Dark Chapter: Hard-hitting crime fiction based on a true story

Dark Chapter: Hard-hitting crime fiction based on a true story

4.04 (677 ratings by Goodreads)
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An astonishing and unique novel inspired by the author's own story

'I highly recommend Dark Chapter...post-rape numbness, stifled rage, female victim alternating with rapist -- how circumstances and accident come together tragically.' Joyce Carol Oates

Vivian is a cosmopolitan Taiwanese-American tourist who often escapes her busy life in London through adventure and travel. Johnny is a 15-year-old Irish teenager, living a neglected life on the margins of society.

On a bright spring afternoon in West Belfast, their paths collide during a horrifying act of violence.

In the aftermath, each is forced to confront the chain of events that led to the attack.

Inspired by true events, this is a story of the dark chapters and chance encounters that can irrevocably determine the shape of our lives.

Book Prizes:

Winner of The Guardian Not The Booker Prize

Shortlisted for The Authors' Club Best First Novel Award

Nominated to The Edgars Awards

Highly Commended for CWA Debut Dagger

What Reviewers and Readers Say:

'Complex and rewarding... an important book, ' Stylist

'Heart-wrenching depiction... Brave, raw and strikingly original, it is a story that will resonate for many years, ' Daily Mail

'An important and moving book about rape and the long process of recovery, ' Cathy Rentzenbrink

'Dark Chapter is a fascinating book, which takes an unflinching look at reality of sexual violence. I have never found myself rooting for a heroine with more urgency than in Dark Chapter, ' Kate Rhodes

'Deftly written, pacey and unflinching, I could not put it down. Winnie M Li is a rare talent with an explosive and timely story. Do not miss it, ' Marti Leimbach

'Dark Chapter is a must-read. It's gripping, compelling and all the more authentic for inhabiting both voices so completely. Stunning, ' Erin Kelly

'Winnie M Li handles alternate points-of-view seamlessly in Dark Chapter, an unflinching lens on the sexual assault landscape and one that should be applauded, ' Ali Land

'An authentic, courageous debut, told with unflinching honesty and exceptional insight, ' A.D. Garrett

'A powerful story, compassionately told, ' Ros Barber

'An accomplished debut, an honest and unsparing story, ' Cath Stanicliffe

'Lyrical, haunting and hypnotic. Winnie Li yanks us into the abyss, luring us to confront the complexities of our humanity before expertly pulling us out. An important novel from a ballsy new literary heroine. A must read, ' Irenosen Okojie

'The novel is as disturbing and entertaining as any crime thriller is. But Li is writing from experience, fictionalising her attack as a way to explore how the legal system treats rape victims, and the real effects of such an experience. Most interestingly, Li fleshes out the mind of the rapist: the experiences that have shaped him and which legitimise his behaviour to himself. I really want lots of people to find it and read it.' Sara Pascoe

'Extraordinarily courageous... humbling... A remarkable book to read in this time.' A.L. Kennedy
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 32mm | 280g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1785079069
  • 9781785079061
  • 423,488

Review quote

Winnie Li's debut novel is a shocking yet thought-provoking insight into the impact of rape on both victim and perpetrator. The fact that it's based on real events makes it especially challenging. There are important lessons to be learnt from Dark Chapter - a book to be read and discussed--Canon Dr Ed Newell
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Rating details

677 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 35% (234)
4 41% (277)
3 20% (136)
2 3% (17)
1 2% (13)
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