Sophie Radice


The Henry Experiment is a nail-biting domestic thriller in which motherly Anna pits herself against the weird and possiby dangerous Professor Henderson, who believes that boys should be toughened up from the age of seven. Caught in the middle is the professor's son Henry who is befriended and protected by Anna as he carries out his father’s increasingly hard demands. The professor gives his account in emails which descend from academic theory to self-pity and self-revalation. The final acts played out on the Heath are tense and terrifying.

A smart, compelling literary thriller that asks big questions about our current attitudes to family and childhood.
— Maggie O’Farrell, novelist

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About this book

When Anna finds a little barefoot boy in a yellow mac on Hampstead Heath, she offers to walk him home. Expecting gratitude from his parents, she is surprised to be met with hostility.

So begins an escalating battle of wills between Henry’s academic father who believes that today’s children are bubble-wrapped and that boys must be trained for physical freedom and splendour, and maternal Anna who becomes increasingly worried by Henry’s plight as his trials begin. Anna, who was always a bit over-protective with her own, now grown-up children, fears for Henry and keeps a watchful eye on him.

The tension and suspense mount as the challenges designed to toughen up Henry become ever more dangerous and Anna steps in to secretly help him. Despite unsympathetic pleas from her own family to stop meddling, she refuses to abandon the little boy and follows him through to the terrifying climax.

ISBN: 978-0-9559618-9-2
Published: February 2012