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The Truants by Kate Weinberg




Jess Walker, middle child of a middle class family, has perfected the art of vanishing in plain sight. But when she arrives at a concrete university campus under flat, grey, East Anglian skies, her world flares with colour.

Drawn into a tightly-knit group of rule breakers – led by their maverick teacher, Lorna Clay – Jess begins to experiment with a new version of herself. But the dynamic between the friends begins to darken as they share secrets, lovers and finally a tragedy. Soon Jess is thrown up against the question she fears most: what is the true cost of an extraordinary life?


“As much a coming-of-age tale as a murder mystery . . . An impressive debut” –  The Times

“After surprising twists, Kate Weinberg provides a satisfying conclusion while asking the question: does a mystery lose its magic once it’s solved?” –  Guardian

“Think The Secret History meets Agatha Christie” –  Red

“This satisfying coming-of-age novel jives to a thriller-like beat. It’s a debut, though you wouldn’t necessarily know it from its assured tone. While Donna Tartt’s The Secret History is a clear influence, it’s Agatha Christie whose work is most explicitly referenced, stoking an ominous sense of impending calamity” –  Mail on Sunday

“There are more than a few nods to Donna Tartt’s The Secret History here – the band of student misfits with dysfunctional backgrounds, the professor with oddly intimate student-teacher bonds, plus an overall sense, skilfully seeded by Weinberg, that things are about to take a wrong turn … Threaded into the story are references to Agatha Christie’s novels, with their mysteries and murders and love triangles. The Truants borrows some of these murder mystery tropes, leading us to a dark conclusion that feels satisfying to reach” –  Evening Standard

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