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Unravelling Oliver
Cover of Unravelling Oliver
Unravelling Oliver
Borrow Borrow

WINNER - IBA Crime Fiction Book of the Year 2014

By the author of the Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller and Richard and Judy Book Club pick, Lying in Wait

'Truly excellent, beautifully written ... strongly recommended' Sophie Hannah

'Compelling, clever and dark, unlike any other psychological thriller you will have read before ... you'll gobble it up in one go.' Heat Magazine

'Incredibly brilliant' Marian Keyes

'Gone Girl meets The Spinning Heart ... a great cracking read ... I couldn't put it down' Ryan Tubridy, RTÉ

'The compulsion to continue reading never wanes and most impressively the ending doesn't buckle under the weight of expectation ... a persistently satisfying read' Sunday Times

'A page-turning, one-sitting read from a brand new master of psychological suspense' Sunday Independent

'An ambitiously structured and compelling "whydunnit"' Daily Mail

'Formidable' Irish Times

'Reminiscent of The Book of Evidence' RTE Guide

'We read this in one sitting ... satisfyingly unnerving.' Woman's Way

'All I know is I stayed awake until 3am to finish it, which I haven't done with a new novel for longer than I can remember.' Irish Independent

'The best opening line you'll read all year ... and you'll keep reading' Sinead Crowley, RTE Arts Correspondent

'Her writing is stylish, the characters are vivid and the line of the story is all too real and plausible. Can't recommend it highly enough.' Rick O'Shea, 2FM

'A superb and compelling terrifying book' Sinead Desmond, TV3

'Just read a book in one sitting. Last time I managed that was about twenty years ago. The book was Liz Nugent's Unravelling Oliver' Declan Burke, CrimeAlwaysPays.ie

'A kind of Irish Mr Ripley ... Gripping, thought-provoking' Darragh McManus, arts journalist

'I read this book over a 24 hour period. I seriously could not put it down.' Writing.ie

'Magnificent ... compulsively readable ... stunning, shock and superb' Frank McGuinness

'I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.'

Liz Nugent's gripping novel of psychological suspense, Unravelling Oliver, is a complex and elegant study of the making of a sociopath in the tradition of Barbara Vine and Patricia Highsmith.

Oliver Ryan is a handsome and charismatic success story. He lives in the suburbs with his wife, Alice, who illustrates his award-winning children's books and gives him her unstinting devotion. Their life together is one of enviable privilege and ease - enviable until, one evening after supper, Oliver attacks Alice and beats her into a coma.

In the aftermath, as everyone tries to make sense of his astonishing act of savagery, Oliver tells his story. So do those whose paths he has crossed over five decades. What unfolds is a story of shame, envy, breath-taking deception and masterful manipulation.

Only Oliver knows the lengths to which he has had to go to get the life to which he felt entitled. But even he is in for a shock when the past catches up with him.

Liz Nugent has worked in Irish film, theatre and television for most of her adult life. She is an award-winning writer of radio and television drama and has written short stories for children and adults. Unravelling Oliver is her first novel. Her second novel, Lying in Wait, won her a second IBA and was both a Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller and a Richard and Judy Book Club pick.

WINNER - IBA Crime Fiction Book of the Year 2014

By the author of the Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller and Richard and Judy Book Club pick, Lying in Wait

'Truly excellent, beautifully written ... strongly recommended' Sophie Hannah

'Compelling, clever and dark, unlike any other psychological thriller you will have read before ... you'll gobble it up in one go.' Heat Magazine

'Incredibly brilliant' Marian Keyes

'Gone Girl meets The Spinning Heart ... a great cracking read ... I couldn't put it down' Ryan Tubridy, RTÉ

'The compulsion to continue reading never wanes and most impressively the ending doesn't buckle under the weight of expectation ... a persistently satisfying read' Sunday Times

'A page-turning, one-sitting read from a brand new master of psychological suspense' Sunday Independent

'An ambitiously structured and compelling "whydunnit"' Daily Mail

'Formidable' Irish Times

'Reminiscent of The Book of Evidence' RTE Guide

'We read this in one sitting ... satisfyingly unnerving.' Woman's Way

'All I know is I stayed awake until 3am to finish it, which I haven't done with a new novel for longer than I can remember.' Irish Independent

'The best opening line you'll read all year ... and you'll keep reading' Sinead Crowley, RTE Arts Correspondent

'Her writing is stylish, the characters are vivid and the line of the story is all too real and plausible. Can't recommend it highly enough.' Rick O'Shea, 2FM

'A superb and compelling terrifying book' Sinead Desmond, TV3

'Just read a book in one sitting. Last time I managed that was about twenty years ago. The book was Liz Nugent's Unravelling Oliver' Declan Burke, CrimeAlwaysPays.ie

'A kind of Irish Mr Ripley ... Gripping, thought-provoking' Darragh McManus, arts journalist

'I read this book over a 24 hour period. I seriously could not put it down.' Writing.ie

'Magnificent ... compulsively readable ... stunning, shock and superb' Frank McGuinness

'I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.'

Liz Nugent's gripping novel of psychological suspense, Unravelling Oliver, is a complex and elegant study of the making of a sociopath in the tradition of Barbara Vine and Patricia Highsmith.

Oliver Ryan is a handsome and charismatic success story. He lives in the suburbs with his wife, Alice, who illustrates his award-winning children's books and gives him her unstinting devotion. Their life together is one of enviable privilege and ease - enviable until, one evening after supper, Oliver attacks Alice and beats her into a coma.

In the aftermath, as everyone tries to make sense of his astonishing act of savagery, Oliver tells his story. So do those whose paths he has crossed over five decades. What unfolds is a story of shame, envy, breath-taking deception and masterful manipulation.

Only Oliver knows the lengths to which he has had to go to get the life to which he felt entitled. But even he is in for a shock when the past catches up with him.

Liz Nugent has worked in Irish film, theatre and television for most of her adult life. She is an award-winning writer of radio and television drama and has written short stories for children and adults. Unravelling Oliver is her first novel. Her second novel, Lying in Wait, won her a second IBA and was both a Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller and a Richard and Judy Book Club pick.

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About the Author-
  • Before becoming a full-time writer Liz Nugent worked in Irish film, theatre and television. In 2014 her first novel, Unravelling Oliver, was a Number One bestseller and won the Crime Fiction Prize in the 2014 Irish Book Awards. Her second novel, Lying in Wait, went straight to Number One in the Irish bestseller charts, remained there for nearly two months and won her a second IBA. She lives in Dublin with her husband.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 12, 2017
    The unfathomable motive behind a seemingly unprovoked attack by children’s book author Oliver Ryan on his wife, Alice, drives Irish author Nugent’s outstanding first novel. To most people, the handsome, charismatic Oliver and the plain, shy Alice appeared to have had a decent marriage for more than 20 years. The relationship was enhanced by Alice being the illustrator for Oliver’s world-renowned kids novels. Despite Oliver’s frequent affairs, he was discreet and the couple enjoyed a comfortable life in Dublin. The narrative alternates between those who knew Oliver and Alice at different times. Family members, friends, and acquaintances seek some clue to what caused Oliver’s brutality as Alice languishes in a coma. Even Oliver seems amazed at his actions because he was “fond of her, in my way,” and appreciative that Alice made no demands on him. The tension subtly rises as Oliver’s past unravels, revealing a loveless childhood rooted in religious hypocrisy. Nugent presents a fresh look at a man hiding his violent personality in this intense character study, which won the Irish Book Award’s Crime Novel of the Year. Agent: Marianne Gunn O’Connor, Marianne Gunn O’Connor Creative Agency.

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