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The Turnout

CrimeFest e-Dunnit Awards, 2022

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349012469

Price: £8.99

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A twisting, turning story of revenge and redemption’ STYLIST

It was the three of them. Always the three of them. Until it wasn’t.

Dara and Marie were trained as ballet dancers by their glamorous mother, founder of the Durant School of Dance. After their parents died in a tragic accident nearly a dozen years ago, the sisters took over running the school together with Charlie, Dara’s husband and once their mother’s prized student.
But when a suspicious accident occurs, just at the onset of the school’s annual performance of The Nutcracker – a season of competition, anxiety, and exhilaration – an interloper arrives and threatens their delicate balance.

The instant New York Times bestseller

‘Impossible to put down, creepy and claustrophobic. It’s WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE in ballet shoes’ STEPHEN KING

‘Compulsively readable’ RUTH WARE

‘A book you will not be able to forget’ MARK BILLINGHAM


‘The feeling of menace grows stronger with every page’ GUARDIAN

‘Slow-burning and feverish, with all the intensity of a classic American film noir’ MAIL ON SUNDAY

‘Charged with foreboding, the novel throbs with gothic tension’ IRISH TIMES

‘Dark and juicy and tinged with horror’ NEW YORK TIMES

‘Dark and mesmerising’ HARRIET TYCE

‘This is Megan Abbott working at the absolute height of her talent’ ATTICA LOCKE

‘There’s no one who captures the atmosphere of a tight-knit hothouse world, in all its feverish beauty and brutality, quite like Megan Abbott’ TANA FRENCH


Another great read from best-selling author Megan Abbott
Hello Magazine
This is simply a masterclass in great storytelling and writing, an edgy and unpredictable tale full of nuance about the violence we inflict on others and ourselves
Doug Johnstone, Big Issue
Imagine Black Swan by way of Virginia Andrews' cult Flowers in the Attic and you have some idea of the dark nature of The Turnout ... A twisting, turning story of revenge and redemption
This dark thriller will suck you in right to the final page
Abbott captures the blood, sweat, tears and rivalries behind the apparently effortless grace, to create a contorted and febrile world where pain is "our friend, our lover" and the feeling of menace grows stronger with every page
There's no one who captures the atmosphere of a tight-knit hothouse world, in all its feverish beauty and brutality, quite like Megan Abbott
Tana French (2021)
Compulsively readable
Ruth Ware (2021)
A story so intensely told that it will haunt your dreams
Daily Express, Best Books of 2021
Abbott creates a dark and mesmerising world and, as always, is so brilliant at portraying women and girls and their competition and complexities ... It makes Black Swan look like a children's story
Harriet Tyce, bestselling author of Blood Orange
There is not a writer alive who is better at investigating the tension and threat of violence at the centre of women's lives than Megan Abbott-because no one else is looking at the violence from within women's lives, as opposed to outside threats on trains, planes, in windows, or on dark, shadowy streets. Megan goes into the heart of female spaces and finds the ugly in all that pretty, the dark in all that light, with breath-taking suspense. The Turnout has notes of James M. Cain and Alfred Hitchcock, but it's better because it's so fresh and unexpected, so wholly revelatory. I turned page after page, holding my breath in fear, and also excitement, about what might happen in this run-down ballet school, what blood red might be lurking behind all that pink. This is Megan Abbott working at the absolute height of her talent
Dark and juicy and tinged with horror
New York Times
Intoxicatingly intense, with a frisson of suspense and lurking disquiet throughout, those feelings will linger with you long past the last page
Heat Magazine
Abbott's prose is dazzlingly precise and her portrayal of student rivalries razor-sharp in this taut novel
Megan Abbott writes at the darkest and sharpest cutting edge of psychological fiction. The Turnout is a completely standout novel of perception, mystery and style. It grips, challenges and delivers one of the finest and most disturbing stories you'll read in a very long while. It's also achingly moving. I loved it
Henry Sutton (2021)
All one needs to know about a Megan Abbott book is that it's a Megan Abbott book -- dreamy, sexy, a deep dive into a subculture that has been exhaustively researched. The Turnout is all those things and more, taking you so far into the world of a small ballet school that you feel the characters' aches and pains in your joints, your feet and, most dangerous of all, your heart
Megan Abbott is one of the finest writers working in any genre, anywhere and THE TURNOUT might well be her masterpiece. Nobody else writes so well about the darkness and damage lurking just beneath an elegant and serene surface. Brilliant and breath-taking, this is a book that you will not be able to forget
Mark Billingham (2021)
Abbott has a top-notch ability to reveal the dark undercurrents of women's relationships and sexuality. Her taut, unsettling writing creates tension through the slightest actions and phrases, and keeps the pages turning. This is clever, chilling psychological suspense at its best.
Library Journal (starred review)
Charged with foreboding, the novel throbs with gothic tension
Irish Times
This look at the darker side of the dance world demonstrates why Abbott has few peers at crafting moving stories of secrets and broken lives
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Impossible to put down, creepy and claustrophobic. It's WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE in ballet shoes
Stephen King
Raw, real and compulsively readable. In The Turnout, Megan Abbott does what she does best - combining family tensions with simmering desire and burning professional ambition
Ruth Ware (2021)
This is an extraordinary psychological thriller, that brilliantly delivers its narrative and atmosphere through the taut, damaged bodies of its dancer protagonists. The writing is so pungent, physical and sensuous you feel like you're right there in the room with these obsessive, damaged, seductive characters. It's like Dario Argento's Suspiria performing a pas de deux with Donna Tartt's The Secret History
Keith Stuart, bestselling author of The Boy Made of Blocks (2021)
The Turnout centres on a ballet school ... a hothouse ridden with suppressed hysteria, delineated so convincingly in Abbott's peerless prose that violent death, when it comes, seems not just plausible but inevitable. My thriller of the year
Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph, Best Books of the Year