By Lisa Unger
Crown, Hardcover, 9780307465207, 384pp.
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
A shattering new thriller about three women, strangers, on a heart-wrenching collision course none of them could have seen coming.
Long after anyone expected Kate to do anything with her life, she did. Using the journals left behind by her aunt and grandmother, she wrote a novel based on a very real generation-old love story that ended in tragedy. On the other side of town, Emily is about to set fire to her life. She’s in a dead-end job and is involved with the wrong man; she can feel herself being drawn into darkness, with horrific consequences. With nowhere to go, she finds herself on the run. Without knowing each other, and with lives that couldn't be more different, Kate and Emily head to the same point on the map: Heart Island, an idyllic place in the middle of a lake in the Adirondacks, owned for generations by Birdie Burke's family. The harsh and unyielding Birdie is at one with this island, which has a terrifying history all its own. She, too, has consequences to face.
Heartbroken is a tense, mesmerizing novel about the limits of dysfunctional families, of an island haunted by dark memories and restless ghosts, and of the all-too-real demons we must battle. Wonderfully suspenseful, exquisitely crafted, and written with raw, emotional power, this is Lisa Unger at her very best.
“Stellar. . . . Heartbroken should be on everyone’s summer to-read list. For best results, read it alone on an island on a dark and stormy night.” —USA Today (4 stars)
“Heartbroken has all the makings of a high-wire thriller. But it’s the twisted psyches of its main characters that really unsettle. . . . Unger expertly shows how quiet betrayals can rupture a life as deeply as an act of violence.” —People (3 ½ stars)
“A can’t-put-down thriller interlaced with insightful family drama and echoes of Wuthering Heights.” —Family Circle
“Lisa Unger is one of the few women to first break into the genre of thrillers, then to dominate it.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Lisa Unger masterfully writes of the joys and frustrations of family life in her latest novel. . . . What makes [it] shine is the struggle of multidimensional characters with issues that all of us face but sometimes don’t want to acknowledge.” —Associated Press
“Suspenseful. . . . An intense psychological thriller that explores a family with complex relationships, destructive secrets and uneasy legacies. . . . [Unger] keeps the tension high as she delves deep into each woman’s psyche, showing how the smallest decision can have far-reaching consequences.” —South Florida Sun Sentinel
“[An] insidious psychological thriller. Set, quite appropriately, on a claustrophobic island.” —Chicago Tribune
“A superb stylist. . . . [Unger] probes the psychological dimensions of her characters with tremendous empathy and acumen. . . . Readers will be haunted for a long time by this profound and heart-pounding thriller.” —Florida Weekly
“[Lisa Unger is] a genuinely formidable voice in the world of dark thrillers, taking a back seat to no one. When [she] hits the ground, she does so at a full out sprint and leaves the reader breathless trying to keep up.” —Examiner
“Just in time to chill readers to the bone on some steamy summer night… Unger creates complex, believable family relationships, especially those between mothers and daughters, and uses those familiar scenes to anchor and contrast the creeping dread of her plot.” —Tampa Bay Times
“This page-turner is multi-layered and intriguing, as master storyteller Lisa Unger weaves a compelling plotline.” —Bookreporter.com
“Unger delivers compelling, fully drawn characters while at the same time putting the thrill in thriller. A first-class page-turner.” —Booklist (starred review)
“[A] tense psychological thriller. . . . Unger skillfully builds the fissures of each of [her characters’] lives as she illustrates the power of the heart and the corrosive nature of lies.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Will captivate fans of mystery and psychological suspense. This is one of Unger’s best novels yet.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“A triumvirate of strong women pitted against a shared past and dangerous future. . . . Unger knows how to write a taut thriller.” —Kirkus
New York Daily News Pick: “Summer’s Top New Thriller Novels.”
Publishers Weekly Editors Pick: “The Best New Books for Week of June 25th, 2012″