Lesley Grant Adamson

Read what reviewers say about her books

Extracts from some reviews of Lesley Grant-Adamson’s novels

Patterns in the Dust The Face of Death Guilty Knowledge
Wild Justice Threatening Eye Curse the Darkness
Flynn A Life of Adventure The Dangerous Edge
Dangerous Games Wish You Were Here Evil Acts
The Girl in the Case Lipstick and Lies


  A Season in Spain  


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About the books and information about publishers

Generic reviews
‘One of the classiest thriller writers around’ Sunday Times

''The mistress of psychological suspense' Western Daily Press

‘The British writer who has set new standards in crime writing’ London Evening Standard

‘She is turning the genre into an art form’ Cosmopolitan

‘With finely crafted plots and colourful characterisation, Lesley Grant-Adamson has brought the detective novel into the Eighties. Gossip columnist Rain Morgan of the Daily Post is her latter-day Miss Marple, lending style, glamour and a hint of romance to the books’ Times Educational Supplement

‘She knows how to create an atmosphere of unease and incipient horror’ PD James

‘She succeeds in finding new avenues among the well-trodden paths of the crime story’ The Independent

‘Her pace never flags. Her novels are constantly diverting’ The Times Literary Supplement

‘Her work has shades of John Buchan, even Dornford Yates. Her stories rattle along’ Daily Telegraph

‘Grant-Adamson excels at creating a sinister atmosphere and she can take the simplest of plots and produce a dramatic climax’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Lesley Grant-Adamson can conjure up a sense of everyday reality tinged with frightening potential more deftly than anybody else in the business’ Hampstead and Highgate Express

‘She has a talent for poking her finger through the barrier between the everyday world and sheer horror’ The Times

‘An outstanding writer’ Woman

‘Few are as adept as Grant-Adamson at keeping the readers on the edge of their seats’ Yorkshire Post

‘Grant-Adamson is certainly among the top crime writers of our younger generation’ Marcel Berlins, The Times

‘Anyone who enjoys thrillers will not be disappointed by Lesley Grant-Adamson’s masterly novels.’ Cosmopolitan

‘Lesley Grant-Adamson is a crime writer who doesn’t steer clear of life’s rough edges. Her crime novels are not set in a fantasy world of clean corpses and rational motives’ William Leith, Sunday Telegraph

‘Her insights into the causes of criminal behaviour, coupled with her elegant yet menacing prose, mark Lesley Grant-Adamson out as one of the most remarkable crime writing talents of her generation; one senses, too, that for all her achievements so far, the best is probably yet to come.’ Martin Edwards, Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers

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Reviews of individual titles

The following titles were published by Faber and Faber:

Patterns in the Dust

‘Excellent mood of lurking evil beneath the placidity of English village life’ Marcel Berlins, The Times

‘I wish all authors would write them as urbanely as Lesley Grant-Adamson does’ Christopher Pym, Punch

‘Murder and motives are believable, as is the horror of being trapped with a killer. I believed and enjoyed it.’ Daily Telegraph

‘’Written with cinematic clarity, Patterns in the Dust combines an unpredictable and exciting plot with a colourful array of charismatic characters.’ Times Educational Supplement

‘Good stylish story, a fast moving plot in an enjoyable setting.... a writer with a keen eye for character’ Mail on Sunday

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The Face of Death
‘A superb psychological thriller’ She

‘The gradual disintegration of the facade and the woman’s growing realization of the truth are handled with tension and intelligence’ The Times

‘She sustains a tense sense of something nasty’ City Limits

‘Even better than Patterns in the Dust’ Daily Telegraph

‘This psychological drama of horror on a housing estate is an appealing successor to the author’s first thriller’ Mail on Sunday

‘A very creepy crime story indeed, full of interesting characters and situations’ Manchester Evening News

‘The pace never flags’ - Times Literary Supplement

‘Like Patterns in the Dust it would adapt brilliantly for the screen. It has the kind of macabre appeal of the more sensational stories in the tabloid press.’ Times Educational Supplement

‘A chilling experience for the reader’ Daily Post, Liverpool

‘An engaging cast, excellent prose and enough suspense to keep you absorbed throughout’ San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle

