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Sixteen Horses: A Novel (Hardcover)

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“Dark, visceral and disturbing, this highly suspenseful and beautifully written thriller is totally gripping from start to finish. A hugely impressive debut.” —Alex Michaelides, author of The Silent Patient and The Maidens

A literary thriller from stunning new talent Greg Buchanan, Sixteen Horses is a story of enduring guilt, trauma, and punishment, set in a small seaside community the rest of the world has left behind.

In Ilmarsh, England, local police detective Alec Nichols discovers sixteen horses' heads on a farm, each buried with a single eye facing the low winter sun. After Veterinary Forensics expert Cooper Allen travels to the scene, a pathogen is discovered lurking within the soil, and many of those who have come into contact with the corpses grow critically ill.

A series of crimes comes to lightdisappearances, arson, and mutilationsand in the dark days that follow, the town slips into panic and paranoia. Everything is not as it seems. Anyone could be a suspect. And as Cooper finds herself unable to leave town, Alec is stalked by an unseen threat. The two investigators race to uncover the truth behind these frightened and insidious mysteriesno matter the cost.

About the Author


Greg Buchanan was born in 1989 and lives in the Scottish Borders. He studied English at the University of Cambridge and completed a PhD at King’s College London in identification and ethics. He is a graduate of UEA’s Creative Writing MA and in 2019 he was named on Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Sixteen Horses is his first novel.

Praise For…


“Dark, visceral and disturbing, this highly suspenseful and beautifully written thriller is totally gripping from start to finish. A hugely impressive debut.” —Alex Michaelides

“This complex, often gothic tale is definitely an eye-opener.” Publishers Weekly

“Buchanan’s… punctuated prose builds believable tension, and the horror of the climax is properly earned. Here is a literary thriller unafraid to take chances, bending genre rules to its will.” New York Times Book Review

“Original, beautifully written, terrifying and haunting. I won't forget this novel.” —Sophie Hannah

“Poignant, chilling, eerie, and gruesome, Sixteen Horses is a thriller with a literary soul, perfect for fans of Netflix's Dark or BBC’s Top of the Lake. Buchanan impressively balances horror and empathy, showing real evil while also exploring the human cost of economic collapse. A unique, ambitious debut that left me shocked and enthralled.” —Sara Sligar

“Unlike anything else you’ll read this year, Sixteen Horses is a deeply disconcerting ride. Irresistible.” —Val McDermid



Product Details
ISBN: 9781250246660
ISBN-10: 1250246660
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: July 20th, 2021
Pages: 464
Language: English