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Little Deaths: A Novel
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Published:
Hachette Audio 2017
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Available from OverDrive
Description
It's 1965 in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, and Ruth Malone — a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress — wakes to discover her two small children, Frankie Jr. and Cindy, have gone missing. Later that day, Cindy's body is found in a derelict lot a half mile from her home, strangled. Ten days later, Frankie Jr.'s decomposing body is found. Immediately, all fingers point to Ruth.
As police investigate the murders, the detritus of Ruth's life is exposed. Seen through the eyes of the cops, the empty bourbon bottles and provocative clothing which litter her apartment, the piles of letters from countless men and Ruth's little black book of phone numbers, make her a drunk, a loose woman — and therefore a bad mother. The lead detective, a strict Catholic who believes women belong in the home, leaps to the obvious conclusion: facing divorce and a custody battle, Malone took her children's lives.
Pete Wonicke is a rookie tabloid reporter who finagles an assignment to cover the murders. Determined to make his name in the paper, he begins digging into the case. Pete's interest in the story develops into an obsession with Ruth, and he comes to believe there's something more to the woman whom prosecutors, the press, and the public have painted as a promiscuous femme fatale. Did Ruth Malone violently kill her own children, is she a victim of circumstance — or is there something more sinister at play?
Inspired by a true story, Little Deaths, like celebrated novels by Sarah Waters and Megan Abbott, is compelling literary crime fiction that explores the capacity for good and evil in us all.
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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
01/17/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781478940722
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Emma Flint. (2017). Little Deaths: A Novel. Unabridged Hachette Audio.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Emma Flint. 2017. Little Deaths: A Novel. Hachette Audio.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Emma Flint, Little Deaths: A Novel. Hachette Audio, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Emma Flint. Little Deaths: A Novel. Unabridged Hachette Audio, 2017.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:16:51
Date Updated:
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OverDrive Product Record

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Little Deaths
fullDescription
It's 1965 in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, and Ruth Malone — a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress — wakes to discover her two small children, Frankie Jr. and Cindy, have gone missing. Later that day, Cindy's body is found in a derelict lot a half mile from her home, strangled. Ten days later, Frankie Jr.'s decomposing body is found. Immediately, all fingers point to Ruth.
As police investigate the murders, the detritus of Ruth's life is exposed. Seen through the eyes of the cops, the empty bourbon bottles and provocative clothing which litter her apartment, the piles of letters from countless men and Ruth's little black book of phone numbers, make her a drunk, a loose woman — and therefore a bad mother. The lead detective, a strict Catholic who believes women belong in the home, leaps to the obvious conclusion: facing divorce and a custody battle, Malone took her children's lives.
Pete Wonicke is a rookie tabloid reporter who finagles an assignment to cover the murders. Determined to make his name in the paper, he begins digging into the case. Pete's interest in the story develops into an obsession with Ruth, and he comes to believe there's something more to the woman whom prosecutors, the press, and the public have painted as a promiscuous femme fatale. Did Ruth Malone violently kill her own children, is she a victim of circumstance — or is there something more sinister at play?
Inspired by a true story, Little Deaths, like celebrated novels by Sarah Waters and Megan Abbott, is compelling literary crime fiction that explores the capacity for good and evil in us all.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from October 10, 2016
        One of New York City’s classic tabloid crime cases—cocktail waitress Alice Crimmins’s controversial conviction for the 1965 murders of her two young children—becomes the springboard for British author Flint’s affecting, achingly beautiful debut. That Ruth Malone, a separated single mom, leads an active sex life, including trysting with married men while her five-year-old Frankie Jr. and four-year-old Cindy remain home alone, locked in their bedroom, makes her the only suspect police seriously look into after her estranged husband reports the youngsters missing. And yet the deeper that fledgling crime reporter Pete Wonicke digs into the story, the more he becomes convinced that while Ruth may be guilty of many things, killing her kids isn’t among them. Eschewing easy answers or Perry Mason miracles, Flint focuses squarely on Ruth’s stiflingly straitened life in working-class Queens, close enough to gaze at the bewitching lights of Manhattan yet distant enough to feel marooned in another galaxy. This stunning novel is less about whodunit than deeper social issues of motherhood, morals, and the kind of rush to judgment that can condemn someone long before the accused sees the inside of a courtroom. Agent: Jo Unwin, Jo Unwin Literary Agency (U.K.).

