A William Morrow Paperback Original
New York Times Bestselling Author
Bestselling author Jennifer McMahon is back with a gut-wrenching mystery about an architect whose troubled mother has been found 25 years after being kidnapped-by a killer who is still on the loose
"One of the brightest new stars of literary suspense."
-Los Angeles Times
The summer of 1985 changed Reggie's life. Thirteen, awkward, and without a father, she finds herself mixed up with her school's outcasts-Charlie, the local detective's son, and Tara, a goth kid who has a mental hold over Reggie and harbors a dark secret. That same summer a serial killer called Neptune begins kidnapping women. He leaves their severed hands on the police department steps and, five days later, displays their bodies around town. Just when Reggie needs her mother Vera-an ex-model with many "boyfriends" and a thirst for gin-the most, Vera's hand is found on the steps. But after five days, there's no body and Neptune disappears.
Now a successful architect who left her hometown behind after that horrific summer, Reggie doesn't trust anyone and lives with few attachments. But when she gets a call from a homeless shelter saying that her mother has been found alive, Reggie must confront the ghosts of her past and find Neptune before he kills again.
With her signature style, Jennifer McMahon portrays the dark side of adolescent friendship and introduces characters who haunt the imagination, along with a disturbing web of secrets, betrayals, and murder.
Jennifer McMahon is the author of Don't Breathe a Word, Dismantled, the New York Times bestseller Island of Lost Girls, and the breakout debut novel Promise Not to Tell. She grew up in suburban Connecticut, and graduated from Goddard College in 1991. Over the years, she has been a house painter, farm worker, paste-up artist, pizza delivery person, homeless shelter staff member, and has worked with mentally ill adults and children in a few different capacities. Currently, she lives in Vermont with her partner, Drea, and their daughter, Zella.
- Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me
"[A] strange and unsettling shocker ... [the story] is informed with the surreal logic of a dream. The disorientation is heightened through alternating sections that shift between past and present. The well-rendered childhood scenes mix painful memories with magical wonder. The contemporary sequences tip into nightmare. With the tale's outcome utterly unforeseeable even as it races along, Don't Breathe a Word leaves you breathless."
- Wall Street Journal
- Boston Globe
- Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Gods in Alabama and Backseat Saints
- Randy Susan Meyers, author of The Murderer's Daughters