Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Farm by Tom Rob Smith

The Farm is a psychological thriller in the vein of Gone Girl or Tana French’s novels. Daniel lives in London and his parents have retired to what he believes is a bucolic life on a remote farm in Sweden.  His father calls him and suddenly everything changes.

Your mother...she's not well, his father tells him. She's been imagining things - terrible, terrible things.

His father says his mother has had a psychotic breakdown and has been committed to a mental hospital.  So Daniel rushes to Heathrow to fly to see her. Before boarding he gets a call from his mother who says:

Everything that man has told you is a lie.  I’m not mad. . . Meet me at Heathrow.  If you refuse to believe me, I will no longer consider you my son.

Tilde, Daniel’s mother, says his father is involved in a criminal conspiracy and wants her out of the way. Who can Daniel believe?  Tilde carefully lays out a strange tale packed with facts that may or may not prove her allegations. Daniel, too, is harboring a secret – he’s never told his parents that he’s gay.  Smith, known for his espionage thrillers set in Russia, takes a new tack with this riveting tale of trolls, elk, strangely carved wood, and the darkness of Sweden. Smith’s Child 44 trilogy is a superb trio of espionage tales but this stand-alone might just top them all.  

This is a short review as revealing too much of the tale will rob the reader of delightfully diabolical discoveries. I’ve included a link to an interview with the author on National Public Radio.  Read it AFTER you read the novel – not before.

Summing it Up: Devour this suspense-filled thriller and watch your mind spin as you try to surmise just who’s telling the truth.  What would you do if your mother and father, whom you’ve always trusted, told you conflicting tales?  Could your gentle father be a criminal or is your strong mother imagining it all?

Caveat: This is one of the books involved in the fight between Amazon and Hachette Publishing which means that it’s probably going to be less expensive to purchase or download The Farm from independent bookstores or other sites as Amazon is currently selling it with no discount. Many independent bookstores are offering deep discounts on Hachette titles so shop carefully.

Rating: 5 stars   
Category: Gourmet, Chinese Carryout, Book Club, Fiction, Five Stars, Mysteries and Thrillers 

Publication date: June 3, 2014

Interview with the Author (Listen to or read this AFTER your read the book): http://www.npr.org/2014/06/09/319542618/the-farm-is-a-terrifying-break-from-reality-or-is-it

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