An utterly gripping psychological drama, perfect for reading groups.
Peg always felt a little blurred, a little lacking in definition. Her mother died when she was six, her father simply disappeared, and she was brought up by her grandparents and her obese, bedridden aunt. But, despite all this, she never developed the habit of asking questions.
At least, not until she met Loz, her straight-talking, psychotherapeutically literate girlfriend, who urges her to confront her demons.
But as the skeletons come tumbling out of the family closet and the full horror of the past begins to reveal itself, Peg starts to wonder whether her youthful lack of curiosity might not have been a good thing. A very good thing indeed...
You'd be crazy not to read this book. Julia Crouch is an absolutely brilliant writer, sharp and compassionate and with a great gift for characterisation and comedy... The plot twists and turns until, as in the best whodunnits, almost everyone seems a possible suspect. A dramatic finale follows. Julia Crouch's low-key, intelligent, determinedly unprurient style is a welcome relief in a genre where the opposite dominates - Daily Mail
This slow-burning psychological thriller is truly chilling and races to a creepy conclusion that's so genuinely scary you won't want to read it alone in the house - Sunday Mirror
Skilfully written and cleverly structured (Crouch is a meticulous plotter)Tarnished is a memorably disquieting story that twists brilliantly from its humdrum, kitchen-sink opening to a chilling, destructive ending - Telegraph
Twisty, unsettling but unforgettable - Cosmopolitan
Tarnished, the third and undoubtedly best thriller so far from the pen of Julia Crouch, is a masterclass in menace, a slow-burning, psychological story of love, guilt and obsession which takes us into the deepest, darkest corners of the human mind....Crouch's chiller-thrillers are always so perfectly executed... terrifying, white-knuckle dramas unfold through beautifully honed and descriptive language, and without losing their excellent grip on time and place - Lancashire Evening Post
Tarnished starts off as heart-wrenching, moves quickly to intriguing and very soon after that becomes downright terrifying. You will not want to miss this book - Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner
Julia Crouch's latest, a wonderfully vibrant and witty psychological thriller, achieved the rare feat of making me laugh, and cry, and care about her characters; it kept me on tenterhooks to the very end - Penny Hancock, author of Tideline
After a drama degree at Bristol University, Julia Crouch spent ten years devising, directing and writing for the theatre. During this time she had twelve plays produced and co-founded Bristol's Public Parts Theatre Company. She lives in Brighton with her husband, the actor and playwright Tim Crouch, and their three children.