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The Earthquake Bird

Susanna Jones

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Picador
14 November 2019
Fiction & Literature; Crime & mystery
The Earthquake Bird is Susanna Jones's stunning, prize-winning first mystery - now a major motion picture starring Alicia Vikander.

Winner of the CWA New Blood Dagger for Best Debut Crime Novel of the Year Winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize Early this morning, several hours before my arrest, I was woken by an earth tremor. I mention the incident not to suggest that there was a connection. . . for in Tokyo we have a quake like this every month. I am simply relating the sequence of events as it happened. It has been an unusual day and I would hate to forget anything . . .

So begins The Earthquake Bird, a haunting novel set in Japan which reveals a murder on its first page and takes its readers into the mind of the chief suspect, Lucy Fly - a young, vulnerable English girl living and working in Tokyo as a translator. As Lucy is interrogated by the police she reveals her past to the reader, and it is a past which is dangerously ambiguous and compromising . . .

Why did Lucy leave England for the foreign anonymity of Japan ten years before, and what exactly prompted her to sever all links with her family back home? She was the last person to see the murdered girl alive, so why is she not more forthcoming about the circumstances of their last meeting? As Lucy's story unfolds, it emerges that secrets, both past and present, obsess her waking life . . .
By:   Susanna Jones
Imprint:   Picador
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 197mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 19mm
Weight:   210g
ISBN:   9781529026269
ISBN 10:   1529026261
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   14 November 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Susanna Jones grew up in Yorkshire and studied drama at London University. Her work has been translated into over twenty languages and has won the CWA John Creasey Dagger, a Betty Trask Award and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. She lives in Brighton. The Earthquake Bird is her first novel.

Reviews for The Earthquake Bird

Prepare for all-over goosebumps * Elle * Mesmerising * Mail on Sunday * This spare, urgent debut is not only a polished crime novel, but a hymn to Tokyo and an awkwardly tender love story * Daily Telegraph * An impressive psychological thriller... written with bleak beauty * New Statesman * Comparisons with Lesley Glaister, Barbara Vine and Helen Dunmore spring to mind, although Jones is too original, too unusual in her sensibilities to be easily or usefully pigeon-holed * Literary Review * An engrossing read, and one that's quite mysterious at times, this is a book that you won't be able to put down * Easy Living * Jones evokes a sense of mystery and strangeness with the lightest of touches, and casts doubt on the reliability of her narrator in a manner reminiscent of Paul Aster. Experimental, teasing but always utterly readable, this novel will keep you guessing all the way through its 278 pages * Independent on Sunday * Remarkable... you'll find this story still lurking in the dark corners of your mind long after you've put the book down * The Face * Anyone familiar with Jones's previous books will know that, in her deliciously disorientating fictional worlds, nothing is ever quite as it seems... Jones is a mistress of disguise, not just in her characterization and plotting, but in her blurring of the divisions between right and wrong... the revelation, when it comes, is breathtaking' * Literary Review * Exquisitely written yet utterly chilling, this will keep you gripped from start to finish: a potential book-group classic * Elle * An astonishingly accomplished debut... it's hard to believe that this skilfully constructed and beautifully written work is a first novel * Daily Telegraph * Jones is a mistress of the unexplained menace * Mail on Sunday * In spare yet devastating prose, Susanna Jones maintains a chilling ambiguity throughout, scoring 10 on the suspense Richter scale. Compelling and haunting, this delicately crafted debut novel's tremors are felt long after the final page is turned * Observer *


  • Winner of Betty Trask Award 2002 (UK)
  • Winner of CWA New Blood Dagger 2001 (UK)
  • Winner of John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 2001 (UK)

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