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The Deaths by Mark Lawson
  

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A brilliant, dark and biting social satire of the upper middle class fat cats in a very broken Britain. The first few pages reveal a crime – when a coffee delivery driver finds the family dogs dead outside the home and calls the police – but it isn’t till much later in the book that we discover what and why has happened to ‘The Eight’, the four couples at the centre of the book and crucially who beside the dogs are dead. An enjoyable modern thriller alongside a powerful view of Britain gone bad.

If you like Mark Lawson you might also like to read books by Jonathan Coe, Charlotte Mendelson and Christos Tsiolkas.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

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Synopsis

The Deaths by Mark Lawson

Four families live in a beautiful stretch of English countryside in magnificent listed houses, built for the old aristocracy. They are the new aristocracy and the elite of their village: financiers, business tycoons, lawyers, doctors, magistrates. They leave their rural idyll only to commute first-class to London for meetings, deals and theatre outings or Heathrow flights to winter sun or half-term skiing. They and their children are protected by investments, pensions and expensive security systems. But the money is running out in Britain, and as tensions and relationships develop within the group of friends, finally, deep in the English winter, an unthinkable act of violence destroys these dream lives and demonstrates that the biggest threat may come from unexpected places. This horrific act happens on the first pages but Lawson provides dramatic twists and false turns and it is only by the end of the book that we discover who the victims are and who committed the crime. Mark Lawson's first novel in eight years is his most ambitious yet. Combining ingenious plotting with forensic social comedy, this is a dark and brilliant novel of life in twenty-first-century England.

Reviews

'Astonishingly expansive, hilarious and heartbreakingly dark'
Julie Myerson, Observer, Best Holiday Reads 2013

'Mark Lawson's dark social satire on the British upper middle classes, skewers with precision this group of rich professionals who have grown fat and well-holidayed during the New Labour boom years but are now coming to a crunch point ... Lawson's skill is to make his characters believable and, despite their odiousness, to make us care about them and their (possibly terrible) fate.' '
Financial Times

'Mark Lawson writes with a forensic eye for detail, exposing the foibles of his characters with scalpel-like precision. A wonderful, bitingly satirical, achingly true, warts and all portrait of modern middle-class England - and a true shocker of an ending'
Peter James

'A wickedly witty snapshot of contemporary life'
Cambridge News

'Sharp and very funny ... wonderfully vivid and detailed'
Guardian

'A cleverly constructed crime novel that's really a dark comedy of social observation and satire.'
Choice Magazine

'a wickedly witty snapshot of contemporary life.'
Irish Examiner

'sharply observed and blackly funny'
Metro Scotland

'Mark Lawson's bleak satire on England's new aristocracy pulls no punches'
Observer

'packed with superbly sharp observation'
Sunday Times

'written with panache'
The Times (Saturday Review)

About the Author

Mark Lawson is a novelist and cultural critic. He has published four novels including Idlewild, Going Out Live and Enough Is Enough. He is the presenter of the BBC Radio 4 arts programme Front Row and BBC Four's Mark Lawson talks to... series. He also writes for the Guardian.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th June 2014

Author

Mark Lawson

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Publisher

Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Format

Paperback
416 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781447235699

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