The Stopped Heart

The Stopped Heart

3.52 (1,903 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Internationally bestselling author Julie Myerson's beautifully written, yet deeply chilling, novel of psychological suspense explores the tragedies--past and present--haunting a picturesque country cottage.

Mary Coles and her husband, Graham, have just moved to a cottage on the edge of a small village. The house hasn't been lived in for years, but they are drawn to its original features and surprisingly large garden, which stretches down into a beautiful apple orchard. It's idyllic, remote, picturesque: exactly what they need to put the horror of the past behind them.

One hundred and fifty years earlier, a huge oak tree was felled in front of the cottage during a raging storm. Beneath it lies a young man with a shock of red hair, presumed dead--surely no one could survive such an accident. But the red-haired man is alive, and after a brief convalescence is taken in by the family living in the cottage and put to work in the fields. The children all love him, but the eldest daughter, Eliza, has her reservations. There's something about the red-haired man that sits ill with her. A presence. An evil.

Back in the present, weeks after moving to the cottage and still drowning beneath the weight of insurmountable grief, Mary Coles starts to sense there's something in the house. Children's whispers, footsteps from above, half-caught glimpses of figures in the garden. A young man with a shock of red hair wandering through the orchard.

Has Mary's grief turned to madness? Or have the events that took place so long ago finally come back to haunt her...?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 704 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 41mm | 726g
  • English
  • Large type / large print
  • Larger Print
  • 0062440349
  • 9780062440341
  • 2,530,392

Back cover copy

"Myerson twines a delightfully twisted tale, exposing the dark underbelly of love and the gaping, raw wounds of grief. . . . By turns terrifying and heartbreaking, an enthralling spine-chiller."--Kirkus Reviews

Suffolk, England: During a vicious storm, a redheaded stranger appears outside a farmer's cottage. The family takes him in--but he has no intention of leaving.

One hundred and fifty years later, a devastating tragedy prompts Mary and her husband to start a new life in the countryside. They move into a small cottage, drawn to its beautiful, overgrown garden. The house has been empty for years, but it's remote, quiet, different--exactly what they need. Then it begins: children whispering, footsteps, a young man with red hair wandering through the orchard.

As the stranger insinuates himself deeper into the farmer's family, and also into the affections of the eldest daughter, Mary's own sense of unease grows. She feels the past and present intertwining ever more tightly, but is grief twisting her mind? Or is the cottage, haunted by the horrific events of more than a century ago, not quite the rural sanctuary it seems?
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Review quote

"The story is heart wrenching, unremittingly grisly.... A thriller and...a page-turner.... The Stopped Heart exposes the flesh of the lives cut in half, the pain and loves of the past, and why they are no less real than the present."--Independent (UK)
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Rating details

1,903 ratings
3.52 out of 5 stars
5 20% (382)
4 34% (647)
3 29% (543)
2 13% (241)
1 5% (90)
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