When Scott and Linda Gardner hire Julian Sawyer to tutor their troubled teenage son, Brandon, he seems like the answer to a prayer. Capable and brilliant, Julian connects with Brandon in a way neither of his parents can. He also effortlessly helps Linda to salvage a troubled business deal and gives Scott expert advice on his tennis game. Only eleven-year-old Ruby--funny, curious, devoted to Sherlock Holmes--has doubts about the stranger in their midst who has so quickly become like a member of the family. But even the observant Ruby is far from understanding Julian's true designs on the Gardners.
When Scott and Linda Gardner hire Julian Sawyer to tutor their troubled teenage son, Brandon, he seems like the answer to a prayer. Capable and brilliant, Julian connects with Brandon in a way neither of his parents can. He also effortlessly helps Linda to salvage a troubled business deal and gives Scott expert advice on his tennis game. Only eleven-year-old Ruby–funny, curious, devoted to Sherlock Holmes–has doubts about the stranger in their midst who has so quickly become like a member of the family. But even the observant Ruby is far from understanding Julian’s true designs on the Gardners.
For Julian, the Gardners are like specimens in jars, creatures to be studied–and manipulated. Scott is a gambler with no notion of odds, festering in the shadow of his more successful brother. Linda is ambitious, hungry for the cultured stimulation Julian easily provides. Brandon is risking his future late at night in the town woods. And Ruby–well, she’s just a silly little girl. And in that miscalculation lies the Gardner family’s only possible salvation.
“Abrahams is in great form with this psychological thriller.”
– Library Journal (starred review)
“… riveting and scary”
– Toronto Globe and Mail
“… I see why Stephen King calls him “My favorite American suspense novelist.” Abrahams takes an old story – an evil stranger infiltrates the home of an unsuspecting family – and makes it entirely fresh and compelling… The Tutor is one of those books that will have you muttering “Just one more chapter.” at two in the morning.”
– Washington Post Book World (Patrick Anderson)
“… Into this vulnerable menage slithers Julian Sawyer, hired to help Brandon boost his SAT scores. Soon the covertly sociopathic Julian, who fancies himself the auteur of a new art form, is helping all the Gardners cope – even as he plans to turn them into figures in his deadly “living novel.” Peter Abrahams is superb at conveying the thoughts and dialogue of his disparate cast, and ‘The Tutor’ is alive with convincing detail – a ‘living novel’ in the better sense of the phrase. After the shocks of plot have receded, the characters linger in the memory.
– The Wall Street Journal (Tom Nolan)
“… As usual, the author’s ear for the diverse details of everyday life is sharp; indeed, our empathy with these characters’ recognizable quirks cleverly serves as a sort of buffer against the sinister goings-on – until it’s nearly too late. Though all the characters here are deftly drawn (even Zippy, the Gardners’ pooch, demonstrates an endearing personality in a brief, nonspeaking role), one merits special mention: not only is the immensely precocious Ruby Gardner passionate about Sherlock Holmes and anything colored blue or yellow, but she’s wise well beyond her 11 years and almost smart enough to outfox Julian. Put it this way: if ‘The Tutor’ were a TV show, Ruby would be spun off into her own series in a Hollywood minute.”
– Publishers Weekly