‘Grant-Adamson is tricky and you’ll stay with it.’ Chigaco Tribune

‘Chilling psychological thriller’ Weekend Pick of the Paperbacks

‘Tight suspense novel, carefully constructed tension, juicy plotting and a wonderfully amusing supporting cast.’ Publishers Weekly

‘The strength of her novel lies in its finely wrought tension’
Chicago Sun Times

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Guilty Knowledge
‘Lesley Grant-Adamson has mastered all the tricks of her chosen genre.’ Literary Review

‘Fine, confident brushwork catches every nuance of fraud and worse in a crafty rebus’ John Coleman, Daily Telegraph

‘Ms Grant-Adamson goes straight onto my list of those authors whose next book I eagerly await’ Gerald Kaufman, The Listener

‘Ms Grant-Adamson gallops her plot along, always under control’ Jane McLoughlin, Punch

‘Another excellent crime novel from this interesting young writer.’ Manchester Evening News

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Wild Justice

‘Smart deftly handled whodunit in which the victim, a terminally unpopular newspaper proprietor, is dispatched within the first three sentences, leaving 217 pages of delightful intrigue to revel in’ Sunday Times

‘Cool, sophisticated and compelling’ Liverpool Daily Post

‘Set in the frenetic world of Fleet Street ... it maintains a keen level of suspense, against the backdrop of internal wranglings and petty jealousies.’ Times Educational Supplement

‘Our intrepid sleuthette is once again in fine form as she discovers whodunit in this slick, clever investigation.’ Time Out

‘Lively and nicely satirical’ The Spectator

‘Grant-Adamson’s is an acerbic, unstable world where the implementation of Law, with its pretext of Justice, becomes another ritual whose application is meaningless’ Time Out

‘Lesley Grant-Adamson handles the Fleet Street setting with skill and humour, office jealousies and rivalries are convincing and the writing is pacy and stylish’ Sunday Mirror

‘There can be few writers who can involve so many convincing characters and keep so many threads weaving while retaining the lightest and most competent of touches’ Sunday Times

‘The plot zooms along, making Lesley Grant-Adamson one of the few really successful newcomers to the great tradition of the English crime novel’ Publishing News

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Threatening Eye
‘She has managed to switch with great skill from the hyped-up Fleet Street world of her last whodunit to a very creditable venture into the darker tracts of Rendell-land’ Gerald Kaufman, The Listener

‘Her top notcher so far’ Guardian

‘You’d better not start Threatening Eye late at night or sleep will be hard to come by. Cliffhanging suspense builds to an almost unbearable pitch.’ Glasgow Evening Times

‘This accomplished whodunit leaves the reader uncertain right up until the last chapter’ Sunday Times

‘Ms Grant-Adamson holds our attention cleverly as she unveils the truth behind dastardly deeds’ Irish Times

‘The writer is a dab hand at showing the blackheads on the fair face of the suburban dream. She fictionalises a non-conformist conscience in a story where the Evil Eye, revealed in the apparently innocent wall paintings in a village church, reflects in microcosm the sordid reality behind the decent facade of ordinary life.’ Punch

‘Five novels in three years is a remarkable achievement, and their quality is even more remarkable’ Birmingham Post

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Curse the Darkness
‘Its style is assured, and it never ceases to rivet the attention’ Patricia Craig, Times Literary Supplement

‘A psychological thriller of crimes which can’t be “solved” and punishments which should never be exacted’ New Statesman

‘A rich quality of text and characters. Grant-Adamson’s portrait of the self-absorbed world of the London literati has a sharp accuracy’ The Times

‘This is not only a good thriller but also manages to include a generous measure of social comment and playful wit.’ Sunday Times

‘ A huge, intricate and deeply satisfying book. A deliciously intriguing read’ Kate Saunders, Cosmopolitan

‘A highly original, satisfying tale. A smashing conclusion brings Rain and Gower together in dangerous circumstances’ Publishers Weekly

