"Crime novel or literary novel? Categories really don't matter; readers will find themselves comprehensively gripped". (Independent). "A cracking psychological thriller". (Good Housekeeping). After thirty years at St Oswald's Grammar in North Yorkshire, Latin master Roy Straitley has seen all kinds of boys come and go - the clowns, the rebels, the underdogs, and those he calls his Brodie boys. But every so often there's a boy who doesn't fit the mould. A troublemaker. A boy capable of twisting everything around him. A boy with hidden shadows inside. With insolvency and academic failure looming, a new broom has arrived at the venerable school, bringing Powerpoint, sharp suits and even sixth form girls to the dusty corridors. But while Straitley does his sardonic best to resist this march to the future, a shadow from his past is stirring. A boy who even twenty years on haunts his teacher's dreams. A boy capable of bad things.
"A magnificently plotted and twisty journey to the heart of a 24-year-old crime...darkly humorous...constantly wrongfoots and misdirects...up to a satisfyingly eccentric conclusion." Observer "Slowly, Harris reveals tiny clues, withholding full explanations until the startling denouement. Classy writing, sensitive and moving." The Times "Harris pulls off an impeccable thriller denouement...consistently entertaining." -- John Dugdale Sunday Times "A masterpiece of misdirection." -- Val McDermid "Harris magnificently manages every minute thread of the story, and even makes us laugh along the way ... exquisitely sinister... Part black comedy, part thriller, and totally enjoyable." Daily Mail
Joanne Harris is one of our best-loved and most versatile novelists. She first appeared on the scene with the bestselling Chocolat (made into an Oscar-nominated film with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp), which turned into the sensuous Lansquenet trilogy (with Lollipop Shoes and Peaches for Monsieur le Cure). She has since written acclaimed novels in such diverse genres as fantasy based on Norse myth (Runemarks, Runelight, The Gospel of Loki), and the Malbry cycle of dark psychological thrillers (Gentlemen & Players, Blueeyedboy, and now Different Class). Born in Barnsley, of an English father and a French mother, she spent fifteen years as a teacher before (somewhat reluctantly) becoming a full-time writer. In 2013, she was awarded an MBE. She lives in Yorkshire, plays bass in a band first formed when she was sixteen, works in a shed in her garden, spends far too much time online and occasionally dreams of faking her own death and going to live in Hawaii.