Tall Oaks by Chris Whittaker

Tall Oaks5 stars from me

This debut novel is brilliant!

The ‘blurb’ likens the book to Twin Peaks but I’d put it more towards Fargo. Actually, if I’d read the book without knowing the author I would have guessed at Linwood Barclay.

This is a great book with twists and turns a plenty and more red herrings than you could reasonably expect – I loved it!

It has a wicked combination of mystery, heartache, love, control and murder, all wrapped up in a sleepy town with eccentric characters aplenty. With charm balanced equally against secrets.

There are plenty of routes the ending could have taken and I have to confess I didn’t predict conclusion, which makes me especially happy, I love to be surprised by a clever tale.

Great from first to last page with a brilliant story in between. I look forward to seeing Tall Oaks televised and brought to life by some quirky actors and a good looking yet unstoppable cop pulling the whole thing forward.


Synopsis: When three-year-old Harry goes missing, the whole of America turns its attention to one small town.

Everyone is eager to help. Everyone is a suspect.

Desperate mother Jess, whose grief is driving her to extreme measures.

Newcomer Jared, with an easy charm and a string of broken hearts in his wake.

Photographer Jerry, who’s determined to break away from his controlling mother once and for all.

And, investigating them all, a police chief with a hidden obsession of his own . . .

In Chris Whitaker’s brilliant and original debut novel, missing persons, secret identities and dangerous lies abound in a town as idiosyncratic as its inhabitants.

For fans of Twin Peaks and The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair, this brilliant debut is dark yet hilarious, suspenseful but full of joy.

“I always know when a book has completely blown me away – as a reader, I want to weep because I’ve finished it and I will never again get to experience it for the first time, and as a writer, it makes me want to weep because I wish I had written it myself. THIS IS ONE OF THOSE BOOKS.”
Lisa Hall, author of the No.1 Bestseller Between You and Me


1 Comment

  1. Tall Oaks is a master class in how to write a novel. I loved it couldn’t put it down almost read it in one sitting. Manny was my favourite I think there is another novel in there for him alone. Now Ive finished its like saying goodbye to old friends

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