Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Vacant Possession

Vacant Possession

Hilary Mantel



Ten years have passed since Muriel Axon was locked away for society's protection, but psychiatric confinement has only increased her malice and ingenuity. At last free, she sets into motion an intricate plan to exact revenge on those who had her put away. Her former social worker, Isabel, and her old neighbors have moved on, but Muriel, with her talent for disguise, will infiltrate their homes and manipulate their lives, until all her enemies are brought together for a gruesome finale. Hilary Mantel's razor-sharp wit animates every page of this darkly comic tale of retribution.

"I wonder who will be the new Poet Laureate?" said Colin Sidney, coming down to breakfast. There was no reply from the other residents at number 2, Buckingham Avenue. He paused on the half-landing, looking out of the...

Praise for Vacant Possession

“Mantel is a master storyteller, and here she's just having a wickedly good time.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“It would be hard to over emphasize the mean pleasure to be found in Vacant Possession.” —Kathryn Harrison, The New York Times

“Mantel imbues her writing with a unique combination of exhileration and dread. . . . She shows us how fiction can lift us into the extraordinary.” —Meg Wolitzer, The Washington Post Book World

“Savage and funny black humour at its best.” —Observer (London)

“Hilary Mantel's wit is wonderfully and startlingly nasty.” —Sunday Times (London)

“Filled with fiish glee . . . Lie back and laugh yourself silly: this is the best s-up for a long, long time.” —New Statesman


Reviews from Goodreads

Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel is the bestselling author of many novels including Wolf Hall, which won the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. Bring Up the Bodies, Book Two of the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy, was also awarded the Man Booker Prize and the Costa Book Award. She is also the author of A Change of Climate, A Place of Greater Safety, Eight Months on Ghazzah Street, An Experiment in Love, The Giant, O'Brien, Fludd, Beyond Black, Every Day Is Mother's Day, and Vacant Possession. She has also written a memoir, Giving Up the Ghost. Mantel was the winner of the Hawthornden Prize, and her reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and the London Review of Books. She lives in England with her husband.

image of Hilary Mantelo
Els Zweerink

Read a New York Times interview


Latest on Facebook