The Tutor by Peter Abrahams

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Master of psychological suspense Peter Abrahams returns with an ingenious tale of an ordinary family that unknowingly invites the agent of their destruction into their own home.

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.

In The Tutor, Peter Abrahams creates a living, breathing portrait of an American family, their town, their secrets, their dreams—and a portrait just as compelling of the menace they welcome into their home. It is his most chilling, suspenseful novel to date.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Peter Abrahams

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Peter Abrahams ( has written many books for kids, adults, and teens. Down the Rabbit Hole, the first book in his New York Times bestselling Echo Falls series, won an Agatha Award and was an Edgar Award nominee, and his novel Reality Check won the 2010 Edgar Award for best young adult mystery novel. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Chet & Bernie mysteries under the pen name Spencer Quinn. Peter lives in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Published June 25, 2002 by Ballantine Books. 384 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Tutor

Kirkus Reviews

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But never fear, the charming Ruby is afoot, determined to learn exactly what Julian is up to, and, in a predictable close, Julian responds with sadistic, destructive violence.

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Publishers Weekly

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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 and yello...

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Book Reporter

When she begins to sense that Sawyer is going to turn the family's secrets against them, she finds, quite quickly, that the member of the family most in danger is herself.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Tutor

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