Little Deaths

  • by Emma Flint
  • Narrated by Lauren Fortgang, Graham Halstead
  • 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"A phenomenal achievement." (Jeffery Deaver)
"A gem of a whodunit." (Mary Kubica, author of The Good Girl)
It's 1965 in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, and Ruth Malone - a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress - wakes to discover her two small children, Frankie Jr. and Cindy, have gone missing. Later that day Cindy's body is found in a derelict lot a half mile from her home, strangled. Ten days later Frankie Jr.'s decomposing body is found. Immediately all fingers point to Ruth.
As police investigate the murders, the detritus of Ruth's life is exposed. Seen through the eyes of the cops, the empty bourbon bottles and provocative clothing which litter her apartment, the piles of letters from countless men and Ruth's little black book of phone numbers, make her a drunk, a loose woman - and therefore a bad mother. The lead detective, a strict Catholic who believes women belong in the home, leaps to the obvious conclusion: Facing divorce and a custody battle, Malone took her children's lives.
Pete Wonicke is a rookie tabloid reporter who finagles an assignment to cover the murders. Determined to make his name in the paper, he begins digging into the case. Pete's interest in the story develops into an obsession with Ruth, and he comes to believe there's something more to the woman whom prosecutors, the press, and the public have painted as a promiscuous femme fatale. Did Ruth Malone violently kill her own children, is she a victim of circumstance - or is there something more sinister at play?
Inspired by a true story, Little Deaths, like celebrated novels by Sarah Waters and Megan Abbott, is compelling literary crime fiction that explores the capacity for good and evil in us all.

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What the Critics Say

"Little Deaths is a stunning feat.... Ruth Malone's descent into hell is a riveting tale of bad luck, heartbreak, and prejudice, written with the pace of a thriller and the rich detail of a historical novel." (Jane Casey, author of The Missing)
"Utterly atmospheric and with style to burn, Emma Flint's Little Deaths is a novel that troubles and transfixes from its simmering first pages all the way to its searing final words." (Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me)
"Affecting, achingly beautiful debut.... This stunning novel is less about whodunit than deeper social issues of motherhood, morals, and the kind of rush to judgment that can condemn someone long before the accused sees the inside of a courtroom." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wow, this was boring

Would you try another book from Emma Flint and/or Lauren Fortgang and Graham Halstead ?

The narration was great. The story was just incredibly boring and literally nothing happens for the majority of the book.


Has Little Deaths turned you off from other books in this genre?

If books from this genre are this anticlimactic, then I doubt I will read more. I basically listened to Ruth be miserable, Frank be aloof the entire time, and Pete was just creepy and clearly a novice, but not in an endearing way. Nothing happens in this book. The only thing that peaks interest is the disappearance of the children, and then at the end when we find out who committed the crime. The rest of the story is 9 hours of nothing.


What does Lauren Fortgang and Graham Halstead bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I'm a fan of the narrators. They performed the story well. But the story itself just dragged on and on.


If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Little Deaths?

I would cut all of the dialogue from the characters that serve absolutely no purpose. And I would also cut most of Ruth's wallowing, because it isn't even close to relatable. She may be unlikable, which is fine, but there is no depth to her, even during the portions of the book where we're supposed to be getting a glimpse into her personality and inner demons.


Any additional comments?

Do not recommend. At all.

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- Jamie Robinson

Based on a true story

I bought this after reading an article about the author and, although it's considered a novel, because it's based on the Alice Crimmins story, which I had never heard about before. So well written it leaves a mark.
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- kathy c garvin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-17-2017
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio