Judith D Collins
The Quiet Tenant
Publication Date: 06/20/2023
My Rating: 5 Stars +++ (ARC)
ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED NOVELS OF 2023
“A bravura feat of storytelling...a daring and completely satisfying mystery.” —James Patterson, #1 best-selling author
A PULSE-POUNDING PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER ABOUT A SERIAL KILLER NARRATED BY THOSE CLOSEST TO HIM: HIS 13-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER, HIS GIRLFRIEND—AND THE ONE VICTIM HE HAS SPARED.
Aidan Thomas is a hard-working family man and a somewhat beloved figure in the small upstate town where he lives: he’s the kind of man who always lends a hand and has a good word for everyone. But Aidan has a dark secret he’s been keeping from everyone in town and those closest to him: he’s a kidnapper and serial killer. Aidan has murdered eight women and there’s a ninth he has earmarked for death: Rachel, imprisoned in a backyard shed fearing for her life.
When Aidan’s wife dies, he and his 13-year-old daughter Cecilia are forced to move. Aidan has no choice but to bring Rachel along, introducing her to Cecilia as a “family friend” who needs a place to stay. After five years of captivity, Aidan is betting on Rachel being too brainwashed and fearful to attempt to escape. But Rachel is a fighter and survivor, and recognizes Cecilia might just be the lifeline she has waited for all these years. As Rachel tests the boundaries of her new living situation, she begins to form a tenuous connection with Cecilia. And when Emily, a local restaurant owner, develops a crush on the handsome widower, she finds herself drawn into Rachel and Cecilia’s orbit, coming dangerously close to discovering Aidan’s secret.
Told through the perspectives of Rachel, Cecilia, and Emily, The Quiet Tenant explores the psychological impact of Aidan’s crimes on the women in his life–and the bonds between those women that give them the strength to fight back. Both a searing thriller and an astute study of trauma, survival, and the dynamics of power, The Quiet Tenant is an electrifying debut thriller by a major talent.
Buy the Book
“Clémence Michallon has written a classic on her first try. The Quiet Tenant is a daring and completely satisfying . . . bravura feat of storytelling . . . Who in her right mind would attempt a novel utilizing the first, second, and third-person? And then have the skill to actually pull it off.”
—James Patterson, #1 best-selling author
“The Quiet Tenant is a fascinating inversion of the serial killer thriller, a story that challenges some of the genre’s most prevalent and pervasive tropes through the eyes of the powerful women involved. In the process—with razor-sharp plotting and hypnotic prose—Michallon has created an unforgettable debut.”
—Alex Segura, author of Secret Identity
“The Quiet Tenant is a humane thriller, one that doesn't shy from asking the most difficult questions of its characters and its readers, and dares, ultimately, hopeful answers. Intelligent and suspenseful, I couldn't stop turning the pages."
—Paul Tremblay, author of The Cabin at the End of the World
“The Quiet Tenant is an absolutely brilliant, incredibly delicious, edge-of-your-seat thriller. Imagine Jodi Picoult meets Jeffery Deaver and then watch as Clémence Michallon exceeds every one of your expectations. She’s that good. The book is that good. And the ending is a killer!”
—Brad Thor, author of Dead Fall
"Clémence Michallon’s The Quiet Tenant is a spell-binding Trojan horse of a novel, bracing and beguiling. A dangerous man and his unforgivable crimes are its seeming center but, in Michallon’s nimble hands, the novel soon reveals itself to be a story of female strength, cunning, depth, and power."
—Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me
“Clémence Michallon has managed to reimagine the serial killer novel, delivering all (and frankly, more) of the expected suspense and psychological tension, but offering a story about women—the ones who didn’t know the evil that lurked within, the ones who tried to placate or fight but still perished, the ones who might actually survive. Haunting but never prurient, The Quiet Tenant is truly unforgettable. Read it.”
— Alafair Burke, author of The Wife
“Expertly structured and luminously rendered, The Quiet Tenant is told from the perspectives of several different women bound, both wittingly and unwittingly, to a single, terrifyingly familiar predator. A mystery that is at once riveting and heartrending, The Quiet Tenant is a sharply insightful look at what it means to live and love as a woman in this harrowing world. It is truly extraordinary.”
— Kimberly McCreight, author of Reconstructing Amelia
“While a widowed man falls for a bartender, the woman he’s held hostage for years plots her escape in this fast-paced thriller . . . A twisted premise that raises unexpected moral questions.” —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Author photo credit: Gabrielle Malewski
CLÉMENCE MICHALLON was born and raised near Paris. She studied journalism at City University of London, received a masters in Journalism from Columbia University, and has written for The Independent since 2018. Her essays and features have covered true-crime, celebrity culture, and literature. She moved to New York City in 2014 and recently became a US citizen. She now divides her time between New York and Rhinebeck. WEBSITE