The Things We Do to Our Friends: A Novel
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER • She’s an outsider desperate to belong, but the cost of entry might be her deepest secret in this intoxicating debut about a clique of dangerously ambitious students, “perfect for fans of dark academia stories like The Secret History and If We Were Villains” (Cosmopolitan).
“One of the best suspense debuts I’ve read in years . . . Heather Darwent delivers one artful tease after another until you are completely lost in this labyrinth of clever women and obsessive friendship.”—Julia Heaberlin, bestselling author of We Are All the Same in the Dark
Edinburgh, Scotland: a moody city of labyrinthine alleyways, oppressive fog, and buried history; the ultimate destination for someone with something to hide. Perfect for Clare, then, who arrives utterly alone and yearning to reinvent herself. And what better place to conceal the secrets of her past than at the university in the heart of the fabled, cobblestoned Old Town?
When Clare meets Tabitha, a charismatic, beautiful, and intimidatingly rich girl from her art history class, she knows she’s destined to become friends with her and her exclusive circle: raffish Samuel, shrewd Ava, and pragmatic Imogen. Clare is immediately drawn into their libertine world of sophisticated dinner parties and summers in France. The new life she always envisioned for herself has seemingly begun.
Then Tabitha reveals a little project she’s been working on, one that she needs Clare’s help with. Even though it goes against everything Clare has tried to repent for. Even though their intimacy begins to darken into codependence. But as Clare starts to realize just what her friends are capable of, it’s already too late. Because they’ve taken the plunge. They’re so close to attaining everything they want. And there’s no going back.
Reimagining the classic themes of obsession and ambition with an original and sinister edge, The Things We Do to Our Friends is a seductive thriller about the toxic battle between those who have and those who covet—between the desire to truly belong and the danger of being truly known.
Praise for The Things We Do to Our Friends: A Novel
“Quick, smart, and satisfying.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[A] hair-raising debut.”—PopSugar
“Darwent has a great career as a thriller writer ahead of her.”—Sunday Times
“[A] tantalizingly sinister debut thriller . . . Readers will be on the edge of their seats with this gripping story of codependency and obsession, and fans of Kate Lowe’s The Furies and J.T. Ellison’s Good Girls Lie will devour this—and eagerly await more from Darwent.”—Shelf Awareness
“Perfect for fans of dark academia stories like The Secret History and If We Were Villains.”—Cosmopolitan
“Clare, an impoverished art history student, is taken under the wing of the glamorous, slightly alarming Tabitha and her friends Imogen and Ava. What they want with Clare (who has her own reasons for keeping a low profile) is gradually shown to be a grisly program of revenge and profit. Such a narrative depends on carefully measured reveals, portents and hints. . . . The plot takes on ever more convoluted turns and the relationships between the girls fracture under the weight of secrecy.”—Financial Times
“Dark and gripping. . . a compulsive tale of feminist revenge, toxic friendships, and deadly secrets.”—The Independent
“The Things We Do to Our Friends is one of the best suspense debuts I’ve read in years. Heather Darwent’s prose is startlingly lovely, like fine, dark silk shivering on your skin. She delivers one artful tease after another until you are completely lost in this labyrinth of clever women and obsessive friendship.”—Julia Heaberlin, bestselling author of We Are All the Same in the Dark
“A heady, tense, intoxicating tale that lurches between the miseries of obsession and the thrills of revenge.”—Elisabeth Thomas, author of Catherine House
“A mesmerizing tale of obsessive friendship . . . dark, twisted, and deliciously menacing. I loved everything about it.”—Emma Rous, bestselling author of The Au Pair
“Menacing and suspenseful with drippings of Donna Tartt.”—Victoria Selman, author of Blood for Blood
“A brilliantly unsettling and memorable protagonist.”—Rosemary Hennigan, author of Blood for Blood
“Smart, sophisticated, seductive, The Things We Do to Our Friends seamlessly blends Gone Girl and Promising Young Woman.”—S. J. Watson, author of Before I Go to Sleep
“Compelling, twisty and surprising, with an intriguing and complex heroine.”—Phoebe Wynne, author of Madam
“What a book. Power, privilege and the most toxic of friendships. All set against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh. Stunningly written. Thriller fans, run don't walk to get this when it comes out in January. It's a must read.”—Carys Jones, author of The List