Natural History

Natural History

How far would you go for your own flesh and blood?

Patrick’s son Charlie has left home in disgrace. His zoologist wife Jane is on a field trip in Zaire and his daughter Jo is engrossed in her studies. So Patrick is left alone to look after the ailing Dvonshire monkey sanctuary that he and Jane took on in a bid to save their marriage. Alone, that is, for the big, panther-like cat that preys around the park, evading capture, lurking in the shadows and in the back of Patrick’s mind as he tries to uncover the truth behind the murder of their oldest female primate.

Patrick’s fears begin to fade. But then one night something happened that is so shocking, so deplorable, that it rips apart everything he ever held to be true – and unleashes a horror he could never have imagined . . .

‘A masterpiece . . . seductively readable . . . dangerous’
Daily Telegraph

‘Neil Cross is an astonishing writer – tautly lyrical, and able at a stroke to fill you with cold, dark fear’
Time Out

Excerpt from Natural History

It was only a dead ape. Patrick had seen dozens, one way or another. He’d seen them die normally, of old age or disease – and heard the war-shrieks as they murdered each other. He’d watched them cannibalize their young.

Download the first chapter of Natural History

Author’s note

After Heartland, my friend (and then publisher) Tim Binding said to me: No more thrillers for a while. Push yourself.

So I pushed myself.

My idea was to do a kind of English John Irving novel; big and rambling and full of incident. In the end, it turned out to be quite the opposite — full of incident, but quite short and structured. Getting from that rambling, rough idea to the compact, multi-layered final draft was the cause of some grief. Read more


UK Publication Details
ISBN: 978-1-41652-279-9
Format: B-Paperback
Pages: 279
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
1st Edition Published: August 2007

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