National Book Awards New Writer of the Year
CWA New Blood Dagger
Betty Trask Award
‘Find what you were looking for, Inspector?’
Every day the same question. A different uniform but the same question. They thought Lucia enjoyed being here. They thought that was why she kept coming back. But they were asking the wrong thing. She had found what she was looking for – she had found what she had been sent to discover – but she had found out more besides. The question was what to do about it. The question was whether to do anything at all.
In the depths of a sweltering summer, teacher Samuel Szajkowski walks into his school assembly and opens fire. He kills three pupils and a colleague before turning the gun on himself.
Lucia May, the young policewoman who is assigned the case, is expected to wrap up things quickly and without fuss. The incident is a tragedy that could not have been predicted and Szajkowski, it seems clear, was a psychopath beyond help. Soon, however, Lucia becomes preoccupied with the question no one else seems to want to ask: what drove a mild-mannered, diffident school teacher to commit such a despicable crime?
Piecing together the testimonies of the teachers and children at the school, Lucia discovers an uglier, more complex picture of the months leading up to the shooting. She realises too that she has more in common with Szajkowski than she could have imagined. As the pressure to bury the case builds, she becomes determined to tell the truth about what happened, whatever the consequences . . .
'Three possible candidates for the Granta U.K. class of 2013 are Ned Beauman, Joe Dunthorne and Simon Lelic. Lelic’s three novels are breakneck, intelligent 'social thrillers' that even invade my dream-life' David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas