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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Loving Husband

The Loving Husband

A Novel

Christobel Kent

Sarah Crichton Books



“Be careful, Fran,” the man said quietly. “About what you think you know.”

In a dilapidated farmhouse out in the vast waterlogged plains of the English Fenlands, Fran awakes groggily to her baby’s cries one February night and finds the bed empty beside her. Her husband, Nathan, is gone.

Moving uneasily through the drafty rooms, searching for her husband, Fran soon makes a devastating discovery that upends her marriage and any semblance of safety. As she tries desperately to make sense of what happened to Nathan, Fran is forced to delve dangerously into the undercurrents of his claustrophobic hometown and question how well she knew him in the first place. Fran, increasingly isolated, grows paranoid—but Nathan isn’t the only one hiding something. Though she can’t tell a soul, Fran is shielding a damning secret of her own: a hazy, dreamlike memory from the night of Nathan’s disappearance that might be the key to it all.

From the bestselling author of The Crooked House comes an utterly gripping psychological thriller spanning the traditions of Daphne du Maurier and S. J. Watson. Christobel Kent’s The Loving Husband is spooky and skillfully written, dragging readers deep into the unsettling world of the Fens and into a marriage of half-truths and past lives, where no one can be trusted—especially not your spouse.

Chapter One

The sunlit room existed in another world, where the air smelled of coffee and flowers, where the traffic hummed outside and each house down the street had a tree on the pavement, as far as the eye could see. Fran came out...

Praise for The Loving Husband

"Kent is a champion plotter, using well-placed flashbacks to find interesting characters . . . The novel's slow-building resolution comes silently, engulfing you like quicksand." —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

"With expert pacing, rising tension, revelatory flashbacks and a claustrophobic setting, Kent tells a grim and creepy tale that will inspire readers to continue turning the pages while simultaneously longing for a cleansing shower." —Jay Strafford, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Thriller novels told from an unreliable point of view have been all the rage of late, but they would have to go to some lengths to top The Loving Husband, which takes the plot device to new heights. . . If you like your mysteries served up with a main course of unreliability and a side of deception, you will love this story." —Joe Hartlaub,

"A creepy, addictive read." —Booklist

"An emotionally charged mystery that will keep readers guessing until the final chapter." —Publishers Weekly

"The mystery is a slow-burn but is startlingly effective at this pace. . . a truly chilling, absorbing read." —Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

Christobel Kent

Christobel Kent was born in London and grew up in London and Essex, including a stint on the Essex coast on a Thames barge with three siblings and four stepsiblings, before studying English at Cambridge. She has worked in publishing and as a TEFL teacher, and has lived in Italy, where she set several novels, including The Drowning River and A Murder in Tuscany. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and their five children.

image of Christobel Kento
(c) Charlie Hopkinson

Christobel Kent

Christobel Kent at The Guardian


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