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The Farm
by Tom Rob Smith


Overview - The new international bestseller from the author of phenomenal Child 44 trilogy...
The Farm
If you refuse to believe me, I will no longer consider you my son.
Daniel believed that his parents were enjoying a peaceful retirement on a remote farm in Sweden.
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More About The Farm by Tom Rob Smith
 
 
 
Overview

The new international bestseller from the author of phenomenal Child 44 trilogy...
The Farm
If you refuse to believe me, I will no longer consider you my son.
Daniel believed that his parents were enjoying a peaceful retirement on a remote farm in Sweden. But with a single phone call, everything changes.
Your mother...she's not well, his father tells him. She's been imagining things - terrible, terrible things. She's had a psychotic breakdown, and been committed to a mental hospital.
Before Daniel can board a plane to Sweden, his mother calls: Everything that man has told you is a lie. I'm not mad... I need the police... Meet me at Heathrow.
Caught between his parents, and unsure of who to believe or trust, Daniel becomes his mother's unwilling judge and jury as she tells him an urgent tale of secrets, of lies, of a crime and a conspiracy that implicates his own father.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780446550734
  • ISBN-10: 0446550736
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publish Date: June 2014
  • Page Count: 352

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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-03-31
  • Reviewer: Staff

At the start of this superior psychological thriller from Thriller Award–winner Smith (Child 44), the narrator, a Londoner known only as Daniel, receives a phone call from his father, who has retired with his wife to a farm in Sweden. The father tells Daniel that his mother is in the hospital. For months, she has been “imagining things—terrible, terrible things.” Before Daniel can fly to Sweden, his father calls again to inform him that she persuaded the doctors to authorize her discharge and has disappeared. As Daniel struggles to accept that news, his mother phones to announce that she’s flying to Heathrow and that everything his father has told him “is a lie.” When she arrives, she offers a complex tale to buttress her conviction that she has been plotted against, leaving Daniel uncertain as to whom and what to believe. Smith keeps the reader guessing up to the powerfully effective resolution that’s refreshingly devoid of contrivances. Agent: Felicity Blunt, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (June)

 
BookPage Reviews

He said, she said—who to believe?

It can be perilous to venture into well-trodden subgenre territory, even if you have the talent that Tom Rob Smith demonstrated with his suspenseful Child 44 trilogy.

With his fourth novel, The Farm, Smith is venturing into the territory of Scandinavian thrillers, which first caught international fire thanks to the fiction of the late Stieg Larsson. It’s a field associated with deep, dark family secrets, long-buried crimes and shocking revelations. In The Farm, Smith manages to simultaneously deliver the goods promised by this subgenre and also something completely unexpected. The result is a thriller you shouldn’t miss.

When his parents sell their London home and relocate to a remote farm in his mother’s homeland of Sweden, Daniel is convinced they’re headed for a quiet retirement. Then he gets a call from his father informing him that his mother has had some kind of mental breakdown, that she’s imagining awful things. He’s prepared to go and tend to her, until he gets another call from his father, this one telling him his mother has checked herself out of the hospital and disappeared.

Tom Rob Smith weaves a satisfyingly juicy web of deception in The Farm.

The next call is from his mother, and it’s even more alarming than his father’s news. Daniel’s mother claims his father can’t be trusted, that he’s part of a terrible conspiracy in their rural Swedish district, that he’s been seduced by a powerful farmer into doing something horrible. Daniel’s father insists his mother is mad. Daniel’s mother insists his father is a monster. Caught between them, Daniel has no choice but to go to Sweden himself and investigate what’s really happening.

From the very first page, The Farm has all the trappings of a thriller with a deep, dark conspiracy at its heart, but Smith isn’t content to stick to formulas. Through a first-person narrative that allows us to view this drama through Daniel’s always engaging eyes, he weaves in and out of secrets and truths, sins and redemptions, crafting a thriller that weaves a satisfyingly juicy web of deception and is also an unpredictable page-turner. It’s a rare thing to see an author so completely embody the trappings of his genre and also surprise the reader, but Smith achieves it with The Farm. Child 44 fans as well as those looking to get lost in an immersive thriller will find this a gripping read.

 

This article was originally published in the June 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
Customer Reviews