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About Peter Swanson
Peter Swanson is the author of five novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine.
A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife and cat.
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Titles By Peter Swanson
“[A] smartly entertaining reimagining of Agatha Christie’s classic And Then There Were None… Swanson cunningly plays with readers’ heads as we hope so-and-so gets it next.”— Washington Post
If you’re on the list, someone wants you dead.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Eight Perfect Murders comes the heart-pounding story of nine strangers who receive a cryptic list with their names on it—and then begin to die in highly unusual circumstances.
Nine strangers receive a list with their names on it in the mail. Nothing else, just a list of names on a single sheet of paper. None of the nine people know or have ever met the others on the list. They dismiss it as junk mail, a fluke—until very, very bad things begin happening to people on the list.
First, a well-liked old man is drowned on a beach in the small town of Kennewick, Maine. Then, a father is shot in the back while running through his quiet neighborhood in suburban Massachusetts. A frightening pattern is emerging, but what do these nine people have in common? Their professions range from oncology nurse to aspiring actor, and they’re located all over the country. So why are they all on the list, and who sent it?
FBI agent Jessica Winslow, who is on the list herself, is determined to find out. Could there be some dark secret that binds them all together? Or is this the work of a murderous madman? As the mysterious sender stalks these nine strangers, they find themselves constantly looking over their shoulders, wondering who will be crossed off next…
A devious tale of psychological suspense perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train—and is soon to be a major movie directed by Agnieszka Holland.
In a tantalizing set-up reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith’s classic Strangers on a Train… On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that’s going stale and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start—he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit—a contrast that once inflamed their passion, but has now become a cliché.
But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.” After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse. . . .
Back in Boston, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they begin to plot Miranda's demise. But there are a few things about Lily’s past that she hasn’t shared with Ted, namely her experience in the art and craft of murder, a journey that began in her very precocious youth.
Suddenly these co-conspirators are embroiled in a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, one they both cannot survive . . . with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.
New York Times bestseller
“Swanson rips us from one startling plot twist to the next… A true tour de force.” —Lisa Gardner
“[A] multilayered mystery that brims with duplicity, betrayal and revenge.” —USA Today
From the hugely talented author of The Kind Worth Killing comes a chilling tale of psychological suspense and an homage to the thriller genre tailor-made for fans: the story of a bookseller who finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a very clever killer has started using his list of fiction’s most ingenious murders.
Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Deathtrap, A. A. Milne's The Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox's Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain's Double Indemnity, John D. MacDonald's The Drowner, and Donna Tartt's The Secret History.
But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookstore in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. The killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.
To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects . . . and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape.
“Hitchcockian chills and thrills abound in Swanson's latest mystery, a twisty tale of survival and deception. " – O, the Oprah Magazine
A bride’s dream honeymoon becomes a nightmare when a man with whom she’s had a regrettable one-night stand shows up in this electrifying psychological thriller from the acclaimed author of Eight Perfect Murders.
Abigail Baskin never thought she would fall in love with a millionaire. Then she met Bruce Lamb. He’s a good guy, stable, level-headed, kind—a refreshing change from her previous relationships.
But right before the wedding, Abigail has a drunken one-night stand on her bachelorette weekend. She puts the incident—and the sexy guy who wouldn’t give her his real name—out of her mind, and now believes she wants to be with Bruce for the rest of her life. Their honeymoon on a luxurious, secluded island will be the beginning of their blissful lives together.
Then the mysterious stranger suddenly appears—and Abigail’s future life and happiness are turned upside down. He insists that their passionate night was the beginning of something much, much more. Something special. Something real—and he’s tracked her down to prove it.
Does she tell Bruce and ruin their idyllic honeymoon—and possibly their marriage? Or should she handle this psychopathic stalker on her own? To make the situation worse, strange things begin to happen. She sees a terrified woman in the shadows one night, and no one at the resort seems to believe anything is amiss… including her perfect new husband.
An NPR Best Book of the Year
The author of the wildly popular The Kind Worth Killing returns with an electrifying and downright Hitchcockian psychological thriller—as tantalizing as the cinema classics Rear Window and Wait Until Dark—involving a young woman caught in a vise of voyeurism, betrayal, manipulation, and murder.
The danger isn’t all in your head . . .
Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.
But soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own—curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.
When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves . . . until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment—and accidently learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? And what about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself . . . So how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met?
Yet the danger Kate imagines isn’t nearly as twisted and deadly as what’s about to happen. When her every fear becomes very real.
And much, much closer than she thinks.
Told from multiple points of view, Her Every Fear is a scintillating, edgy novel rich with Peter Swanson’s chilling insight into the darkest corners of the human psyche and virtuosic skill for plotting that has propelled him to the highest ranks of suspense, in the tradition of such greats as Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, Patricia Highsmith, and James M. Cain.
Catching a killer is dangerous—especially if he lives next door
From the hugely talented author of The Kind Worth Killing comes an exquisitely chilling tale of a young suburban wife with a history of psychological instability whose fears about her new neighbor could lead them both to murder . . .
Hen and her husband Lloyd have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator and works out of a studio nearby, and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Finally, she’s found some stability and peace.
But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she’s long had a fascination with this unsolved murder—an obsession she doesn’t talk about anymore, but can’t fully shake either.
Could her neighbor, Matthew, be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?
The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he’s planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face to face with Matthew in a dark parking lot, she realizes that he knows she’s been watching him, that she’s really on to him. And that this is the beginning of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape. . .
