Death in Her Hands
Ottessa Moshfegh

Book cover image

Narrated By: Anne Marie Lee

Duration: 7 hours and 51 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

From the Booker-shortlisted author of Eileen, a novel of haunting metaphysical suspense

While on her daily walk with her dog in the nearby woods, our protagonist comes across a note, handwritten and carefully pinned to the ground with stones. Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn't me. Here is her dead body.

Shaky even on her best days, she is also alone, and new to this area, having moved here from her long-time home after the death of her husband, and now deeply alarmed. Her brooding about the note grows quickly into a full-blown obsession, as she explores multiple theories about who Magda was and how she met her fate. Her suppositions begin to find echoes in the real world, and the fog of mystery starts to form into a concrete and menacing shape. But is there either a more innocent explanation for all this, or a much more sinister one – one that strikes closer to home?

In this triumphant blend of horror, suspense, and pitch-black comedy, we must decide whether the stories we tell ourselves guide us closer to the truth or keep us further from it.

© Ottessa Moshfegh 2020 (P) Penguin Audio 2020

Genre

Modern & contemporary fiction, Thriller / suspense fiction, Contemporary horror & ghost stories, Crime & mystery: private investigator / amateur detectives, Crime & mystery: women sleuths

Listen to a sample

A masterclass in suspense.

Economist

Much more than a whodunnit... This is a story about what might happen when a woman takes charge... A glorious visceral mystery... Moshfegh is as wise and wild as Ali Smith or Rebecca Solnit, and as gifted a scribe of nature as Annie Dillard or Thoreau.

The Times

Ottessa Moshfegh's Death in Her Hands is a new kind of murder mystery... The work of a writer who is, like Henry James or Vladimir Nabokov, touched by both genius and cruelty... Like a surgeon, or a serial killer, Moshfegh flenses her characters, and her readers, until all that's left is a void. It's the amused contemplation of that void that gives rise to the dark exhilaration of her work -- its wayward beauty, its comedy, and its horror.

New Yorker

Routinely hailed as one of the most exciting young American authors working today... Her work takes dirty realism and makes it filthier. But it is is also beautiful...the depravity of her material matched by the purity and precision of her prose.

Guardian

Moshfegh is one of the most original and astute young novelists working today.