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Once a major reporter for a national newspaper, Catherine Winslow has retreated to the Upper Valley of Vermont to write a household hints column. While out walking during an early spring thaw, she discovers the body of a woman leaning against an apple tree. From the corpse's pink parka, Winslow recognizes her as the latest victim of a serial killer, a woman reported missing weeks before during a blizzard.
When her neighbor, a forensic psychiatrist, is pulled into the investigation, Catherine begins to discover some unexpected connections to the serial murders. One is that the murders might be based on a rare unfinished Wilkie Collins novel that is missing from her personal library. The other is that her much younger lover from a failed affair has unexpectedly resurfaced and is trying to maneuver his way back into her affections.
In CLOUDLAND, Joseph Olshan has written a truly involving thriller with the bones and brain of a serious work of literature, which gives great depth and resonance to the well-wrought thriller plot. This is so difficult an accomplishment that to my knowledge it has been managed only once before in this century, by Bradford Morrow's THE DIVINER'S TALE. CLOUDLAND could also be thought of as a tribute to Wilkie Collins, as much one of Olshan's grandfathers as he is of mine. It's a lovely knockout, this book.
New York Times Bestselling author, Peter Straub
“Cloudland is a beautiful and original novel. Murder, darkness and snow – we immediately felt at home. The depth is painted with precise brushstrokes. The language is as light as snowflakes swirling across a frozen field. The characters are alive, constantly interesting and very cleverly drawn [especially the complicated relation between mother and daughter.] The murder mystery is deep and intricate. It was genuine and moving. As readers, we’d love to linger in this book, but the story forces us forward. This is true quality crime fiction.”
Lars Kepler, 2011 New York Times bestselling author of The Hypnotist
Joseph Olshan's latest novel, Cloudland, captures a neglected part of the Northeast with verve and accuracy. The rural places of Vermont -- away from the ski condos and golf courses which lure the high-end city folks from Boston and New York -- where head in the heavens college professors and dirt-stained farmers mingle on lands that seem barely settled is the setting for a story about savage murder, about misshapen love and about the emotional debts that are carried inside us all. While ostensibly a tale about serial killings in this isolated part of the nation, it probes deeper into the darker and more complex realms of the heart. It is a thriller in the widest sense of the word -- where not only does the reader wonder what happens next, they wonder why it will happen. Written in consistently elegant prose, with memorable psychological acuity, Cloudland is both exciting and compelling and will keep readers turning pages energetically."
New York Times Bestselling author, John Katzenbach
Cloudland is Joseph Olshan's best work since Clara's Heart, a novel of high suspense that's written in prose as lyrical as The Lovely Bones.
New York Times Bestselling author, Steven Gaines
Cloudland is a revelation; the intimacy of Olshan's writing, which he is so well known for, along with the singular voice of his narrator, engenders a kind of haunting suspense found in the best of literary thrillers.
Mitchell Kaplan, National Book Award-winning owner of Books and Books
The Conversion was chosen as a
2009 "Honor Book" by the American Library Association.
"Olshan's novels are novels of great obsession, of transcendent moments of perfect love set against a backdrop of hovering betrayal and death. He works hard to create a realist texture of both mundane and telling details."
The Guardian (London)
Public Television Interview -Watch here
In the February issue of "O" Magazine,
Kate Winslet declares Joseph Olshan
to be one of her favorite writers.
Here's what she says about his novel, The Waterline.
"I read the book a long time ago, but one thing
has stayed with me: the way a trauma
in childhood -- though the memory is so
blurred and disjointed -- can affect us deeply
without our even realizing it."