The Long, Long Afternoon
It is the summer of 1959, and the well-trimmed lawns of Sunnylakes, California, wilt under the sun. At some point during the long, long afternoon, Joyce Haney, wife, mother, vanishes from her home, leaving behind two terrified toddlers and a bloodstain on the kitchen floor.
‘A remarkably assured debut. A tale of inequality, broken dreams and quiet desperation behind a picture-perfect facade’ Guardian’A clever and absorbing debut by Inga Vesper, who bricks Joyce up in her perfect house, then smashes it to pieces with aplomb’ The Times A stunning 1950s set debut mystery brimming with atmosphere and perfect for fans of Tangerine, Small Pleasures and Mad Men. ________ Yesterday, I kissed my husband for the last time . . . It’s the summer of 1959, and the well-trimmed lawns of Sunnylakes, California, wilt under the sun. At some point during the long, long afternoon, Joyce Haney, wife, mother, vanishes from her home, leaving behind two terrified children and a bloodstain on the kitchen floor. While the Haney’s neighbours get busy organising search parties, it is Ruby Wright, the family’s ‘help’, who may hold the key to this unsettling mystery. Ruby knows more about the secrets behind Sunnylakes’ starched curtains than anyone, and it isn’t long before the detective in charge of the case wants her help. But what might it cost her to get involved? In these long hot summer afternoons, simmering with lies, mistrust and prejudice, it could only take one spark for this whole ‘perfect’ world to set alight . . . A beguiling, deeply atmospheric debut novel from the cracked heart of the American Dream, The Long, Long Afternoon is at once a page-turning mystery and an intoxicating vision of the ways in which women everywhere are diminished, silenced and ultimately under-estimated. Everyone is talking about The Long, Long Afternoon’Beguiling and evocative. This vivid and atmospheric pageturner will keep readers guessing all the way to its satisfying finale’ Sunday Express ‘Beautifully crafted, claustrophobic and compelling. As delicious as a long drink on a hot day’Stacey Halls, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Familiars and The Foundling’Such a vivid atmosphere of stifling LA heat and stifling 50s domesticity’Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures ‘Breathtakingly stylish, hypnotic and masterfully gripping’Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin at the End, Waterstones Thriller of the Month’A triumph. What a pleasure to read something fresh and original. For once the hype is justified and Inga Vesper’s gripping page turner must surely now be bound for Netflix’ Evening Standard ‘A tasty, tense, page-turning combo of James Ellroy and Kate Atkinson with a bit of Mad Men thrown in’Liz Hyder’For fans of Revolutionary Road and Mad Men, this is an atmospheric tale of repression and style at the heart of the American Dream’ Stylist