Edgar Award Winner for Best Novel
"Highly intelligent entertainment, beautifully written with wit and humor." -- Frances Fyfield
"It grips like grim death." -- The Spectator
"Fremlin is a major mistress of insight and suspense." -- The New York Times
In this Edgar Award-winning thriller, a young housewife with two lively daughters and an endlessly crying baby battles domestic chaos as well as growing suspicions of the household's new lodger. Are Louise's fears the product of sleep deprivation, as her unsympathetic husband suggests, or is there really something sinister about the respectable-seeming schoolmistress?
During the hours before dawn, Louise suspects, people with a precarious grip on sanity are likeliest to slip over the edge into madness -- especially if there's someone ready to give them a push. Without spilling a drop of blood, this psychological thriller transforms everyday events and settings into the extraordinary, evoking an atmosphere of sheer terror. Crime novelist Andrew Taylor hailed author Celia Fremlin as "Britain's equivalent to Patricia Highsmith ... her novels are domestic, subtle, penetrating -- and quite horribly chilling."
Discover the original psychological thriller, as a sleep deprived young mother struggles to stay sane.
Celia Fremlin (1914-2009) was born in Kent. Her first published novel of suspense was The Hours Before Dawn (1958), which went on to win the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for Best Novel in 1960. Over the next thirty-five years Fremlin published a further eighteen titles. 'Britain's equivalent to Patricia Highsmith, Celia Fremlin wrote psychological thrillers that changed the landscape of crime fiction for ever: her novels are domestic, subtle, penetrating - and quite horribly chilling.' Andrew Taylor, Celia Fremlin (1914-2009) was born in Kent and educated at Berkhamsted School for Girls and Somerville College, Oxford, where she read classics and philosophy. During the Second World War she worked for the Mass Observation project, an experience that resulted in her first published book, War Factory (1943, available in Faber Finds), which recorded the experiences and attitudes of women war workers in a radar equipment factory outside Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Her first published novel of suspense was The Hours Before Dawn (1958), which went on to win the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Allan Poe award for best crime novel in 1960. Over the next 35 years Fremlin published a further eighteen titles, including three collections of stories. Faber Finds is proud to be reissuing Celia Fremlin's complete oeuvre in paperback and ebook. 'Britain's equivalent to Patricia Highsmith, Celia Fremlin wrote psychological thrillers that changed the landscape of crime fiction for ever: her novels are domestic, subtle, penetrating - and quite horribly chilling.' Andrew Taylor 'Celia Fremlin is an astonishing writer, who explores that nightmare country where brain, mind and self battle to establish the truth. She illuminates her dark world with acute perception and great wit.' Natasha Cooper