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A Dark and Secret Place

A Novel

Jen Williams


List Price: 25.99*
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Other Editions of This Title:
MP3 CD (6/8/2021)
Compact Disc (6/8/2021)


For fans of Kathleen Barber and Julia Heaberlin comes a chilling psychological suspense from award-winning author Jen Williams about a woman who discovers her late mother had a decades-long secret correspondence with a serial killer, begging the question: how well do we know our own family and even ourselves?

When prodigal daughter Heather Evans returns to her family home after her mother's baffling suicide, she makes an alarming discovery--stacks and stacks of carefully preserved letters from notorious serial killer Michael Reave. The "Red Wolf," as he was dubbed by the press, has been in prison for over twenty years, serving a life sentence for the gruesome and ritualistic murders of several women across the country, although he has always protested his innocence. The police have had no reason to listen, yet Heather isn't the only one to have cause to re-examine the murders. The body of a young woman has just been found, dismembered and placed inside a tree, the corpse planted with flowers. Just as the Red Wolf once did.

What did Heather's mother know? Why did she kill herself? And with the monstrous Red Wolf safely locked inside a maximum security prison, who is stalking young women now? Teaming up with DI Ben Parker, Heather hopes to get some answers for herself and for the newest victims of this depraved murderer. Yet to do that, she must speak to Michael Reave herself, and expose herself to truths she may not be ready to face. Something dark is walking in the woods, and it knows her all too well.

Praise For A Dark and Secret Place: A Novel

Praise for A Dark and Secret Place:
"Thoroughly addicitve...Fans of Alex North and CJ Tudor should get their hands on this one ASAP."
—Booklist, starred review

“A fairy tale for adults with strong stomachs.”
—Kirkus Reviews

"Williams uses lyrical storytelling to create an ominous story full of chilling moments...[it will] make you want to leave the lights on at night.” 
—Mystery & Suspense Magazine

“Twists and turns that keep the reader engaged, you’ll be shocked right up until the very end.”
Red Carpet Crash

“Grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. Part-Midsommar, part-Hereditary, part-Mindhunter - and entirely terrifying.”
—Abigail Dean, New York Times bestselling author of Girl A

“Reminiscent of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects."
—Sarah Pinborough, New York Times Bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes

“Dark as a Grimm fairy tale and brimming with secret...This novel will appeal to—and deeply chill—fans of true crime.”
—Megan Collins, author of The Winter Sister and Behind the Red Door

“A hugely impressive crime debut.”
—Jane Casey, Sunday Times bestselling author

“Creepy and compelling, [A Dark and Secret Place] is a truly disturbing take on a serial killer narrative. I read it heart in mouth!”
—Harriet Tyce, Sunday Times Bestselling author of Blood Orange

“For fans of Tana French and Thomas Harris, A Dark and Secret Place is a taut and stylish thriller...Riveting from the first page."
—E.G. Scott, internationally bestselling author of The Woman Inside

“Intense and with a seam of gallows humour, A Dark and Secret Place delivers complex characters and a fascinating journey into the past and future of a sequence of unforgettable crimes. Terrifying, fun, and insightful.
—Nathan Ripley, bestselling author of Find You in the Dark

“Masterfully plotted and heart-poundingly tense, Jen Williams combines British folklore, cults, and the most chilling serial killer to grace the page in years – creating a thriller that's both mesmerising, and utterly terrifying. I was hooked from the first page to the last.”
 —Katie Lowe, author of The Furies

“A tense, gripping and original read, with one of the creepiest serial killers I’ve encountered in a long time.”
 —Amy McCulloch, author of Breathless

“I couldn’t stop reading [A Dark and Secret Place] once I started. I’ve just taken an extended lunch break to finish it and I can’t quite put it into words yet except to say WOW.”
 —Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne

“A dark and addictive read that will keep you enthralled until the last page.”
  —Laure Van Rensburg, author of Nobody But Us

Crooked Lane Books, 9781643855745, 304pp.

Publication Date: June 8, 2021

About the Author

Jen Williams lives in London with her partner and their small ridiculous cat. Having been a fan of grisly fairy tales from a young age, these days Jen writes dark unsettling thrillers with strong female leads, as well as character-driven fantasy novels with plenty of adventure and magic. She has twice won the British Fantasy Award for her Winnowing Flame trilogy, and when she's not writing books she works as a bookseller and a freelance copywriter.