The Drowning Lesson, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


The haunting new novel from the author of 2014's stunning Richard and Judy Book Club bestseller Daughter.

The press conference, one year ago. Our home is a crime scene now. I am in yesterday's clothes. The clothes in which I kissed Sam goodbye. Then he'd belonged only to us. Now his image will be shared with the world. We should be grateful. 'Our son...Sam...' My eyes fill with tears, the writing on the paper blurs. 'Someone took him. Please help us ...' I back away from the microphone, the paper falls from my hands.

The anniversary. The Jordan family thought they would return from their gap year abroad enriched, better people, a closer family.

Not minus one child. A year on, Emma remains haunted by the image of that empty cot, thousands of miles away, the chasm between her and the rest of the family growing with each day that Sam remains missing.

Is her son still out there? Will the mystery about what happened that night ever be unravelled?

Praise for Daughter: "Utterly gripping. A tautly coiled spring of suspicion and suspense which builds to a devastating ending." (Mail On Sunday). "Complex and baffling. Jane Shemilt builds layer upon layer of tension in a novel you won't be able to put down." (Tess Gerritsen). "Ostensibly a suspense novel about the disappearance of a teenage girl, this taut and thought-provoking debut novel explores a working mother's guilt, something all-too familiar to many of us." (Woman & Home).




Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.

Review by

Hospital consultants, Emma and Adam Goodhew, have two daughters aged 10 and 5. Adam is offered a year in Botswana to do some research and his family go with him, including their new-born son, Sam. But Sam is abducted from his cot, amid fears of witch doctors and the family's lives fall apart.The book starts with Sam going missing and then goes back to tell of the family's life in London. Throughout, Emma narrates which works well, particularly in Botswana and during the search for Sam. I did struggle with the early parts of the book, finding myself having to go back and read bits again, as though I wasn't completely taking it in. But then it got into its stride and I got right into the story. I read the last third in one go and was racing through it to find out what happened at the end.I enjoyed Daughter by the same author and, although it didn't bother me, a lot of people were not keen on the ending. This book is much more conclusive and I really enjoyed it. I do like Jane Shemilt's writing style and look forward to book 3.

Also by Jane Shemilt