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Conspiracy, deception and distortion are the fundamental factors in Tom Rob Smith's latest offering.

Set in a remote village in Sweden, Tilde believes that something dark and deeply disturbing operates within the heart of her childhood home, a place now inhabited by her power-hungry next-door neighbour, a corrupt policeman and an unscrupulous doctor.

Eventually committed to a sanatorium by her supposedly loving husband, Tilde must escape to London, where her only son resides. Deception plays out from the start in this intricate, stylish thriller as we are introduced to Daniel, a son who lives far away from his parents both in distance and emotionally.

By using Daniel as a third-party perspective, Smith cleverly engages us as Tilde re-enacts the conspiracy that surrounds her by using a script-type prose, a technique rarely used today.

The depth of Daniel's loyalty to his parents is tested strongly when Tilde accuses her husband of being involved with men who sexually exploit young women, an accusation both he and the reader can neither deny nor justify until the last crucial pages.

Fans of Smith's previous novels will be familiar with his tactic of taking true-life events and subtly spinning them into a suspenseful masterpiece.

With The Farm, Smith not only manages to maintain his incredible feat of creating innovative thrillers, but quite possibly trumps himself with this latest piece.

Jennie Stevens, Waterstones, Argyle Street

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 3, 2015
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