An American foreign-exchange student arrested for murder. A desperate father determined to win her freedom. The brilliant lawyer tasked with her prosecution. And the sphinx-like young man who happens to be her only alibi.
When Lily Hayes arrives in Buenos Aires for her semester abroad, she is enchanted by everything she encounters: the colourful buildings, the street food, the elusive guy next door. Her studious roommate, Katy, is a bit of a bore, but Lily hasn't come to Argentina to hang out with other Americans.
Five weeks later, Katy is found brutally murdered in their shared home, and Lily is the prime suspect. But who is Lily Hayes? It depends on who's asking. As the case takes shape - revealing deceptions, secrets, and suspicious DNA - Lily appears alternatively sinister and guileless through the eyes of those around her.
With mordant wit and keen emotional insight, Jennifer duBois delivers a novel of propulsive psychological suspense and rare moral nuance. Cartwheel will keep you guessing until the final page, and its questions about how well we really know one another - and ourselves - will linger well beyond.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
An American foreign exchange student arrested for murder. Sound familiar?
If you are thinking of the Amanda Knox case, you are on the money - it certainly provides the inspiration for this impressively assured second novel. But the setting is Buenos Aires, not Perugia, and the novel diverges from the Knox case in many significant ways. As for the cartwheel of the title, it refers to the media myth that Knox executed one during her interrogation.
While this has proved to be false, it demonstrates perfectly how easily a single gesture can be imagined and damningly interpreted - as we only too well from the Chamberlain case. An elegant, highly intelligent and psychologically gripping novel.
About the Author
Jennifer duBois was born in Northampton, MA in 1983. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, duBois' work has appeared in Playboy, the Wall Street Journal, The Missouri Review, The Kenyon Review, Narrative and elsewhere. Her first novel, A Partial History of Lost Causes, was published by The Dial Press in 2012, and was honored by the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 program. In her spare time, duBois enjoys reading tales of disaster on Everest and smugly reminding everyone that she has a subscription to the Economist.
Published: 23rd October 2013
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 15.3
Weight (kg): 23.4
Edition Number: 1