The Child Garden
A NovelBook - 2015
Gloria, neighbor to a shuttered alternative school, investigates the suicide that closed the school when the dead begin speaking to her and claiming the death was murder.
Eden was its name. “An alternative school for happy children.” But it closed in disgrace after a student’s suicide. Now it’s a care home, the grounds neglected and overgrown. Gloria Harkness is its only neighbor, staying close to her son who lives in the home, lighting up her life and breaking her heart each day.
When a childhood friend turns up at her door, Gloria doesn’t hesitate before asking him in. He claims a girl from Eden is stalking him and has goaded him into meeting near the site of the suicide. Only then, the dead begin to speak—it was murder, they say.
Gloria is in over her head before she can help it. Her loneliness, her loyalty, and her all-consuming love for her son lead her into the heart of a dark secret that threatens everything she lives for.
A 2015 Agatha Award Finalist for Best Novel
A 2016 Mary Higgins Clark Award Finalist
"A tale that shivers with suspense."—The New York Times
“A terrific stand-alone that is complex, haunting, and magical.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“A stunning combination of creepy thriller and classic mystery.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Catriona McPherson hooks you with her eccentric amateur sleuth, reinvigorating the exhausted conventions of the cozy-style mystery.”—NPR
“McPherson’s ingenious plot turns will keep even the most astute of crime fiction readers guessing until the last page.”—The Strand
"A fascinating, dark village thriller."—Booklist
“One surprising plot twist after another leads to a shocking ending.”—Publishers Weekly
"This is a terrific spin on the great British cozy."—The Globe and Mail
"[McPherson] is a true master of storytelling and the craft of psychological suspense."—Crimespree Magazine
"Gripping, mazey thriller."—Ian Rankin on Twitter, New York Times bestselling author
"Catriona McPherson spins webs of intrigue so beautiful and intricate she puts spiders to shame. With The Child Garden, she once again proves why she has rapidly become a star in the thriller genre . . . This is a book you will absolutely devour.”—William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author of Ordinary Grace
"An enchanting brew of mystery, poetry, legends, and dreams, Catriona McPherson's The Child Garden is also an elaborate shell game that will keep readers guessing up until the very end."—Hallie Ephron, New York Times bestselling author of Night Night, Sleep Tight
"Deeply resonant, utterly original, compelling, and satisfying, Catriona McPherson's The Child Garden is the work of a master—of character, tone, setting, and plot—writing at the thriller-most top of her form."—John Lescroat, New York Times bestselling author
"I loved this book so much I can barely speak. From page one, it's seamlessly told, beautifully original, and the voice, well, the voice is proof that Catriona McPherson is a powerful force and major talent in crime fiction. And the last page? I cried."—Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author
"The Child Garden is smart, complex, even a little magical—and absolutely chilling."—Lori Rader-Day, Macavity and Anthony Award-winning author of The Black Hour
"Weaving strands of literary mystery, horror, and magical realism, The Child Garden is a twisting, now-you-see-it-now-you-don't tale about the ripple effect of tragedy."—Jenny Milchman, author of Cover of Snow, Ruin Falls, and As Night Falls
"McPherson takes the reader on a suspenseful journey with Gloria Harkness, a devoted mother torn by doubt, love, and loyalty. A riveting, page-turning read; I did not want it to come to an end."—G.M. Malliet, Agatha Award-winning author of The St. Just and Max Tudor Mysteries