Combining the narrative drive and psychological suspense of BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, with hard-hitting, thought-provoking themes, as Simon Lelic, WHAT LIES WITHIN is an exciting debut from a brilliant new voice in fiction.
Living in a remote Devon farmhouse, Anna and her family have always been close to nature, surrounded by the haunting beauty of the moor. But when a convict escapes from nearby Dartmoor prison, their isolation suddenly begins to feel more claustrophobic than free. Fearing for her children's safety, Anna's behaviour becomes increasingly irrational. But why is she so distant from her kind husband Robert, and why does she suspect something sinister of her son Paul? All teenagers have their difficult phases...
Meanwhile, a young idealistic teacher has just started her first job, determined to 'make a difference'. But when she is brutally attacked by one of her students, her version of events is doubted by even those closest to her. Struggling to deal with the terrible consequences, she does what she can to move on and start afresh.
As the two narratives converge, the tension builds to a devastating denouement, shattering everything you thought you believed about nature, nurture and the true meaning of family.
Tom Vowler lives in south-west England, on the edge of a moor, where he moved to finish a novel set there. His blog about the experience received 9,000 hits in its first year. In 2007 he completed an MA in creative writing, and since then his short stories have appeared widely. A chapter from his first novel came in the top ten of the Richard & Judy 'How to Get Published' competition, which received 46,000 entries. Tom is the assistant editor of the literary journal Short Fiction. His debut collection of short stories, The Method & Other Stories (Salt, 2010) won the Scott Prize (2010) and the Edge Hill Award (2011). He is an Associate Lecturer in creative writing at the University of Plymouth.