A professor’s life is turned upside down when he takes in his charming, wildly dangerous nephew, whose wealthy parents have just died under mysterious circumstances, in this propulsive, edge-of-your-seat debut psychological thriller.

“An absolute page-turner . . . I read it in a single sitting.”—Miranda Cowley Heller, bestselling author of The Paper Palace
 
The cleverest psychopaths hide in plain sight.

Gil is living a quiet life as a creative writing professor in a bucolic Vermont town, when he receives some shocking news: His sister and her husband have been killed in a car accident, and their only son is coming to live with him and his family.
 
Gil and his wife are apprehensive about taking in seventeen-year-old Matthew. Yes, he has just lost both his parents, but they haven’t seen him in seven years—and the last time the families were together, Matthew lured their young daughter into a terrifying, life-threatening situation. Since that incident, Gil has been estranged from his sister and her flashy, wealthy banker husband. 

Now Matthew is their charge, living under their roof.
 
The boy seems charming, smart, and urbane, if strangely unaffected by his parents’ deaths. Gil hopes they can put the past behind them, though he’s surprised when Matthew signs up for his creative writing class. Then Matthew begins turning in chilling stories about the imagined deaths of Gil’s family and his own parents. Bewildered and panicked, Gil ultimately decides he must take matters into his own hands—before life imitates art.
 
Told in limber, mesmerizing prose, A Flaw in the Design is a twisting novel of suspense that brilliantly explores the tensions surrounding class, family, and the drive to control one’s own story.
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