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September 2017 Indie Next List
“Oliver, the titular center of Liz Nugent's chilling debut thriller, will attract and repel the reader as his deep wounds and legacy of destruction are revealed by his own confessions and by the recollections of those whose lives intersect with his. The novel opens with Oliver, a successful writer living in apparent domestic contentment, beating his wife into a coma. Why? As Oliver's crimes come into focus, Nugent's brilliance is in balancing the evil he does with the evil that is done to him. Is he to be reviled or pitied? Or both?”
— Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, Bryn Mawr, PA
In this "compelling, clever, and dark" (Heat
magazine) thriller, a man's shocking act of savagery stuns a local community--and the revelations that follow will keep you gripped until the very last page. This work of psychological suspense, a #1 bestseller in Ireland, is perfect for fans of Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Ware. "I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her."
So begins Liz Nugent's astonishing debut novel--a chilling, elegantly crafted, and psychologically astute exploration of the nature of evil.
Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children's books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease--until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma.
In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple's friends, neighbors, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.
With its alternating points of view and deft prose, Unraveling Oliver
is "a page-turning, one-sitting read from a brand new master of psychological suspense" (Sunday Independent
) that details how an ordinary man can transform into a sociopath.