Project Description

The Safe Place

by Anna Downes

Available July 14, 2020

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Superbly tense and oozing with atmosphere, Anna Downes’s debut, The Safe Place, is the perfect summer suspense, with the modern gothic feel of Ruth Ware and the morally complex family dynamics of Lisa Jewell.

Welcome to paradise…will you ever be able to leave?

Emily is a mess.

Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable day.

Emily is desperate.

Scott Denny, a successful and charismatic CEO, has a problem that neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can fix. Until he meets Emily.

Emily is perfect.

Scott offers Emily a summer job as a housekeeper on his remote, beautiful French estate. Enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and his eccentric young daughter, Aurelia, Emily falls headlong into this oasis of wine-soaked days by the pool. But soon Emily realizes that Scott and Nina are hiding dangerous secrets, and if she doesn’t play along, the consequences could be deadly.

Praise for You and Me and Us

A Frolic “Most Anticipated Book of Summer 2020”

The Safe Place is such a rare thing―a claustrophobic, addictive thriller that lets you actually feel for all of the characters involved. Anna Downes has such skill in combining the heart-in-mouth feeling that everything is building to a disaster with genuine emotion. I was right behind her as she chose this big change in her life, and in a strange way, right behind Scott and Nina, too, whose stories were heartbreaking.”―Gytha Lodge, bestselling author of She Lies in Wait

The Safe Place is a brilliantly atmospheric novel that keeps you equally gripped and unsettled from page one. Starkly original and with an alarmingly plausible premise, this is destined to be a bestseller.”―J.P. Pomare, bestselling author of Call Me Evie

The Safe Place is a dark and wonderful debut that lulls you in with beautiful prose and complex, believable characters, then beats you over the head with a killer plot and a thrilling climax. It’s the kind of book you race through as quickly as you can so you can start it again. Everyone will be talking about this book!”―Christian White, internationally bestselling author of The Nowhere Child and The Wife and the Widow

“The tension ratchets up and up in this beautifully paced thriller―an outstanding debut, populated by complex and sympathetic characters. You’ll be thinking about them long after you’ve finished reading. Destined to be a book club favorite.”―Chris Hammer, international bestselling author of Scrublands

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Downes was born and raised in Sheffield, UK, but now lives just north of Sydney, Australia with her husband and two children. She worked as an actress before turning her attention to writing and appeared in BBC TV shows such as Eastenders, Casualty, Holby City, and Dalziel and Pascoe, as well as a long-running stage production of “The Dresser” in London’s West End. She has degrees from both Manchester University (Drama) and RADA (Acting). She has been most recently published in the Zodiac Literary Review (US, 2017), shortlisted for the Sydney Writers Room Short Story Prize (2017) and longlisted for the Margaret River Short Story Competition (2018). The Safe Place was inspired by Anna’s experiences working as a live-in housekeeper on a remote French estate in 2009-10.