From the acclaimed author of Her Every Fear and The Kind Worth Killing comes a diabolically clever tale of obsession, revenge, and cold-blooded murder—a sly and brilliant guessing game of a novel in the vein of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Patricia Highsmith.
Harry Ackerson has always considered his stepmother Alice to be sexy and beautiful, in an "otherworldly" way. She has always been kind and attentive, if a little aloof in the last few years.
Days before his college graduation, Alice calls with shocking news. His father is dead and the police think it’s suicide. Devastated, Harry returns to his father’s home in Maine. There, he and Alice will help each other pick up of the pieces of their lives and uncover what happened to his father.
Shortly after he arrives, Harry meets a mysterious young woman named Grace McGowan. Though she claims to be new to the area, Harry begins to suspect that Grace may not be a complete stranger to his family. But she isn’t the only attractive woman taking an interest in Harry. The sensual Alice is also growing closer, coming on to him in an enticing, clearly sexual way.
Mesmerized by these two women, Harry finds himself falling deeper under their spell. Yet the closer he gets to them, the more isolated he feels, disoriented by a growing fear that both women are hiding dangerous—even deadly—secrets . . . and that neither one is telling the truth.
The Girl with a Clock for a Heart is Peter Swanson’s electrifying tale of romantic noir, with shades of Hitchcock and reminiscent of the classic movie Body Heat. It is the story of a man swept into a vortex of irresistible passion and murder when an old love mysteriously reappears.
On an ordinary Friday evening at his favorite Boston tavern, George Foss’s comfortable, predictable life is shattered when a beautiful woman sits down at the bar, a woman who vanished without a trace twenty years ago.
Liana Dector isn’t just an ex-girlfriend, the first love George couldn’t quite forget. She’s also a dangerous enigma and quite possibly a cold-blooded killer wanted by the police. Suddenly, she’s back—and she needs George’s help. Ruthless men believe she stole some money . . . and they will do whatever it takes to get it back.
George knows Liana is trouble. But he can’t say no—he never could—so he makes a choice that will plunge him into a terrifying whirlpool of lies, secrets, betrayal, and murder from which there is no sure escape.
Bold and masterful, full of malicious foreboding and subtle surprises, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart is an addictive, nonstop thriller—an ever-tightening coil of suspense that grips you right up to its electrifying end.
«Per quanto mi riguarda, non mi fido dei narratori più di quanto mi fidi delle persone reali della mia vita.
Nessuno dice mai la verità. Non fino in fondo.»
La passione per i gialli.
L'ossessione per il delitto perfetto.
Se esiste qualcuno in grado di selezionare i migliori "delitti perfetti" della storia della letteratura, omicidi così originali ed elaborati da essere praticamente impossibili da risolvere, quella persona è senz'altro Malcolm Kershaw. Titolare della libreria Old Devils di Boston, specializzata in gialli e thriller, collezionista di romanzi crime classici e moderni, nessuno conosce il genere meglio di lui. E, a dirla tutta, una lista di delitti perfetti Malcolm l'ha stilata. Otto, per l'esattezza, estratti da altrettanti capolavori, da Agatha Christie a Patricia Highsmith a Donna Tartt. L'ha pubblicata sul blog della Old Devils, per attrarre clienti. Non poteva sapere che, a distanza di anni, avrebbe invece condotto l'FBI alla sua porta.
Infatti, in una giornata di neve nel gelido inverno di Boston, Malcolm è in libreria con Nero, il gatto che da tempo vive tra quegli scaffali, quando l'agente Gwen Mulvey si presenta all'improvviso per porgli alcune domande: sta indagando su una serie di omicidi irrisolti e sospetta che un assassino stia imitando le trame di famosi romanzi per compiere il delitto perfetto... i romanzi della lista di Malcolm. Suo malgrado, il libraio inizia così a collaborare con l'agente Mulvey per scoprire chi si nasconda dietro quei crimini inquietanti. Nel frattempo, però, l'uomo si ritrova a ripercorrere un'altra trama, e non è quella di un libro. È la sua vita, e forse è finalmente pronto a raccontarla. Ma, come ci insegnano i migliori gialli, a volte per varcare il confine tra ciò che è reale e ciò che non lo è basta un piccolo passo.
Ocho clásicos de la novela negra. Ocho maneras de matar. Un solo asesino.
«De manera perspicaz e inesperada, Peter Swanson nos arrastra de un giro de la trama al siguiente, hasta que, con la tensión a flor de piel y los nervios disparados, llegamos a la sorprendente conclusión final. Un verdadero tour de force».
Hace quince años, el aficionado a las novelas de misterio Malcolm Kershaw publicó en el blog de la librería en la que entonces trabajaba una lista —que apenas recibió visitas ni comentarios— sobre los que a su juicio eran los más logrados crímenes literarios de la historia. La tituló Ocho asesinatos perfectos e incluía clásicos de varios de los grandes nombres del género negro: Agatha Christie, James M. Cain, Patricia Highsmith...
Por eso Kershaw, ahora viudo y copropietario de una pequeña librería independiente en Boston, es el primer sorprendido cuando una agente del FBI llama a su puerta en un gélido día de febrero, buscando información sobre una macabra serie de asesinatos sin resolver que se parecen inquietantemente a los seleccionados por él en aquella vieja lista...
¿Existe el asesinato perfecto? En este original e inteligente thriller, Peter Swanson desdibuja con mano maestra las fronteras entre la realidad y la ficción, convirtiendo así su apasionante y lúdica trama en un nostálgico homenaje a los más brillantes y acabados crímenes de la literatura detectivesca.