cover image Exhibit Alexandra

Exhibit Alexandra

Natasha Bell. Crown, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-5247-6107-3

“A lot of what I’m writing almost definitely never happened. I wasn’t there, obviously. I was missing.” So says Alexandra Southwood, a University of York art history lecturer who has vanished. Early on, British author Bell signals that her provocative debut thriller—centering on Alexandra and Marc, her husband, who refuses to stop searching for her—isn’t going to be just another missing person mystery. But the full extent of her audacity only becomes evident toward the end of this ingenious optical illusion, which may leave some readers gasping in admiration and others angry at being played. The more the devastated Marc learns about the woman to whom he’s been married for years, all the while struggling to comfort and maintain some semblance of normalcy for the couple’s two young daughters, the more he’s forced to face the stomach-churning prospect that he may never really have known her at all. On one level a gripping page-turner and on another a disturbing exploration of identity, art, and decency, Bell’s daring performance can’t be ignored. [em]Agent: Marilia Savvides, Peters Fraser & Dunlop (U.K.). (Mar.) [/em]