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 15, 2017
        One hot summer in New York, 1965, a sexy, troubled cocktail waitress is suspected of murdering her children.Flint's debut novel begins in a prison cell, where Ruth Malone struggles to awaken from a dream of her old apartment building in Queens--putting on her makeup in the bathroom, smoking her first cigarette of the day, "the blast of Gina's radio overhead, Tony Bonelli's heavy tread on the stairs....Nina Lombardo yelling at her kids next door." This is where it happened, where one morning in July she unlatched her children's bedroom door to find them gone. Cindy and Frankie, ages 4 and 5, not in bed with a storybook, not snuggled together under their blue blanket, but disappeared. Within days their bodies are found in a dump and a nearby woods, strangled, decomposed. Having heard the story from Ruth's point of view, the reader is assured of her innocence, though a self-righteous belief in her guilt is shared by many of her neighbors, the media, and, most importantly, the lead detective on the case, who is absolutely determined to "crack that whore." She is believed to be a bad mother, a woman who goes to too many bars, sees too many men, drinks too much booze, a woman who has recently dumped her husband even though he was ready to forgive her for cheating on him. Her only significant ally is a young newspaperman who at first sees the case as the key to launching his career but becomes so obsessed that he quits the paper to try to prove Ruth's innocence. Since we know where it begins, it seems we know how it must turn out--but there are a few surprises left. Sharply rendered literary noir, compelling enough to forgive a slightly left-field resolution.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from October 1, 2016
        Although no formal acknowledgement is made in the text, this compelling crime-fiction debut is clearly based on the Alice Crimmins case. The Medea of Kew Gardens Hills was convicted and served a prison sentence for the 1965 deaths of her children in New York City. Same place, same time: a Queens neighborhood close enough to the World's Fair to hear the drone. Ruth Malone, a single mother working as a cocktail waitress, awakens one morning to discover that her two small children are gone. Later that day, her daughter's body is found in an abandoned lot nearby, and, 10 days after that, her son's badly decomposed body is found not far from the fairgrounds. Ruth becomes the prime suspect. The police have decided she is a bad mother who wanted to get rid of her kids, and she is portrayed as a promiscuous femme fatale in the press. She is eventually convicted, and the reader shares the desolation of her prison stay and learns along with her the chilling truth about the murders. The closing scene is a jaw-dropper, reminiscent of Minette Walters' classic The Sculptress (1993). This is absolutely absorbing literary crime fiction, perfect for fans of Megan Abbott and Sarah Waters. Look forward to more from the gifted Flint, who has revealed in interviews that she has been a reader of true crime since childhood.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from November 1, 2016

        Alluring Ruth Malone lives an unconventional life for a single mother with two young children. In her tiny apartment in 1965 Queens, NY, heavy smoking and hard liquor abound, and her ex-husband is concerned about her succession of lovers. With her short skirts and low necklines, Ruth, a striking cocktail waitress, doesn't present well in the court of public opinion. When her children go missing and are found dead, detectives believe Ruth committed this horrific crime. Only a rookie reporter is convinced that the cops might be on the wrong track. A harsh, overbearing detective builds the case against Ruth, and tension painfully saturates the investigation as inflammatory evidence slowly comes to light. When the story reaches its quiet yet stunning denouement, this strangely sympathetic heroine will earn reluctant readers' respect. Inspired by true events, Flint explores how people respond to extreme circumstances and how quick observers can be to judge. VERDICT This accomplished debut novel will intrigue fans of both true crime and noir fiction. Flint, a technical writer in London, is a welcome addition to the world of literary crime fiction. Readers of Megan Abbott may want to investigate. [See Prepub Alert, 7/11/16.]--Gloria Drake, Oswego P.L. Dist., IL

        Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        August 1, 2016

        In 1965 working-class Queens, NY, two children go missing and are later found strangled not far from home. The police immediately suspect their mother, Ruth Malone, single and working long hours as a cocktail waitress, whose tiny skirts and penchant for bourbon scream "bad mom." Newbie tabloid reporter Pete Wonicke hopes to make his name by covering the case, but the more he digs, the more he doubts what he's being told. A BookExpo America buzz book, this debut psychological thriller was a huge hit at both BEA and ALA.

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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It's 1965 in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, and Ruth Malone — a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress — wakes to discover her two small children, Frankie Jr. and Cindy, have gone missing. Later that day, Cindy's body is found in a derelict lot a half mile from her home, strangled. Ten days later, Frankie Jr.'s decomposing body is found. Immediately, all fingers point to Ruth.
As police investigate the murders, the detritus of Ruth's life is exposed. Seen through the eyes of the cops, the empty bourbon bottles and provocative clothing which litter her apartment, the piles of letters from countless men and Ruth's little black book of phone numbers, make her a drunk, a loose woman — and therefore a bad mother. The lead detective, a strict Catholic who believes women belong in the home, leaps to the obvious conclusion: facing divorce and a custody battle, Malone took her children's lives.
Pete Wonicke is a...
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