Outside the city of Cambridge, England, the badly decomposed body of a young woman has washed up in the flooded fens. Detective Inspector Chloe Frohmann and her partner, Detective Chief Inspector Morris Keene, must identify the victim and uncover what malice hid her there.
Across the hallowed paths and storied squares of Cambridge University, the detectives follow scant clues toward the identity of the dead girl. Eventually, their search leads them to Deeping House, an imposing country manor where, over the course of one Christmas holiday, three families, two nannies, and one young writer were snowed in together. Chloe begins to unravel a tangled web of passions and secrets, of long-buried crimes and freshly committed horrors. But in order to reveal the truth—about mysterious letters, devastating liaisons, and murder—she may have to betray her partner.
In this stunning psychological thriller, Emily Winslow has crafted a literary prism. With uncommon perceptiveness, she tells her story through the eyes of many intricately drawn characters: a troubled young woman in the University’s dead-letter office, an astronomy professor full of regret, an anxious man willing to kill to keep his past hidden. As their beautifully rendered stories coalesce, a piercing and haunting truth emerges. Masterful and memorizing, The Start of Everything will captivate to the very last page.
Published by William Morrow