The Drowning Lesson

“A dark twisty tale.” - Heat

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The Drowning Lesson – Jane Shemilt
  • 2015 - Penguin
  • ISBN-10: 1405915315
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405915311

The press conference, one year ago

Our home is a crime scene now.

I am in yesterday’s clothes. The clothes in which I kissed Sam goodbye. Then he’d belonged only to us. Now his image will be shared with the world.

We should be grateful.

‘Our son . . . Sam . . .’ My eyes fill with tears, the writing on the paper blurs. ‘Someone took him. Please help us . . .’

I back away from the microphone, the paper falls from my hands.

The anniversary

The Jordan family thought they would return from their gap year abroad enriched, better people, a closer family.

Not minus one child.

A year on, Emma remains haunted by the image of that empty cot, thousands of miles away, the chasm between her and the rest of the family growing with each day that Sam remains missing. Is her son still out there? Will the mystery about what happened that night ever be unravelled?

The Drowning Lesson – Jane Shemilt

“A dark twisty tale.”


“Gripping tale.”

Telegraph, Pick of the Week

“A gripping read about a family whose hopeful adventure turns into a nightmare.”

You Magazine

“Suspenseful, brooding, and with touches of witchcraft - it makes for a perfect blend of horror and thriller.”

Sunday Mirror

“Shemilt specializes in the fictionalization of parental nightmares . . . well written, taut and tense.”

Wendy Holden, Daily Mail

“I enjoyed this book from the first page... Comes with a very enthusiastic recommendation . . . The story is all encompassing and I felt itchy with anticipation as I savoured every page.”

The Book Bag

“The parent's despair is so brilliantly written, you feel every stab of grief. The thrilling ending does not disappoint. A must-read!”

Woman Magazine

International Editions

UK (C'wealth) Penguin – Michael Joseph
Germany Random House - Blanvalet
Hungary General Press
Italy Newton Compton
Russia AST

Awards & Accolades for The Drowning Lesson

  • Bestseller in Italy

Alternative Covers

Stand aside, everyone: the Conservative cowboy builders are back on the job | Marina Hyde

Congratulations to all the winners and shortlistees; this makes such inspiring and joyful reading.

Loved being part of this- so many of many great ideas come out of the best crime dramas. I wait, pen in hand to pounce on them.