor.
“Using the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as her marker, Patricia Bracewell has produced a magnificent work of historical fiction, evoking time and place in a remarkable way, and engaging the reader firmly in her story.” – The Daily Mail (UK)
“In The Price of Blood, Patricia Bracewell proves once more that she is an alchemist. She turns the leaden chronicle accounts of Emma and Aethelred’s embattled kingdom into a narrative thrumming with life, the historical figures heartbreakingly human. The epic battles of the Anglo-Saxon are rendered personal, tragic. The fated characters disturbed my sleep and haunted my walks. You have been warned.” — Emma Campion, author of The King’s Mistress
Following the events in Shadow on the Crown, Price of Blood divulges escalating tension as Emma forges alliances to protect her young son from ambitious men—even from the man she loves. In the north there is treachery brewing, and when Viking armies ravage England, loyalties are shattered and no one is safe from the sword. Rich with intrigue, compelling personalities, and fascinating detail about a little-known period in history, The Price of Blood will captivate fans of both fantasy and historical fiction.
“Set approximately one century later than Bernard Cornwell’s popular Saxon Tales, Emma’s intriguing and historically authentic saga will appeal to a similar audience.” — Booklist
“A deep and stirring novel, elegant in detail and convincing in execution.” — Cecelia Holland, author of The Secret Eleanor
“Fun and beautifully crafted. The novel is something like a Russian nesting doll: it’s a Jane Austen novel inside a Princess Bride type fantasy romp inside a much darker Tolkien-esque story of politics, war, magic, and dragons. An impressive debut.” – Charlie Lovett, New York Times bestselling author of The Bookman’s Tale
“Moth and Spark is a standalone, a rare gem, especially in the fantasy genre. A fantastic read all around.” — The Book Swarm
Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the powerful Mycenean Empire, but no one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire's control. Meanwhile, Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in Caithenor that she is a Seer, gifted with visions.
When Prince Corin and Tam run into each other, sparks fly--but it's not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn't allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming. Torn between his quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, Tam and Corin must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen.
Winner of the CWA Nonfiction Dagger Award. Optioned by Kudos, with Justin Kurzel (MACBETH) attached to direct.
“Wickedly, brilliantly, inescapably funny in spite of its often-horrific scenarios, Hudson's debut is, by equal turns, startling, devastating, and exhilarating.” – The Boston Globe
“This bittersweet novel is warm and humorous, too.” – Booklist
Reminiscent of early Roddy Doyle, Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma begins with our singular heroine’s less than idyllic birth and quickly moves to a spectacular fight that lands Janie and her mother in a local women’s shelter. From there it’s on to a dodgy council flat and a succession of unsuitable men, including the hard-drinking, drug-dealing, ice-cream-buying Tony Hogan. Kerry Hudson’s arrestingly original debut will enthrall readers with Janie’s tragicomic and moving story about coming of age in a non-traditional family amid the absurdities of the 1980s and Thatcherite Britain.
“Funny and dark” – Kirkus Reviews
“Real and heartfelt, carried along by stunning, earthy dialogue that captures the rough poetry of daily speech…Hudson avoids the usual sentimental clichés and gives us, without a shred of hipster cynicism, the hope and tough warmth for which she has such a sharp eye.” – The Guardian
"The evolution of air safety is rooted in catastrophe. Christine Negroni pulls back the curtain on the people, the places, and the tragedies that have shaped this process over the decades -- an unflinching look at a system that most of us take for granted.” – Patrick Smith, air travel blogger and bestselling author of Cockpit Confidential
Tying in aviation science, performance psychology, and extensive interviews with pilots, engineers, human factors specialists, crash survivors, and others involved in accidents all over the world, The Crash Detectives is an alternately terrifying and inspiring book that might just cure your fear of flying, and will definitely make you a more informed passenger.
“Mysteries are always fascinating; aviation mysteries are especially so because they involve ordinary people. In The Crash Detectives, Christine Negroni combines her investigative reporting skills with an understanding of the complexities of air accident investigations to bring to life some of history’s most intriguing and heartbreaking cases, reminding us that even in the 21st century, aviation still holds elements of the unknown.” – Bob Woodruff, ABC News
New York Times bestseller. Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime
“This is a good murder story, well told, with all the additional pleasures that a knowledgeable tour guide to old China can provide. Grateful readers could scarcely ask for more.” – Joseph Kanon, author of Istanbul Passage, in The Washington Post
Chronicling an incredible unsolved murder, Midnight in Peking captures the aftermath of the brutal killing of a British schoolgirl in January 1937. The mutilated body of Pamela Werner was found at the base of the Fox Tower, which, according to local superstition, is home to the maliciously seductive fox spirits. As British detective Dennis and Chinese detective Han investigate, the mystery only deepens and, in a city on the verge of invasion, rumor and superstition run rampant. Based on seven years of research by historian and China expert Paul French, this true-crime thriller presents readers with a rare and unique portrait of the last days of colonial Peking.
