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Alys, Always

Alys, Always

Author(s): Harriet Lane

Location(s): London

Genre(s): Thriller

Era(s): Modern



Frances Thorpe, a sub-editor on the books pages of the Questioner, is one of those quiet women it’s advisable to watch. A thirty-something living alone in a shabby north London flat, she’s stuck in a job that she thinks is drudgery, and her social life is going nowhere. So when fate presents an opportunity, she takes it.

One winter’s night on a country road, she chances upon a car wreck and witnesses the dying moments of a stranger. Later she’s shocked to discover that the dead woman was Alys, the wife of the acclaimed Booker Prize-winning novelist Laurence Kyte. The grieving family, in search of closure, ask to meet Frances. She visits their elegant Highgate home and glimpses a world of privilege and entitlement that she’s always been shut out of. Laurence, who is charismatic and still handsome in middle age, appears comforted by her easy lie about his wife’s dying words. The Kytes’ twenty-something son Teddy is absorbed in his narcissistic girlfriend, but the Kytes’ daughter, Polly, a drama student, latches on to Frances in a rather pathetic but charming way. An idea begins to form in Frances’s mind.

The Independent

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Lead Review

She observes the passing of the seasons, portrays London and the Kytes’ Suffolk home, in lovely, sensuous prose. The Independent

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