The Quiet Tenant by Clémence Michallon

Published: June 20, 2023


Pages: 304

Genre: Serial Killers

KKECReads Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Clémence Michallon was born and raised near Paris. She studied journalism at City University of London, received a master’s in Journalism from Columbia University, and has written for The Independent since 2018. She moved to New York City in 2014 and became a U.S. citizen in 2022. She now divides her time between New York and Rhinebeck with her husband and their dog, Claudine. She has been a fan of crime novels ever since she started stealing her mother’s mass-market paperbacks as a teen. The Quiet Tenant is her debut thriller.

Aidan Thomas is a hard-working family man and a somewhat beloved figure in the small upstate town where he lives. He’s the kind of man who always lends a hand and has a good word for everyone. But Aidan has a dark secret he’s been keeping from everyone in town and those closest to him. He’s a kidnapper and serial killer. Aidan has murdered eight women and there’s a ninth he has earmarked for death: Rachel, imprisoned in a backyard shed, fearing for her life.

When Aidan’s wife dies, he and his thirteen-year-old daughter Cecilia are forced to move. Aidan has no choice but to bring Rachel along, introducing her to Cecilia as a “family friend” who needs a place to stay. Aidan is betting on Rachel, after five years of captivity, being too brainwashed and fearful to attempt to escape. But Rachel is a fighter and survivor, and recognizes Cecilia might just be the lifeline she has waited for all these years. As Rachel tests the boundaries of her new living situation, she begins to form a tenuous connection with Cecilia. And when Emily, a local restaurant owner, develops a crush on the handsome widower, she finds herself drawn into Rachel and Cecilia’s orbit, coming dangerously close to discovering Aidan’s secret.

“We gravitate toward the bodies that keep us alive.”

She exists in the dark, wholly dependent upon him. He provided food, shelter, everything. He took her, and now he hides her away, his personal plaything. She has created a list, a lot to survive, and so far, it’s worked. Until he tells her, he has to move.

Holy hell. First, for a debut novel, this was beyond brilliant. Beautifully written, boldly terrifying, and all too human. The way emotion is captured in these pages is stunning.

The way this novel was written will draw readers in immediately. It’s terrifying, addicting, and the stuff of nightmares.

I love how Clémence created these characters. Aiden gave me Israel Keyes vibes; not sure if that was intentional or if I’ve just consumed too much true crime.

Every second of this book will make your heart race. The intensity is so well choreographed and executed. Not since reading Gone Girl has a book gripped me so dramatically.

Bravo, Clémence. You have taken your passion, talent, and interest in true crime and created something so devious, so dangerous, and so damn good it almost feels wrong.

I am a fan of this incredible human, and I look forward to her next book!

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