The Quiet Tenant

Knopf. Jun. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780593534649. $28. THRILLER
DEBUT Aidan Thomas is the darling of his Upstate New York town: a ruggedly handsome, loving father, always willing to help out and lovingly committed to his dying wife. He is almost too good to be true. He is in fact a kidnapper of women and killer of eight. Rachel has been a prisoner for five long years in his shed; when Aidan’s wife dies, he moves Rachel inside his home. Rachel stays alive by psychoanalyzing Aidan and playing the role he has written for her. Each chapter of Michallon’s novel is written in the second person, which can be confusing to follow as it switches among the perspectives of Rachel, Aidan’s daughter Cecilia, and Aidan’s new love interest, Emily. Sprinkled throughout the novel are the last thoughts of Aidan’s unnamed victims. Disappointingly, insights into Aidan’s character, his motives, or his backstory are never revealed. Despite these small complaints, this debut novel is hard to put down.
VERDICT A brutal, sad, heartbreaking story focused on resilience and survival. Recommended for fans of true crime stories, Gillian Flynn, or Jessica Knoll.
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