A New Novel of Fairy Tales and Deep, Dark Fears: "The Girl in the Red Coat" by Kate Hamer

Mar 22, 2016

On this installment of ST, we speak with the British writer Kate Hamer, whose first novel has recently appeared here in the U.S. to widespread acclaim. "The Girl in the Red Coat Hardcover" was published stateside last month, at which time Amazon named it a Best Book of February 2016. In doing so, a critic for Amazon noted: "It's every parent's nightmare: Beth, a single mother, takes her 8-year-old daughter, Carmel, to a local festival for some fun and frivolity and she vanishes. What follows is an unusual and terrifying journey for them both. Kate Hamer's sophisticated debut...is no ordinary whodunit, nor does it resort to over-the-top prurience to get under your skin. In many ways, this makes it even more chilling, as Hamer masterfully manipulates the reader into anticipating the worst with each (frantically) turned page. But ultimately it's two parallel tales of survival: How does Beth press on in the face of paralyzing shame and worry? How does Carmel keep her wits about her in a frightening and complex situation beyond her comprehension? What gives this novel unexpected power and heart are the ways in which they find to hold onto themselves." And further, from Booklist: "Hamer's dark tale of the lost and found is nearly impossible to put down."