From one of America' s most accomplished and acclaimed fiction writers, a spectacularly riveting novel based on a real-life multiple murder by a con man who preyed on widows-- a story that has haunted Jayne Anne Phillips for more than four decades In Chicago in 1931, Asta Eicher, mother of three, is lonely and despairing, pressed for money after the sudden death of her husband. She begins to receive seductive letters from a chivalrous, elegant man named Harry Powers, who promises to cherish and protect her, ultimately to marry her and to care for her and her children. Weeks later, all four Eichers are dead. Emily Thornhill, one of the few women journalists in the Chicago press, becomes deeply invested in understanding what happened to this beautiful family, particularly to the youngest child, Annabel, an enchanting girl with a precocious imagination and sense of magic. Bold and intrepid, Emily allies herself with a banker who is wracked by guilt for not saving Asta. Emily goes to West Virginia to cover the murder trial and to investigate the story herself, accompanied by a charming and unconventional photographer who is equally drawn to the case. Driven by secrets of their own, the heroic characters in this magnificent tale will stop at nothing to ensure that Powers is convicted. Mesmerizing and deeply moving, Quiet Dell is a tragedy, a love story, and a tour de force of obsession and imagination from one of America' s most celebrated writers.
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"Tandy Cronyn is simply outstanding in her portrayal of this powerful and chilling story based upon the real-life murders of a number of widows, including Asta Eicher and her children, at the hands of serial killer Cornelius Pierson, who preyed on women answering lonely hearts ads in the 1930s. Cronyn expertly builds the story's tension, slowly revealing the anticipation tinged with desperation of Mrs. Eicher as she unknowingly leads her family to their inevitable and terrifying end. Cronyn is equally effective portraying the elegant Emily Thornhill, the Chicago reporter who helped bring Pierson to justice. This is a moving, tragic, complicated story well presented and well written, which gives new depth to cold terror. A.C.P. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"
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