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Apple Tree Yard
by Louise Doughty

Overview -

An intelligent, erotically charged thriller with deep moral implications
Yvonne Carmichael, a renowned geneticist, public authority, and happily married mother of two, sits in the witness box. The charge is murder. Across the courtroom, not meeting her eye, sits her alleged accomplice.  Read more...


 
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More About Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty
 
 
 
Overview

An intelligent, erotically charged thriller with deep moral implications
Yvonne Carmichael, a renowned geneticist, public authority, and happily married mother of two, sits in the witness box. The charge is murder. Across the courtroom, not meeting her eye, sits her alleged accomplice. He wears the beautiful pin-striped suit he wore on their first meeting in the Houses of Parliament, when he put his hand on her elbow and guided her to a deserted chapel, where she began to undress. As the barrister's voice grows low and sinuous, Yvonne realizes she's lost herself and the life she'd built so carefully to a man who never existed at all.
After their first liaison, Yvonne's lover tells her very little about himself, but she comes to suspect his secrecy has an explanation connected with the British government. So thrilled and absorbed is she in her newfound sexual power that she fails to notice the real danger about to blindside her from a seemingly innocuous angle. Then, reeling from an act of violence, Yvonne discovers that her desire for justice and revenge has already been compromised. Everything hinges on one night in a dark little alley called Apple Tree Yard.
Suspenseful, erotically charged, and masterfully paced, Louise Doughty's "Apple Tree Yard" is an intelligent psychological thriller about desire and its consequences by a writer of phenomenal gifts.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780374105679
  • ISBN-10: 0374105677
  • Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
  • Publish Date: January 2014
  • Page Count: 317


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Thrillers - Suspense

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-10-21
  • Reviewer: Staff

Riveting from the opening scene of geneticist Yvonne Carmichael on the stand being cross-examined—at what readers will eventually discover is her trial at London’s Old Bailey, along with her lover, for murder—this taut British psychological thriller from Doughty (Whatever You Love) boasts just about everything a mystery lover could want, except a truly likable protagonist. Which proves to be a problem in the case of narrator Yvonne, a successful scientist who, at age 52, gambles her marriage, family, career, and future on what starts as furtive sex with a stranger in a secluded chapel beneath the Houses of Parliament, and progresses to something approaching folie à deux. It’s even more of an issue with her paramour, known initially as “X,” a man whose true nature she discovers only after it is too late. Eventually, even Doughty’s cunningly constructed and cannily revealed plot can’t camouflage the emotional void at what should be Apple Tree’s core. Agent: Anthony Harwood, Anthony Harwood Ltd. (U.K.). (Jan.)

 
BookPage Reviews

You and me and our secret make three

When you are a rational human being, with free will and agency, is there any such thing as a point of no return? That’s the question Yvonne Carmichael finds herself asking after she’s charged with murder in this dark, intense, wholly engrossing British import, Apple Tree Yard.

A well-known London scientist, Yvonne has spent her life on the straight-and-narrow: successful career, two grown children, happy if ho-hum marriage. (“The reason he ambles into the kitchen and asks for his car keys is not that he is incapable of locating them himself; it is to remind me that after many years of marriage, he still loves me,” she muses during their morning routine.)

Then Yvonne meets a mysterious man while walking back to her office after a routine meeting, and begins an affair. She starts making dicey choices, including a public tryst in an alleyway called Apple Tree Yard with thousands of commuters walking by just a few feet away.

Later that night, Yvonne is the victim of a savage sexual assault, and soon suspects her attacker is stalking her. Going to the authorities would risk uncovering her affair, so she enlists her lover to help scare off the attacker. But things go horribly wrong, and suddenly this woman who has played by the rules all her life finds herself judged by a wholly different standard.

Novelist and journalist Louise Doughty is a masterful writer, improbably making Yvonne a sympathetic, insightful character even as she is cheating, lying and generally making the worst possible life choices. Doughty also perfectly captures the quiet details of domestic life, the erotic charge of a high-stakes affair, the crackling drama of a courtroom. She dispatches the notion that we are masters of our own fate, chillingly illustrating how quickly we can derail our own lives.

 
BAM Customer Reviews

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