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The main lesson Luce had learned was that you couldn’t count on anybody.

In the lonesome beauty of the forest, across the far shore of the mountain lake from town, Luce acts as caretaker to an empty, decaying Lodge, a relic of holidaymakers a century before. Her days are long and peaceful, her nights filled with Nashville radio and yellow lights shimmering on the black water. A solitary life, and the perfect escape.

Until the stranger children come.

Bringing fire. And murder. And love.


His best book to date . . . Frazier's exquisitely efficient style is matched by some finely tuned suspense . . . And the climactic pursuit through the darkened forest of the book's title proves to be gripping without ever descending into gothic melodrama.
<i>The Sunday Times</i>
Charles Frazier's third novel is as accomplished as his first two . . . In anyone else's hands, this might turn out to be a gripping but ultimately forgettable thriller. Frazier, however, is a writer whose spare prose paradoxically oozes atmosphere - you can almost smell the verdant pine trees and hear the crack of the twigs underfoot . . . Beneath the chilling, photogenic story, the writing remains beautiful.
Frazier's taut prose, superb sense of place and timing and suspense-inducing skills save this from being just another thriller.
<i>Daily Mail</i>
Its dazzling sentences are so meticulously constructed that you find yourself rereading them, trying to unpack their magic . . . By the book's climactic scenes in the shadowy mountain forest that gives NIGHTWOODS its title, the unhurried, poetic suspense is both difficult to bear and impossible to shake.
<i>Entertainment Weekly</i>
There's an almost rarefied atmosphere to this novel . . . mostly the breathless delight comes from Frazier's poetic sensibility towards the brutality and beauty of nature. My advice on NIGHTWOODS is to soak up the purity of Frazier's prose before Hollywood gets a look in.
<i>Sunday Telegraph</i>
Frazier expertly evokes the languor and menace of the North Carolina mountains, and his exquisitely efficient style is matched by finely tuned suspense - there is enough knife-play here to make Cormac McCarthy proud
<i>Sunday Times Culture</i>
Frazier is very good at the slow and nuanced process by which emotionally thwarted, and justifiably suspicious, characters come together, meeting always against a backdrop of violence and upheaval
a beautiful tale of suspense . . . there is a classic film noir feel to it...Frank and Dolores are fascinatingly real . . . The dialogue is witty and the depiction of the Appalachians so sumptuous that I minded not one jot that the denouement, in trying to be understated, almost vanished from the page . . .
<i>The Times</i>, Book Club
The book . . . matches Frazier's style: all stripped-down dialogue and an acoustic approach to narrative. This is a land where not much happens, where characters communicate only when necessary. The book's slow pace is entirely fitting for the vast, empty land in which it is set. That is its glory
<i>The Times</i>, Book Club
This gripping account of a woman under threat in rural Carolina is the finest novel to date from the author of COLD MOUNTAIN
<i>The Sunday Times</i>