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The Farm
Cover of The Farm
The Farm
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Daniel believed that his parents were enjoying a peaceful retirement on a remote farm in Sweden, the country of his mother's birth. But with a single phone call, everything changes. Your mother's not well, his father tells him. In fact, she has been committed to a mental hospital. Before Daniel can board a plane to Sweden, his mother calls saying everything that man has told you is a lie. I'm not mad. I need the police. Meet me at Heathrow. Daniel is immediately caught between his parents - whom to believe, whom to trust? He becomes his mother's unwilling judge and jury. Presented with a horrific crime, a conspiracy that implicates his own father, Daniel must examine the evidence and decide for himself: who is telling the truth? And he has secrets of his own that for too long he has kept hidden.
Daniel believed that his parents were enjoying a peaceful retirement on a remote farm in Sweden, the country of his mother's birth. But with a single phone call, everything changes. Your mother's not well, his father tells him. In fact, she has been committed to a mental hospital. Before Daniel can board a plane to Sweden, his mother calls saying everything that man has told you is a lie. I'm not mad. I need the police. Meet me at Heathrow. Daniel is immediately caught between his parents - whom to believe, whom to trust? He becomes his mother's unwilling judge and jury. Presented with a horrific crime, a conspiracy that implicates his own father, Daniel must examine the evidence and decide for himself: who is telling the truth? And he has secrets of his own that for too long he has kept hidden.
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  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 31, 2014
    At the start of this superior psychological thriller from Thriller Award–winner Smith (Child 44), the narrator, a Londoner known only as Daniel, receives a phone call from his father, who has retired with his wife to a farm in Sweden. The father tells Daniel that his mother is in the hospital. For months, she has been “imagining things—terrible, terrible things.” Before Daniel can fly to Sweden, his father calls again to inform him that she persuaded the doctors to authorize her discharge and has disappeared. As Daniel struggles to accept that news, his mother phones to announce that she’s flying to Heathrow and that everything his father has told him “is a lie.” When she arrives, she offers a complex tale to buttress her conviction that she has been plotted against, leaving Daniel uncertain as to whom and what to believe. Smith keeps the reader guessing up to the powerfully effective resolution that’s refreshingly devoid of contrivances. Agent: Felicity Blunt, Curtis Brown (U.K.).

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrators Suzanne Toren and James Langton team up for this new thriller. As a mother tells her son the story that landed her in a psychiatric hospital, Toren's delivery of her desperation and paranoia is so convincing that listeners will likely want to institutionalize her themselves. As the son, Langton hones in on his character's internal conflict: Should he believe his pleading mother with her satchel of "evidence" or trust his father's judgment that she's lost her grip on reality. Langton deftly juggles the son's unwavering love and impatient frustration. The story itself has weaknesses that cannot be overcome. Those who manage to weather the mother's entire bizarre story will likely be disappointed with the anticlimactic ending. Nonetheless, the narrations are outstanding. J.F. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine
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Tom Rob Smith
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