‘The book grips as tightly as the rope around the dead man’s neck’ Woman’s World

‘Thrillers and detective stories have always been classed as low-class literature but there are a few exceptions - Chandler’s work for example. After reading Curse the Darkness I am tempted to add Lesley Grant-Adamson to the shortlist. The strands of this intriguing story are brought together cleverly and the climax is intensely exciting’ Graham Jones, Wales on Sunday

‘There’s much to enjoy and admire... the tragic inevitability of a great crime novel’ Mail on Sunday

‘The build up is riveting and the climax, with an armed police siege in a London squat, is tremendous’ Western Mail

‘Lesley Grant Adamson is sharply perceptive on the vanities of writers and the insularity of newspapers’ Options

‘For those awaiting their next fix of Ruth Rendell or PD James, Curse the Darkness might prove to be the next best thing’ Time Out

‘A fine contemporary novel’ Fife Free Press

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‘Introducing Britain’s sprightly answer to VI Warshawski. I like Flynn. Seconds, please’ John Coleman, Sunday Times

‘A most successful new direction for this imaginative author’ Daily Mail

‘Laura Flynn is a female private eye who is not afraid to use brawn as well as charm. The plot is well worked out and good’ Sunday Times

‘Gutsy debut’ Books

‘Introducing an interesting and tenacious private investigator, Laura Flynn. Grant-Adamson deals with Laura’s dilemmas, her sense of guilt and her job with sensitivity’ Boston Globe

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A Life of Adventure
‘Grant-Adamson is excellent at portraying the ambiguities and contrasts of formless psychological existence. Her writing is subtly menacing, her characters perpetually uneasy’ The Times

‘This unusual thriller stands comparison with Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley novels’ Today

‘Simenon of the “hard” novels comes to mind, with more than a dash of Highsmith. Grant-Adamson’s amoral charmer has a charmed life and it is her considerable skill to explore this in depth and make it both enthralling and credible’ Sunday Times

‘Jim Rush is a charmer and a liar who comes at you from somewhere between an Elmore Leonard low-life hustler and Patricia Highsmith’s lovable, homicidal hero, Tom Ripley. A compelling, entertaining read’ Daily Post, Liverpool

‘Ms Grant-Adamson’s achievement in this enjoyable novel is to use the format of a crime novel to explore the deeper themes of alienation and self-destructive urges. The plots of murder investigation and confidence trickery running through the book are interwoven with high skill, but finally remain incidental to the development of a character who, despite everything, has to be accepted with affection’ Independent

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The Dangerous Edge
‘An accomplished thriller that handles its Euro-strands deftly’ Observer

‘Lesley Grant-Adamson’s best book yet. A climax worth waiting for. The writing is classy and the complicated structure skilfully controlled’ Sunday Telegraph

‘A suspenseful, complex book’ Financial Times

‘A gripping thriller with a vivid sense of place’ The Face

‘Absorbing, complex story’ Mail on Sunday

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The following titles are published by Hodder and Stoughton:

Dangerous Games
‘A laid back, quirkily humorous thriller from which Jim Rush escapes to lie and cheat in the next tale’ Sunday Express

‘Stylish whodunit with a charming rogue as its protagonist. Readers of A Life of Adventure will know him well, one Jim Rush. Newcomers are in for a treat as he juggles two conmen and a prying paparazzi on a Caribbean island, an excellent venue for murder’ Midweek

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Wish You Were Here
‘A gothic chiller by a fine writer who knows precisely how to achieve her effects’ Andrew Taylor, Independent

‘A creepy story in the du Maurier tradition, with an emphatic heroine and mind-blowing suspense‘ Michael Hartland, Daily Telegraph

‘Grant-Adamson can create terror and suspense with the minimum of gore. This immaculately plotted tale is a case in point.’ The Times

‘Lesley Grant-Adamson explores the unnerving normality of the multiple murderer. A well crafted tale’ Sunday Express

‘Scary... you can actually imagine it happening to you’ Independent on Sunday

‘Tension builds inexorably, with the final resolution only coming in the last sentence’ Manchester Evening News

‘Linda’s inability to draw back while there is is still time from the thrall imposed by Tom is wholly convincing’ Glasgow Herald

‘The mistress of unease is back, at the top of her form. Everything the perfect crime novel should contain: plot, pace, original characters, all tightly controlled’ Yorkshire Post

