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Clémence Michallon Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Quiet Tenant (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Clémence Michallon
Clemence Michallon was born and grew up near Paris. She studied journalism at City University of London, got her master’s in Journalism from Columbia University.

She started writing for The Independence in 2018. Her features and essays have covered literature, celebrity culture, and true crime. She moved to New York City in 2014 and later became a US citizen.

For “The Quiet Tenant”, the inspiration came because she spent April of 2020 living in a house upstate with her husband’s family. Clemence was grateful to be there, however she was also struck by all of the disruption that they were experiencing. After so many years of having their routines dictated by the rhythm of their respective jobs and commutes, they were suddenly spending so much more time together, without ever having a reprieve. She found this fascinating. While we know what our loved ones do for a living, however how much do we truly know about their day-to-day activities?

It got her pondering about how our routines can get disrupted, and what the implications of these disruptions may just be. Like, for example, somebody had this dark secret that they’d been able to keep hidden from their own family since they were never in close proximity during the day. Then, all of a sudden, they were no longer apart (which was early 2020 in a nutshell). It had all the makings of a novel.

Clemence began playing around with a few scenarios in her head, and eventually landed on a serial killer that keeps somebody captive, unbeknownst to her family, thanks to the setup of his property. However he then has to move, and as a result of the move, his captive inches closer, getting somewhat more adjacent to his family and his life. To Clemence, there was something so irresistible about this narrative of worlds colliding.

Rachel’s was the first perspective, in the first person present tense. It was essential and gripping. If there is a point of view in the novel that can’t be removed from the novel, then it’s hers. But it’s limiting, since you cannot always be in the shed with her. And one of the big things she wanted to explore further was Aidan’s duality. At times, when we talk about somebody’s double life, we treat the violent and cruel life as their real one. She was hoping to interrogate why we would do that.

She wrote a version of the novel knowing that she would add in Aidan’s previous victims later on. She believes that was another perspective that none of the other characters would have. And it’s the true crime podcast part of this story.

Clemence finds it a joyful yet rare event when she actually does get inspired. Most days, she will sit down and write because she must finish a first draft in order to get to the part that she enjoys the most. Revisions.

But having said that, she tries to do better at noticing what makes her feel creative. Allowing her mind wander while listening to music, and often while walking her dog, is a pretty big one for her as well.

She also makes use of the Notes app. When inspiration does happen, it is not that much that it will push her to sit down and write on her laptop immediately, however she will get ideas for lines of dialogue, or tiny bits of insight into some character’s motivations and mindset. She’ll write these down as quickly as possible.

“The Quiet Tenant” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2023. Aidan Thomas is a hard working family man and is a somewhat beloved figure in the tiny upstate New York town where he lives. He is the sort of man that always lends a hand and has got a good word for everybody. However Aidan has got a dark secret that he has been keeping from everybody in town and those that are closest to him. He is a serial killer and kidnapper. Aidan has murdered eight women now and there is a ninth that he has earmarked for death. Rachel. Imprisoned in a backyard shed, and fearing for her life.

Aidan’s wife dies, he and Cecilia (his thirteen year old daughter) are forced to move. Aidan has got no choice but to take Rachel along for the ride, and introduces her to Cecilia as a “family friend” that needs a place to stay. Aidan is betting on Rachel, after five years of captivity, being far too brainwashed and fearful to try and escape. However Rachel’s a survivor and fighter, and recognizes that Cecilia may just be the lifeline that she has been waiting for all these years.

While Rachel continues to test the boundaries of her new living arrangement, she starts forming a tenuous connection with Cecilia. And when Emily, this local restaurant owner, develops a crush on the handsome widower, she finds she’s being drawn into Cecilia and Rachel’s orbit, getting dangerously close to learn Aidan’s secret.

“The Quiet Tenant”, told from the points of view of Emily, Rachel, and Cecilia, explores the psychological impact of Aidan’s crimes on each of the women in his life, and the bonds between these women which give them the strength to fight back. Both an astute study of survival, trauma, and the dynamics of power, and a searing thriller, this novel is an electrifying debut thriller novel by a major talent.

Clemence has managed to re-imagine the serial killer novel, delivering all of the psychological tension and expected suspense, but also offering a story about women, the ones that didn’t know about the evil lurking within, the ones that tried placating or fight yet still perished, and the ones that may survive. This is a spellbinding Trojan horse of a read, bracing and beguiling. At its seeming center are a dangerous man and his unforgivable crimes, however in Clemence’s nimble hands, the book quickly reveals itself to be this story of female cunning, strength, depth, and power.

The tension in this novel grips right from the very first page. The book’s emotional intensity never lets you go, keeping a hold of you until the end. The novel seethes with male aggression and anger yet its beating heart is about women’s strength and their ability to survive.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Clémence Michallon

2 Responses to “Clémence Michallon”

  1. Helen Pietchel: 4 months ago

    One of the best books I have ever read. It had me from chapter 1. I hope she will have many more in the future.

  2. JUDITH TOMLINSON: 5 months ago

    This is one of the best books I have listened to in quite a long time. It is wonderfully suspenseful. It leaves you so tense and waiting for the ending! I hope she may have more books in the future.


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