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Jane Shemilt Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Daughter (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Drowning Lesson (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
How Far We Fall (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Playground (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Little Friends (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jane Shemilt is a bestselling and internationally acclaimed author of psychological thrillers and mystery novels. She came onto the scene with a bang when “Daughter” her debut novel was the fastest-selling debut in the year it was published. It was nominated for an Edgar, the Lucy Cavendish award, and was a Richard and Judy pick. By 2020 she had more than five titles with “How Far We Fall” her third novel optioned to be adapted into a TV series by Twelve Town. While Shemilt is a trained GP, she decided to go back to school and graduated from Bristol University with a diploma in creative writing while still practicing as a doctor. She managed it all since she attended the classes on Tuesday evenings and could work her normal rounds in surgery during the day. While she initially thought that he would have to pick between creative writing and medicine, she soon found that the two dovetailed nicely and opened up a new world for her as a writer-doctor. She began to listen better to the stories her patients told and by connecting with them, she found things that would inspire her novels. Later on, she enrolled for a master’s in creative writing at Bath University which proved more hectic than her diploma as she had to read a lot, write and also provide feedback to the teacher. It was very taxing and since she had practiced medicine for quite a while and often found herself loving to spend more time writing, she thought she should take a plunge into the unknown world of writing. She quit her general practice and by 2014 she had published her first novel “Daughter.”

Jane Shemilt’s novels are inspired by her background in medicine and psychology. She went to college at London University, where she studied Psychology and graduated from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine with honors. She then began working as a general practitioner before studying creative writing at diploma and master’s levels. When she was in school, her favorite subject was English Literature. As such, she wanted to study English when she went to college even though her gap year in Africa and having come from a medical family compelled her to study medicine. While she ultimately studied and started practicing medicine, she continued reading and came back to writing after several years of practice and with five children to boot. Aside from finding inspiration from the stories of her patients, she has also found a lot of inspiration from “Macbeth” by Shakespeare. She found the themes of betrayal and ambition compelling and was particularly interested in how the author conveyed the humanity of Macbeth the lead. She would use similar aspects when she was writing her debut novel “Daughter.” She has also found inspiration for her novels from neurosurgery, which is a world where Steve Gill her husband works as a consultant.

When Shemilt is not writing her novels, she can be found walking or reading with the latter something she has done all her life and throughout her days in medicine when she found sleep hard to come by after a later in call session or when she was studying for exams. Jane has said that walking in the open green spaces of the city or the countryside makes it easier to shut off the world and let her ideas for character or a story percolate. She currently lives with her Professor of Neurosurgery husband Steve Gill in Bristol and their five children.

Jane Shemilt’s debut novel “Daughter” is the intriguing story of Jenny Malcolm that seems to have the perfect family. She is a doctor and works long hours at the hospital before coming back home to Ted her neurosurgeon husband and her three teenage children. But the family she treasures so much is about to be fractured when Naomi her youngest daughter disappears. In the early days, she was full of hope but as the days turn into months, Jenny finds out a lot of disturbing truths about not only her missing daughter but also her family. She begins to question if she really knew them when revelations about drug abuse and infidelity come to light. A year after their daughter goes missing, the family is torn apart even further when Ted and Jenny separate which means that she can no longer spend as much time with her twin boys. Jenny has never given up hope of finding Naomi her daughter but also tries to move on with her life. She is convinced that the key to rebuilding her broken family lays with finding out what happened to Naomi until she learns about a devastating and sad sequence of events that resulted in the disappearance of her beloved daughter. At its core, it is a novel about how secrets can destroy families.

“The Drowning Lesson” by Jane Shelmit introduces Emma and Adam who are two successful medics who live with their daughters Zoe and Alice in London. When Adam was offered an opportunity to research in Botswana, he wants to go with his family though Emma does not think it is a good idea at first. Since she was a child, she had always planned to make a success of herself and make her widowed father proud. She has so far been unable to get away from the constant ambition though she is a highly successful physician. A lot of the time she feels like she is in competition with Adam and resents anything that may reduce what she thinks is her edge in her medical practice. While she has concerns about Alice her daughter that she has voiced to her husband, she had continued pursuing her path on becoming the best doctor she can be. However, an unlikely friendship with Megan who is Adam’s secretary could change her mind about Adam’s suggestion. Megan had lived in Africa for much of her childhood and tells her how beautiful it is. The discovery that she is pregnant is what makes the decision for her and she follows her husband and the children to Africa. The story goes forwards and backward in Botswana and London, and we get to know the dynamics of the family and what makes each member tick.

Jane Shemilt’s novel How Far We Fall is a thrilling study of a marriage consumed by revenge and ambition. Beth believed she had a chance to banish the past and start life anew when she met Albie. He is a young, talented, and ambitious neurosurgeon and she believes they have a perfect marriage even though he has no idea of her past. He is unaware of the fact that Beth had once upon a time been in an illicit affair with Ted who is the boss that has been helping him climb the ladder at work. The end of the affair may have some distressing consequences for the future they have been trying to build. As such when Ted starts turning on Albie Beth becomes afraid that everything she had could come crashing down. But she has an ace up her sleeve she believes will satisfy her desire for revenge, Albie’s ambitions while keeping her secret and marriage safe. But how far will the coming fall take them? It is a compelling and tense novel that has been referred to as a modern Macbeth.

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