From the acclaimed writer of Luther and Hard Sun, Natural History is a work of exquisite tension Strange things are happening in Monkeyland, the ailing Devonshire sanctuary that Patrick and his zoologist wife, Jane, took on in a bid to save their marriage.
Their oldest female primate, the wise and gentle Rue, is found murdered in a corner of the compound. And a big, panther-like cat, preys around the park. It evades capture, lurking in the shadows and in the back of Patrick's mind.
Private, threatening, elusive. With Patrick's son, Charlie, having left Monkeyland in disgrace and his wife on a field trip in Zaire, Patrick is left alone with his black cat and his fears.
Until one night something happens that is so shocking, so deplorable, that it rips apart everything Patrick had ever held to be true. They say that a parent's worse nightmare is to suffer the death of a child.
But what if that's not true?Praise for Natural History: 'The skill with which the author manipulates the narrative, revealing its developments only by degrees, is what gives this sharply observed and suspenseful novel its edge - so that when the shocking climax takes place, it is both entirely unexpected and frighteningly plausible' The Times 'Powerfully intelligent... the frightening permeability of borders lies at the centre of this complex and troubling book...
Compressed lyricism generates sudden shifts between transitory events and durable historical patterns, Cross's novel is serious and compelling in equal measure' Guardian 'Taut domestic intrigue, sprung with mistrust and the menacing stealth of hunting...
A subtle interplay of anxieties and tolerances that keep parental treacheries in glaring focus' Financial Times 'I'm a big fan of this author and particularly of this menacing novel, which on the surface could be a family drama but turns into something very nasty indeed.
It's clever, tense and chilling. Highly recommended' Sarah Broadhurst, The Bookseller 'Dark and densely plotted...the plot reaches a violent climax, challenging notions of guilt and the limits of parental responsibility' Daily Mail 'A masterpiece... seductively readable, no matter how much one dreads what may happen next... mercilessly realistic... This is a dangerous novel. Everyone in it has a lot to worry about' Daily Telegraph