by Margot Livesey
I’m delighted to share my most recent novel, The Boy in the Field, set in and around Oxford, England. Three siblings are walking home from school one September afternoon in 1999 when they find an unconscious boy with stab wounds, lying in a field. They summon help and save his life, but each of their own lives is changed by the crime. Matthew, the oldest, tries to track down the boy’s assailant; Zoe, the middle child, starts looking for romance; and Duncan, the youngest, who’s adopted, begins to search for his birth mother. Meanwhile, Detective Hugh Price — he has almost nothing in common with Oxford’s most famous detective, Inspector Morse — is working away to apprehend the perpetrator. As for the boy, he recovers from his physical injuries, but his deeper injuries only gradually become apparent.
The Boy in the Field opens like a traditional English whodunit — hedges, a body, a detective — and becomes both a mystery and a coming-of-age story. And did I mention that there’s a wonderful dog, Lily, who adopts the family? I hope you enjoy visiting England just before Y2K.
Serialization — releasing a book in sequential installments, often in magazines and newspapers — has been used to build suspense for hundreds of years. Every day over the course of several weeks, two new chapters of Margot Livesey's The Boy in the Field were released here. Serialization took advantage of the book's natural chapter arcs — and helped build the mystery before unraveling it.
All of the chapters are available to read now. Click on the table of contents below to access them, or scroll down the page for a profile piece about the author and brief introductions of each chapter, with wonderful illustrations by Nick Matej.
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