‘An alluring story. Frighteningly plausible’ Observer

‘Ms Grant-Adamson’s power lies in her ability to create an atmosphere of subtle evil and fear that grasps you by the throat when you least expect it. Creepy’ Petersfield Post

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Evil Acts

‘Evil Acts is imbued from the start with a powerful and compelling atmosphere. Read it... but not perhaps when you’re alone’ Glasgow Herald

‘Whatever she writes, she writes well and this little tale is compelling’ Sunday Telegraph

‘I’m reluctant to recommend this having scared myself so much reading it that I’ve had to go out and buy a nightlight!’ Jacki Newton, Liverpool Echo

‘A stylishly written tour de force by a mistress of chilling tension’ Hampstead and Highgate Express

‘Convincing psychological insight and a high frisson count’ Sunday Times

‘Lesley Grant-Adamson shows great insight in the moulding of her characters and very cleverly illustrates the ease with which situations and the characters within them can have alternative interpretations. A great read!’ TangledWeb

‘A grim story which has a surprising twist’ What’s On

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The Girl in the Case

‘Grant-Adamson turns one of those deceptively picturesque English villages into a snakepit of vicious feeling... an accomplished practitioner’ The Scotsman

‘Grant-Adamson proves once again that there’s nothing she can’t do with a whodunnit’ New Welsh Review

‘The atmosphere of menace builds to a terrifyingly believable climax. If you thrive on subtle terrors rather than stomach wrenching thrills, this is the book for you. It is well-crafted, low-key and very scary’ Cosmopolitan

‘A well written psychological thriller which pulls no punches’ Crime Time

‘Another complex, tightly plotted mystery from this highly accomplished crime writer.’ Sunday Independent

‘Here is perfect proof of the life that can be injected into a form of crime story often written off: the English village murder story. Of course, it requires a high degree of talent but Lesley Grant-Adamson has shown both a dozen or so times already’ Birmingham Post

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Lipstick and Lies

‘Proficient in structure and pacing... a literary study of guilt and memory’ Sunday Times

‘Grant-Adamson writes wonderfully about the damaging, lingering effects of murder. She is a joy to read’ Tony Burroughs, PA

‘Grant-Adamson is acclaimed throughout the world for the chilling acuteness of her novels of psychological suspense. This superb study of a murder and the shadows it casts decades later shows her talent at its mesmerising best’ Andrew Taylor, Tangled Web UK

‘The quiet ellipses with which she describes cruelty, grief, fear, violence and tragedy invest them with power - the power of what is unsaid’ Independent

‘A murder mystery it's almost impossible to put down... I throughly recommend it’ Oxford Times

‘A chilling tale of suspense as a middle-aged woman is constantly haunted by the hanging of her mother’s lover.’ Prizes Galore

'Unthinkable memories from the 50s recalled by a murder victim's child. Menacingly creepy' Liverpool Echo

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''The growth in the psychological complexity of her books has been nothing short of astonishing, with Undertow the most dark and cogently constructed yet' The Times

'Mistress of psychological suspense Lesley Grant-Adamson has crafted another winner. A compelling tale of murder and mystery' Western Daily Press

''It becomes harder and harder to turn out something new in the field of psychological suspense but Grant-Adamson shows she still knows how to do it in this elegantly written novel set in the Somerset of her Patterns in ther Dust' Weekly Herald, London

'Undertow is a tense, grripping and atmospheric thriller' Bradford Telegraph and Argus

''Pace and tension build to an exciting climax' The Good Book Guide

''Her work is fast paced and decidedly creepy and her latest book packs a fair punch. Thriller fans will devour it at one sitting' Suffolk Journal

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A Season in Spain (a travel book written with Andrew Grant-Adamson and published by Pavilion)

‘The Grant-Adamsons capture the real, timeless Spain, offering an engaging account of rural life’ Publishing News

‘Against the backdrop of some of Europe’s most lyrical scenery - the Alpujarra mountains of Andalusia -- they describe their exploits with endearing humour’ The Times

‘Sometimes tough, often idyllic, they tell the story of their two years there. Just the thing to read on a chilly winter’s night!’ London Evening Standard

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