Chris Whitaker

Books Cathryn Summerhayes, +44 (0)207 393 4281 Email Cathryn Summerhayes

Tall Oaks

book | Fiction | Sep 2016
UK & Comm → Bonnier Publishing

When three-year-old Harry goes missing, the whole of America turns its attention to one small town.

Everyone is eager to help. Everyone is a suspect.

Desperate mother Jess, whose grief is driving her to extreme measures.

Newcomer Jared, with an easy charm and a string of broken hearts in his wake.

Photographer Jerry, who's determined to break away from his controlling mother once and for all.

And, investigating them all, a police chief with a hidden obsession of his own . . .

In Chris Whitaker's brilliant and original debut novel, missing persons, secret identities and dangerous lies abound in a town as idiosyncratic as its inhabitants.


Audio Rights


Katie McGowan manages the translation rights for Tall Oaks

Film Rights


Contact Luke Speed for more information

Translation Rights Sold

Alpha Forlag
Uitgeverij Volt
Piper Verlag
Shueisha Publishing Co
Eksmo Publishers
Natur Och Kultur

This quirky debut entertains and intrigues. 

The Sunday Times

A perpetually fascinating read.


A gripping debut.

Mail on Sunday

This is a brilliant first novel - entertaining, funny and also strangely charming . . . It's actually the best thing I've read in quite a while.

The Literary Shed

A pleasingly unusual mixture of psychological thriller and screwball comedy from a young writer who is clearly not afraid to take risks . . . highly original

The Guardian

It’s rare that a novel can be both brilliantly comic and tragic, and balance the two so effortlessly but this tale does exactly that – with a tense rollercoaster of a story. A fine debut

Jane Craddoc
The Sun

Tall Oaks is a blast. For a debut novel it is extraordinarily self-confident. It is by turns funny, dark, and ultimately comes close to ripping your heart out as Whitaker exposes the secrets of Tall Oaks, California. Read it. Clever, original and not really fair because this is a new writer, and it all seems so effortless. The writing is tight, the plotting supreme. Bravo young Chris Whitaker. Get going on the next one please.

Frost Magazine

Raven Crime Reads Book of the Month

I absolutely loved this debut… what a delight this was, revealing itself as a brilliant cross between Twin Peaks and Fargo, and with some beautifully paced reveals that definitely caught this reader on the hop. It made me smile wryly, laugh out loud and gasp in appreciation throughout, with a colourful cast of characters that Whitaker introduces and pivots between seamlessly, slowly drawing us into the connections between them. There are moments of genuine tension carefully interspersed with warmth and humour, as this band of misfits, for various reasons, go about their daily lives, with the overriding urge to make personal and emotional connections with friends, lovers and relatives. It’s wonderfully plotted, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Highly recommended.

Raven Crime Reads


Anna Book Bel

My mouth went dry, my heart missed a beat. Tall Oaks is a small town but with big secrets, that I loved reading all about the brilliant cast of characters.’ 

I Read Novels

Some of the characters are unforgettable (…) I found this a very enjoyable tale with an interesting mystery to solve

Literary Review

Tall Oaks is an evolving tragedy with an uncompromising moody vibe and remarkable quick wit. Its sharp writing and snappy dialogue channel the undertow of deception to absolute perfection. If you asked me right now to name a book that would make an appearance in my top ten of 2016, without shadow of a doubt THIS would be one of them. Make no mistake, it’s a THUMPINGLY good read.

Little Bookness Lane