Now: Catherine can’t and won’t speak to her husband, children or friends. When her doctor and nurses fail to coax her out of her elective mutism, they embark on an intensive exploration of her fractured past.


They will start with Him. Lucian. Then: Fifteen years before, Catherine was at university when she met the smart, vulnerable, funny Lucian: the love of her life.

But something terrible happens, something Catherine can never speak about without destroying Lucian.

So she disappears without explanation, and shatters his life. Years later, Lucian haunts every one of Catherine’s quiet moments. So when they are unexpectedly reunited, their love reignites with explosive force. But yet again their lives implode.

This time, however, Lucian tries to uncover the real truth of the past, with horrific consequences.


Now: As Catherine moves deeper into the past, into the heart of their love affair, the truth slowly begins to unfurl. But will she be able to reclaim herself in time to save their second chance together? Or has that, too, been lost forever?

Available on
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Lex Coulton

author of Falling Short

Addictive, elegant and pacey writing. Brideshead recalibrated by way of Big Little Lies.

Ruth Hogan

author of The Keeper of Lost Things

What a wonderful debut! It was dark, addictive and ultimately heart breaking.

Sophie Kinsella

author of the Shopaholic series

Gripping and kept me guessing - and so emotionally true.

Francesca Jakobi

author of Bitter

Him is dark, gripping, original and totally heartbreaking. Clare Empson writes like a dream: taut and sophisticated, not a word wasted. I loved this book.

Laura Marshall

author of Friend Request

Gripping, involving, heartbreaking ... really interesting and thought-provoking on the impact of shame and silence.

Elisa Lodato

author of An Unremarkable Body

A compelling and unforgettable novel in which silence speaks louder than words and relationships are not what they seem. I was utterly gripped from the first sentence.

About Clare Empson

Clare Empson worked as a staff writer on national newspapers covering everything from collapsing merchant banks to tea with the late Barbara Cartland (everything pink including the cakes). Eight years ago, she moved to the West Country and founded the arts and lifestyle blog countrycalling.co.uk.

The idyllic setting inspired her first novel, which reveals the darker side of paradise. Clare lives on the Wiltshire/Dorset border with her husband and three children.