The Young Accomplice

Listen to a sample

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

In a quiet Surrey village sits Leventree, an architectural practice set up by idealistic couple Florence and Arthur Mayhood, offering apprenticeships to young offenders after their release. Motivated by his own memories of Borstal, Arthur aims to mentor young adults with a troubled upbringing and give them opportunities to succeed.

Their first protégées are siblings, Joyce and Charlie Savigear, who quickly settle in; but when a dangerous figure from Joyce’s past comes knocking, the Mayhoods’ earnest hopes of doing good turn tragic. Forced into betrayal, Joyce must make a decision that will change her brother’s life and threaten everything the Mayhoods have been trying to build.

A sinister and thrilling story that unpicks the tendrils of power and choice, lies and truth, and dire consequences borne of good intentions.


‘A novelist to watch’ – The Times, on A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better

‘A resounding achievement . . . Rich, beautiful and written by an author of great depth and resource’ – Guardian, on The Ecliptic

Exhilarating, earthy, cerebral, frank and unflinching . . . A masterfully paced and suspenseful read’ – Independent, on The Ecliptic

© Benjamin Wood 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022

Critics Review

  • Britain’s answer to Donna Tartt

    Sunday Times
  • Wood is a seriously talented writer, able to enter the minds of his characters with eerie precision. The Young Accomplice is an involving tale of revenge and responsibility, which, while it devastates, also tells us that new lives can be built among the ashes

  • A British novelist who deserves more attention than he has had . . . Wood blends storytelling punch with literary sensibility . . . The Young Accomplice shows the difference between a book that slides down the surface of things, and one that digs it claws into you and sticks there

    The Times
  • Benjamin Wood is a beautiful writer and this is his best novel yet, both gripping and unputdownable. Like people in Thomas Hardy, his characters surge from the page, and the mystery unfolds with a sureness seldom seen in contemporary British fiction

    Andrew O'Hagan, author of Mayflies
  • His most original [novel] yet . . . The Young Accomplice has already been compared to Thomas Hardy novels and there are echoes of Tess of the d’Urbervilles in the story of a vulnerable young woman whose past catches up with her. Wood is also wonderful on the intricacies of love and architecture as a means of enriching people’s lives. It’s a novel that feels as if it has been imagined with slow and tender care – and I suspect it will be cherished by readers for a long time

    Sunday Times
  • Benjamin Wood is building a sublime body of work. This masterful, suspenseful novel is his best yet. It swallows you up. I love it

    David Whitehouse, author of About A Son

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to get tailored content recommendations, product updates and info on new releases. Your data is your own: we commit to protect your data and respect your privacy.