One of CrimeRead's 10 Best Reissued Mysteries of 2018
In this Edgar Award–winning thriller, a young housewife with two lively daughters and an endlessly crying baby battles domestic chaos as well as growing suspicions of the household's new lodger. Are Louise's fears the product of sleep deprivation, as her unsympathetic husband suggests, or is there really something sinister about the respectable-seeming schoolmistress? During the hours before dawn, Louise suspects, people with a precarious grip on sanity are likeliest to slip over the edge into madness — especially if there's someone ready to give them a push. Without spilling a drop of blood, this psychological thriller transforms everyday events and settings into the extraordinary, evoking an atmosphere of sheer terror. Crime novelist Andrew Taylor hailed author Celia Fremlin as "Britain's equivalent to Patricia Highsmith … her novels are domestic, subtle, penetrating — and quite horribly chilling."
"Fremlin is a major mistress of insight and suspense." — The New York Times
"Highly intelligent entertainment, beautifully written with wit and humor." — Frances Fyfield
"It grips like grim death." — The Spectator
"A classic, lost in plain sight. The Hours Before Dawn is a book that should have a permanent spot within the spate of modern domestic suspense and psychological thriller titles that it inspired." — Criminal Element