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The Disinvited Guest: A Novel (Paperback)
From two-time Mary Higgins Clark Award–winning author Carol Goodman comes a new mystery, about a group of friends isolated on a remote island with a history of foul play.
"Carol Goodman is a brilliant writer, and she shines here.” —Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author
Lucy Harper still has traumatic memories and lingering health problems from the 2020 pandemic. So, when a new virus surfaces years later, she and her husband, Reed, seek refuge on his family’s private island off the coast of Maine. Ostensibly safely sequestered with their five closest friends and family, Lucy should feel at ease. So why does she feel the weight of the island’s dark history pushing down on the group?
As Lucy uncovers Reed’s family secrets and the island’s history as a quarantine hospital for typhus patients, she becomes obsessed with the past and feels her own grip on reality slipping. Tempers flare, strange signs appear in the woods, and accidents turn deadly. Is the island haunted by the dead? Or is someone amongst the living taking their revenge?
About the Author
Carol Goodman is the critically acclaimed author of fourteen novels, including The Lake of Dead Languages and The Seduction of Water, which won the 2003 Hammett Prize. Her books have been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family, and teaches writing and literature at the New School and SUNY New Paltz.
“Goodman, a master genre-blender, has integrated elements of Mary Roberts Rinehart’s 'had-I-but-known' gambit and Agatha Christie’s 'alone-on-an-island' theme to come up with a real winner.” — Booklist (starred review)
“This smooth cocktail of refreshingly chilly suspense is sure to win [Goodman] new fans.” — Publishers Weekly
“The Disinvited Guest is a tense, fever dream of a thriller in an extraordinary, atmospheric setting, gripping from first page to last. In a world under attack from a new virus, seven friends take refuge on a private, fog-drenched island where memories are both long and unreliable, illness lurks, the terrain is treacherous and even the island’s history has claws. Carol Goodman is a brilliant writer, and she shines here. Loved it.” — Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author of The Long Weekend
“Goodman creates a constant sense of tension, uncertainty, and ever-shifting suspicions in the reader. Her characters are complex. Deeply flawed, yet mostly likeable, they feel like people one might actually meet.” — The Big Thrill
"Carol Goodman’s The Stranger Behind You is at once a ripped-from-the-headlines thriller, a powerful meditation on the deep bonds and power of female friendship, and a colorful glimpse of New York City old and new. In a twisting, mesmerizing story that is as beautifuly written as it is utterly propulsive, Goodman weaves a dream that blends the past and the present, takes us deep into the hearts and souls of her characters, and keeps us breathlessly turning the pages right to the shocking and poignant end. I absolutely loved this layered and moving novel!” — Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Confessions on the 7:45
“The Stranger Behind You is a captivating exploration of sexual harassment, friendship, ambition, and how women join together to overcome trauma. It is as classic as it is timely, as heartbreaking as it is suspenseful. Stunning. I couldn’t put it down.” — Danielle Trussoni, New York Times bestselling author of Angelology and The Ancestor
“[A] superior thriller…The plot takes many terrifying twists and turns en route to the surprising climax. Those with a taste for the gothic will be richly rewarded.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Stranger Behind You
“A mesmerizing narrative that culminates in a poignant ending to a brilliant journey. Gothic? Note the phantom lye and bleach stench and wait for it! Make sure fans of Shari Lapena and Alison Gaylin get their hands on this one.” — Booklist on The Stranger Behind You
“The final third of the book is a real rollercoaster ride…Goodman saves some great plot twists for the final pages, including a big one that I never saw coming—the kind of surprise that will make you want to go back and reread it.” — BookReporter.com on The Stranger Behind You
“Goodman has a real talent for the gothic, and her fondness for haunted houses and creepy strangers enhances the spooky atmosphere. A virus is a ghost too.” — CrimeReads