“Clue by clue, Paul French uncovers the truth of a bizarre murder case that shocked Peking in 1937. In doing so, he draws a chilling portrait of the city's decadent, violent and overly-privileged Euro-American expatriate community. It is a feat comparable to that of White Mischief. Fascinating and irresistible. I couldn't put it down.” – John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
“A propulsive and exceedingly well-reported book that offers an intense ticktock account, the fullest we have had, of the attack on the Taj…It’s a tragedy and a thriller with concussive human and political resonance. I read it in what felt like three blinks.” – Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“Mr. Levy and Ms. Scott-Clark recreate in vivid detail the genesis of Operation Bombay... THE SIEGE reads like a thriller.” – The Wall Street Journal
Mumbai, 2008. On the night of November 26, Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists attacked targets throughout the city, including the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, one of the world’s most exclusive luxury hotels. For sixty-eight hours, hundreds were held hostage as shots rang out and an enormous fire raged. When the smoke cleared, thirty-one people were dead and many more had been injured. The Siege recounts the courageous actions of staff and guests—including Mallika Jagad, Bob Nichols, and Taj general manager Binny Kang—prevented a much higher death toll.
With a deep understanding of the region and its politics and a narrative flair reminiscent of Midnight in Peking, journalists Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy vividly unfold the tragic events in a real-life thriller filled with suspense, tragedy, history, and heroism.
“Veteran Southeast Asia journalists Scott-Clark and Levy recreate this cataclysmic disaster with all the pulse-pumping intensity of a cinematic action thriller, recounting astonishing episodes of personal heroism while issuing a sobering indictment of the ineptitude of the government and security agencies that failed to prevent the attack and protect civilians.” – Booklist
New York Times bestseller, optioned by BBC films and Scott Free (Ridley Scott's production company)
“In pages more reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe than Evelyn Waugh… [Bailey] reminds us why this seemingly insignificant story bears telling.” – The New York Times Book Review
“Bailey is a truly dogged detective… a compelling exposé” – Kirkus Reviews
After the Ninth Duke of Rutland, one of the wealthiest men in Britain, died alone in a cramped room in the servants’ quarters of Belvoir Castle on April 21, 1940, his son and heir ordered the room, which contained the Rutland family archives, sealed. Sixty years later, Catherine Bailey became the first historian given access. In The Secret Rooms, Bailey uncovers a mystery: The Duke had painstakingly erased three periods of his life from all family records—but why? As Bailey uncovers the answers, she also provides an intimate portrait of the very top of British society in the turbulent days leading up to World War I.
“Bailey deserves commendation for her meticulous research as well as her storytelling.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“Compelling. A remarkable piece of research which throws a bright shaft of light on powerful people, hypocrisy and the First World War.” – The Guardian
“Black Diamonds has the great gift of bringing to life personal histories…wonderfully paced and wholly satisfying.” – Kate Atkinson, New York Times bestselling author of Life After Life
Gossipy bits…keep the reading lively. The real value of this work is the recounting of the ends of two classes, the lower and the very upper.” – Kirkus Reviews
When the sixth Earl Fitzwilliam died in 1902, he left behind the second largest estate in twentieth-century England, valued at more than £3 billion of today’s money—a lifeline to the tens of thousands of people who worked either in the family’s coal mines or on their expansive estate. The earl also left behind four sons, and the family line seemed assured. But was it? As Bailey retraces the Fitzwilliam family history through Black Diamonds, she uncovers a legacy riddled with bitter feuds, scandals (including Peter Fitzwilliam’s ill-fated affair with American heiress Kick Kennedy), and civil unrest as the conflict between the coal industry and its miners came to a head. Once again, Bailey has written an irresistible and brilliant narrative history.
“The goings on at Wentworth are inevitably reminiscent of the fictional Downton Abbey now in its fifth season on Masterpiece Theatre, but they are at once grander, more sordid and generally harder-edged… A jolly good read.” – The Washington Times
"Wrenching ... Her book should be read, not just as a warning of the very real dangers of the world, but also of the price to be paid when, in the name of religion, people forget humanity." — The Wall Street Journal
"A sometimes-sweet, sometimes-harrowing memoir by a smart, passionate ultra-Orthodox girl. . . . engrossing and so thoughtfully written, and never mocks the traditions and values of a culture that few of us can fully comprehend." — People.com
"Painfully raw." — Susannah Cahalan, New York Post
In the vein of Prozac Nation and Girl, Interrupted, Cut Me Loose is a brutally honest memoir that tells the story of one woman’s struggle to define herself as an individual. Leah Vincent was born into the Yeshivish community, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect that shuns the modern world. When, at sixteen, Leah was caught exchanging letters with a boy—breaking a religious ban on contact between the sexes—her family cut all ties. Sent to live on her own in New York City, adrift and unprepared for the freedoms of secular life, Leah’s desperate loneliness coupled with her stubborn loyalty to the dogma of her past pulled her into a vicious cycle of promiscuity and self-harm. It took a shocking state of despair to empower her to transform a life of tragedy into a tale of unexpected triumph, one that illuminates both the oppressive world of religious fundamentalism and the broader issues facing young women from all backgrounds as they grapple with sexuality and identity.
"Gripping. . . . Readers will appreciate Vincent's uncensored honesty in sharing the horrors of her past." —The Washington Post
"As thoughtful and heroic as it is gripping and tragic ... riveting and relatable ... [Vincent] familiarizes, rather than exoticizes, the life she's led ... The finest example of this sort of memoir yet." —Flavorwire
"Visceral and uplifting." —The Daily Beast