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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Quiet Tenant

Narrators: Clémence Michallon, Gilli Messer, Elena Rey, Valerie Rose Lohman, Amber Battaglia, Reba Buhr, Hillary Huber, Jess Nahikian, Aure Nash, Milly Sanders, Sara Sheckells, Yu-Li Alice Shen

Random House Audio

ISBN: 9780593534649

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: 06/20/2023

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars +++ (ARC)


“A bravura feat of storytelling...a daring and completely satisfying mystery.” —James Patterson, #1 best-selling author


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.


In Crime Fiction Who Gets to Tell the Story_ - WSJ
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My Review

Spectacular! A darkly thrilling tale of survival and obsession.

Successful journalist Clémence Michallon's dazzling debut, THE QUIET TENANT is an instant out-of-the-park knockout! My #1 Thriller of 2023.

This sophisticated, twisty, electrifying psychological thriller is brilliant and will have you glued to the pages while anxiously awaiting the next masterpiece from this talented author.

A serial killer masked as a doting father, an upstanding community leader, a friend, and a helper. All explodes when his latest victim, his daughter, and his girlfriend collide in this heart-pounding binge-worthy thriller.

A charming widower who leads a secret life murdering women. The narration alternates between Rachel, whom Aidan has held prisoner for five years; Emily, the bartender with whom he enters a romantic relationship; and his young daughter.

Aidan Thomas is a family man and an upstanding figure in the small upstate New York town. He was always lending a hand. Behind closed doors, he is evil and has dark secrets. He is fooling everyone.

In reality, he is a kidnapper, a serial killer, a MURDERER.

He has murdered eight women, and the ninth victim, Rachel, he is currently holding prisoner in his backyard shed—years of being tortured while she awaits her death. She has been planning her escape but how?

When Aidan's wife dies, he and his thirteen-year-old daughter Cecilia are forced to move. He rents a different house from a judge.

Rachel is smart. She knows he will kill her, so she talks him into taking her along as a family friend. After five years of imprisonment, he assumes she is too fearful to escape.

There are rules for staying alive inside the shed and outside the shed.

But Rachel is a fighter. She is a survivor. Now she will live in the house as a family friend instead of in the shed at the new location. She befriends the daughter, Cecilia. She must play the part.

Then another person is involved. Emily is a local restaurant owner/bartender who has a crush on with handsome widower, Aidan. Will someone discover the truth before it is too late? How will Rachel escape?

Told through the POVs of Rachel, Cecilia, and Emily, readers get to hear from the women in Aidan's life. Will the other women believe Rachel before Aidan kills them all?

WOW! I loved this book. What a smashing debut! I adored Rachel and was rooting for her to the satisfying conclusion. She is intelligent and resilient. The basement scene was heart-pounding.

The author's writing is exceptional. Vivid descriptions, well-developed characters, twisty plot, intensity, and suspense off the charts, mind-blowing. An exploration of trauma, survival, and power delving deep into the minds of victims. The book focuses on more mental and psychological violence, not physical violence showcasing the power dynamics.

The author does an excellent job portraying an ordinary man and how he appears to the outside world and the evil, darkness, and demons behind closed doors. SPINE-CHILLING. I enjoyed the POV from the three women versus the man. Scary since this could happen in real life.

THE QUIET TENANT is nail-biting, intelligent, captivating, and utterly unputdownable.

Out of all the thrillers I have read this year (190 YTD, and this is Mid-June) this one is stand-out! The best thriller I have read this year. Movie-worthy!

Check out the author's bio; quite impressive. Michallon has been added to my favorite author list, and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. If you can only read one psychological thriller this year, this is the ONE! Highly recommend.

Thanks to #Knopf for a gifted ARC via #NetGalley for review purposes. All opinions are mine. I also purchased the hardcover copy for my home library.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: June 20, 2023

My Rating: 5 Stars +++

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"An expertly paced psychological thriller with a white-knuckle climax."

—The New York Times .

“A gripping psychological suspense novel . . . Michallon’s riveting tale shows a killer through the eyes of the women in his life.”

—The Washington Post

“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

"Dark and juicy . . . like Emma Donohue’s Room, the novel takes this creepy and claustrophobic premise and spins a paradoxically expansive plot from it, told from the perspective of his victim, his daughter, and a local restaurant owner."


“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 novel.”

—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

“A dazzling debut thriller . . . This is a smart, female-focused inversion of the serial killer thriller perfect for readers who otherwise wouldn’t give the genre a second look.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“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

“A brutal, sad, heartbreaking story focused on resilience and survival. Recommended for fans of true crime stories, Gillian Flynn, or Jessica Knoll.”

—Library Journal

“Nightmarish, nerve-jangling, and horrifying, this one is not for the fainthearted, but it’s an explosive, utterly gripping read.”


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







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