The Tutor

The Tutor

3.51 (587 ratings by Goodreads)
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When Scott and Linda Gardner hire a tutor for their wayward son, he's quickly embraced as part of the family. But while charming and capable, he's concealing his own dark agenda. As each family member takes him into their confidence they feed the threat he poses - only 11 year old Ruby seems able to sense the evil in him. In his most chilling book yet Peter Abrahams creates a living, breathing portrait of a family's hopes, fears and secrets. And of the menace they welcome into their home that threatens to destroy more

Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 110 x 180 x 24mm | 208g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0141011297
  • 9780141011295

Review Text

Accomplished suspense writer Abrahams delivers another page-turner in this thriller, which brims with menace and creates characters who will endure in the memory. Scott and Linda Gardner still mourn the loss of their brilliant eldest son, Adam: they judge their remaining children, Brandon and Ruby, by the standard he set. Hoping to get Brandon into an Ivy League college, they hire a home tutor, Julian Sawyer. Clever and attractive, Julian charms each member of the family into his confidence, but behind the facade Julian is plotting to destroy the Gardners and gain strength from their misery. Only Ruby is suspicious, and her powers of observation and curiosity prove to be Julian's downfall. Unlike the average thriller, The Tutor immerses us in its characters' lives. The suburban pathos of the Gardners' lives is heartbreaking - their failings and dissatisfactions engage us before Julian is even introduced. Abrahams generates huge sympathy for this harried, damaged family: this heightens the tension once Julian begins to threaten their lives. He's an impressive villain. Almost supernaturally intelligent and callous, he stalks the Gardners' happiness with eerie precision. Compared to his bleak conceit and cheerful evil, the Gardners' well-meaning, muddled lives seem like frighteningly soft targets. While building a suspenseful narrative, Abrahams is also interested in the nature of intelligence and the influence which parents have on their children. Confused by grief, the Gardners risk inhibiting their children with high expectations, but 'hot-housed' Julian serves as a warning not to push one's offspring too hard. Abrahams's plot is well paced with nods towards the elegant Sherlock Holmes stories which Ruby reads. He calmly builds up a crushing tension and delivers his conclusion with gusto. This is thought-provoking, humane and compulsive reading. (Kirkus UK)show more

Author information

Peter Abrahams is the author of eleven previous novels, including CRYING WOLF, A PERFECT CRIME, and THE FAN. He lives on Cape Cod with his wife and four more

Rating details

587 ratings
3.51 out of 5 stars
5 16% (95)
4 36% (213)
3 34% (201)
2 10% (56)
1 4% (22)
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