AN UNTHINKABLE THING de Nicole Lundrigan

A stylish Mid-Century set that asks a shocking question: Can an eleven-year-old boy really be a cold blooded killer?

by Nicole Lundrigan
Viking Canada, Spring 2022

The residents of affluent Upper Washbourne certainly believed so when they charged and then tried young Thomas Ware for triple murder in 1958. All is not as it seems behind the hedgerow surrounding the lavish Henneberry estate where Tommie Ware’s mother, Esther, works as the live-in housekeeper. When Tommie is unexpectedly transplanted into this unfamiliar and rarefied world, he is left on his own to navigate the grounds, the massive house, and the twisted family inside. There’s the delusional pill-popping mother, Muriel, who takes a strange shine to Thomas; her husband, a respected dentist who may have known Tommie’s recently deceased aunt; and their entitled son, Martin, who reveals a dark and dangerous side as he cruelly torments the old widow who lives next door. High class comes with high stakes, and as Tommie is dragged deeper into the Henneberrys’ dysfunction, he can’t help but wonder: what does someone good and brave have to do to stop such people?
Alternating with Tommie’s vivid tale of that summer is the story of his murder trial, told entirely through newspaper and radio coverage, forensic reports, trial transcripts, and witness testimonies. The result is a masterful, mesmerizing dual-narrative that is sure to keep readers on the edges of their seats and guessing until the very last page.

Nicole Lundrigan grew up in Newfoundland, and now lives in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of seven published novels including her most recent, Hideaway (Viking/PRHC, 2019), a finalist for the 2020 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel conveyed by the Crime Writers of Canada and which was included on many best-of/must-read lists in 2019 including Globe & Mail, Chatelaine, Bustle, Toronto Star, Loan Stars, NOW, Post Media, and the CBC. Shari Lapena, bestselling author of The Couple Next Door, called Hideaway « Authentic, disturbing and unbearably tense, [it] will leave you reeling.” In its starred review of Nicole’s earlier novel The Substitute (House of Anansi Press, 2017), Booklist noted Lundrigan’s writing, “is both elegant and darkly humorous, delivering bareknuckle social commentary that will appeal to fans of Gillian Flynn, Karin Fossum, and Laura Lippman.”

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