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The Woman in the Fifth by Douglas Kennedy

The Woman in the Fifth

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Unlike many of Kennedyâs previous novels this one is narrated by a man. Harry is an American whose past has caught up with him irrevocably and he decides to jump ship to a shadowy, sinister Paris, where nothing is exactly as it seems. Itâs a novel that is guaranteed to keep you turning the pages well into the night. An eerie and unsettling tale of exile and revenge and the murky frontier between the imagined and the terrifyingly real is incredibly haunting. Itâs an utterly absorbing novel so be sure to set aside some quality time to enjoy this gripping and intelligent read.

If you like Douglas Kennedy you might also like to read books by Beth Gutcheon, Andrew Rosenheim and Stephanie Keating, Barbara Keating.


The Woman in the Fifth by Douglas Kennedy

Harry Ricks is a man who has lost everything. A romantic mistake at the small American college where he used to teach has cost him his job, his marriage and his relationship with his only child. And when the ensuing scandal threatens to completely destroy him, he votes with his feet and flees... to Paris.

He arrives in the French capital in the bleak midwinter, where a series of accidental encounters lands him in a grubby room in a grubby quarter, and a job as a nightwatchman for a sinister operation.

Just when Harry begins to think that he has hit rock bottom, romance enters his life. Her name is Margit – an elegant, cultivated Hungarian émigré, long resident in Paris – widowed and, like Harry, alone.

But though Harry is soon smitten with her, Margit keeps her distance. She will only see him at her apartment in the fifth arrondissement for a few hours twice a week, and remains guarded about her work, her past, her life.

However, Harryâs frustrations with her reticence are soon overshadowed by a ever-growing preoccupation that a dark force is at work in his life – as punishment begins to be meted out to anyone who has recently done him wrong. Before he knows it, he finds himself of increasing interest to the police and waking up in a nightmare from which there is no easy escape.


'Kennedy is a fantastic, feisty writer' Independent on Sunday

'Kennedy knows how to keep the pages turning' The Times

About the Author

Douglas Kennedy

Douglas Kennedy's previous novels include the critically acclaimed bestsellers The Big Picture, The Pursuit of Happiness, A Special Relationship and The Moment. He is also the author of three highly-praised travel books. The Big Picture was filmed with Romain Duris and Catherine Deneuve; The Woman in the Fifth with Ethan Hawke and Kristen Scott Thomas.

His work has been translated into twenty-two languages. In 2007 he was awarded the French decoration of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 2009 the inaugural Grand Prix de Figaro. Born in Manhattan in 1955, he has two children and currently divides his time between London, Paris, Berlin, Maine and New York..

Author photo © Paul Stuart

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Book Info

Publication date

7th June 2007


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