The Truants by Kate Weinberg
(Bloomsbury, 2019)

The Truants

by Kate Weinberg

Where do I find Crime?’

Crime doesn’t have its own section,’ said the librarian without looking up, ‘it’s all under fiction.’

In this seductive coming-of-age debut, Jess Walker, a young and uninitiated first year student, falls in love with two great story-tellers. One, Alec, a journalist in exile, the other, Lorna, a charismatic literature professor. Starting out under the flat grey skies of an east Anglian university campus and ending up on an idyllic Mediterranean island, The Truants is about a group of clever and eccentric misfits who yearn to break the rules. As Jess’ experience of infatuation and betrayal, disappearance and loss gives way to a breathless search for the truth, she finds herself detective in a twisted crime of the heart. Unsettling, challenging, surprisingly funny and beautifully written, The Truants is a compulsively readable literary debut with a twist – and a dead body to boot.


This is a remarkably assured debut, deftly plotted and with vivid, compelling characters [that leapt off the page]. I had no idea where it was going to end up - but I knew I would be satisfied, and I was. I look forward to seeing what Kate Weinberg writes next”
- Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You
One of the best books I have read in… forever. I fell in love with these characters and am still mourning that I don’t get to live in their world anymore. Kate’s writing is like a wickedly brilliant Donna Tartt, Agatha Chrisite and Lianne Moriarty all mixed into one. Pick up a copy of The Truants and I can promise you that you won’t be able to put it down until you reach the last page. This book is nothing but absolutely brilliant from beginning to end”
- Scarlett Curtis, author of Feminists Don't Wear Pink (and Other Lies)
The Truants teases, seduces and thrills but ultimately it’s about the best kind of love affair - the freedom to be yourself. So absorbing I am cross I had to finish the book!”
- Miranda Hart
The Truants is a deeply affecting, artfully written and entirely gripping story. It evokes university life as seen through the eyes of one of modern British literature's most appealing heroines, and her gradual awakening to the complexity, deceitfulness and amorality of the adult world. The novel combines the best elements of a crime thriller, a campus novel, a love story and a psychological study. It is always beautifully and surprisingly written, has a perfect sense of plot and is consistently clever. Weinberg is a major talent.”
- Alain de Botton
Weinberg weaves intrigue worthy of Agatha Christie - you'll love getting lost in The Truants' web of mystery, desire, and deceit.”
- M. L. Rio, author of If We Were Villains
A mesmerizing novel of infatuation and betrayal, reminiscent of Muriel Spark and Donna Tartt. Kate Weinberg makes a stunning debut!”
- Carol Goodman, author of The Lake of Dead Languages and The Night Visitors
Kate Weinberg’s gripping and luminous debut lays bare the lengths to which we will go to feel seen, even when this means being blind to the glaring faults of others ... At once thrilling and heart breaking, The Truants is a novel that beautifully captures how easy it is to wound those we love and be wounded by them, and the long, anguished road to forgiveness that follows.”
- Meghan MacLean Weir, author of The Book of Essie
One of the standout books of the summer.”
- Stylist
Weinberg has written one of the best thriller debuts in recent years, with all the cleverness of Ruth Ware (and, yes, even Christie herself) and a dash of Donna Tartt's edgy darkness.”
- Kirkus, Starred Review
With intrigue sparking throughout, Weinberg's immensely compelling debut novel explores the years-long reverberations of a fractured friend group and echoes Donna Tartt's The Secret History, Tom Wolfe's I Am Charlotte Simmons, Richard Russo's Straight Man, and Katie Lowe's The Furies. The mystery at the novel's core befits Agatha Christie [and] unravels at a nearly perfect pace. . . This slow burn of a novel explores the headiness of favoritism and the danger in meeting one's heroes.”
- Booklist, starred review