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“Propulsive, transfixing, and disturbing. I could not set the book down. Harrowing and fearlessly honest, The Happiest Girl in the World is a haunting read because it couldn't have done justice to its subjects – fictional and real – any other way.” —Popsugar One of Good Morning America's Best Books of April! From the acclaimed author of Mercy House comes a gripping new novel about a young woman’s dreams of Olympic gymnastic gold—and what it takes to reach the top For Sera Wheeler, the Olympics is the reason for everything. It’s why she trains thirty hours a week, starves herself to under 100 pounds, and pops Advil like Tic Tacs. For her mother, Charlene, hungry for glory she never had, it’s why she rises before dawn to drive Sera to practice in a different state, and why the family scrimps, saves, and fractures. It’s why, when Sera’s best friend reports the gymnastics doctor to the authority who selects the Olympic Team, Sera denies what she knows about his treatments, thus preserving favor. Their friendship shatters. But Sera protected her dream—didn’t she? Sera doubles down, taping broken toes, numbing torn muscles, and pouring her family’s resources into the sport. Soon she isn’t training for the love of gymnastics. She’s training to make her disloyalty worthwhile. No matter the cost. The Happiest Girl in the World explores the dark history behind an athlete who stands on the world stage, biting gold. It's about the silence required of the exceptional, a tarnished friendship, and the sacrifices a parent will make for a child, even as a family is torn apart. It’s about the price of greatness.Show more
The sunniest places hold the darkest secrets . . . A stunning 1950s set debut mystery brimming with atmosphere and perfect for fans of Tangerine, Small Pleasures and Mad Men. Yesterday, I kissed my husband for the last time . . . It's the summer of 1959, and the well-trimmed lawns of Sunnylakes, California, wilt under the sun. At some point during the long, long afternoon, Joyce Haney, wife, mother, vanishes from her home, leaving behind two terrified children and a bloodstain on the kitchen floor. While the Haney's neighbours get busy organising search parties, it is Ruby Wright, the family's 'help', who may hold the key to this unsettling mystery. Ruby knows more about the secrets behind Sunnylakes' starched curtains than anyone, and it isn't long before the detective in charge of the case wants her help. But what might it cost her to get involved? In these long hot summer afternoons, simmering with lies, mistrust and prejudice, it could only take one spark for this whole 'perfect' world to set alight . . . A beguiling, deeply atmospheric debut novel from the cracked heart of the American Dream, The Long, Long Afternoon is at once a page-turning mystery and an intoxicating vision of the ways in which women everywhere are diminished, silenced and ultimately under-estimated. Everyone is talking about The Long, Long Afternoon: 'Beguiling and evocative. This vivid and atmospheric pageturner will keep readers guessing all the way to its satisfying finale' Sunday Express 'Beautifully crafted, claustrophobic and compelling. As delicious as a long drink on a hot day' Stacey Halls, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Familiars and The Foundling 'Such a vivid atmosphere of stifling LA heat and stifling 50s domesticity - the brittle facades of those suburban mansions with their manicured lawns and maddened housewives. A homage to hard-boiled American crime fiction, but told with a distinctive female sensibility. Lovely!' Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures 'Breathtakingly stylish, hypnotic and masterfully gripping. Inga paints the most beautiful portrait of 50s suburbia, yet each page scratches away at the sunny gloss to reveal the darkness beneath. Outstanding' Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin at the End, Waterstones Thriller of the Month 'A perfect read. California, 1959, a nation divided. In one stifling suburb murder plays out against a backdrop of racial & gender injustice. The desire for change rises from the pages like heat off a sidewalk' - Mary Paulson Ellis 'Loved this taut slice of classic noir. Shimmering Santa Monica skies, technicolor fifties suburbia hiding the darkest of secrets. All set against a backdrop of stifling racial tension. If there isn't a film in the pipeline I'd be shocked!' - CJ Tudor 'Beautifully written and brilliantly observed, as well as being a page-turning mystery. The 1950s come alive with issues that resonate today.' - Simon Lelic 'Atmospheric, beguiling murder mystery with important things to say about race, gender and class. Loved it!' -Araminta Hall 'Delicious. Like a tasty, tense page-turning combo of James Ellroy and Kate Atkinson with a bit of Mad Men thrown in' Liz Hyder 'I was hooked from the opening sentence. It's completely gripping and kept me guessing right to the end' - Amanda Mason, author of The Wayward Girls 'This wonderful, beautifully written novel held me to the very last word. A perfect period piece that manages to bring new light to the world we live in today.' - Stephanie Butland, author of Lost for Words 'Stunning. Set against a backdrop of increasing racial tension and the rise of the Women's Movement, a personal story of female friendship and tragedy unfolds. I loved every page.' - Amanda Reynolds, author of Close To Me 'Evocative, stylish and gripping, The Long Long Afternoon exposes the dark underbelly of 1950s suburban America in a thriller that is pure class' Deborah O' ConnorShow more
When a teenager is found stabbed to death, detectives Rebecca Angell and Jake Sullivan are called to the scene, and clues soon lead them to a crime novel that the killer has used as gruesome inspiration.The author, Amy Gallaty, has a new book out, at first prompting Angell and Sullivan to question how far she is prepared to go in the name of promotion. But when Amy attracts the attentions of a stalker and then a second murder mirrors another of her plots, they realize they are up against a cruel and clever psychopath, one who may have a more personal agenda.Working with the FBI, Angell and Sullivan find themselves in a race against the clock to unlock the secrets in Amy's past before the killer can strike again.This book was previously published as Dead Write.Show more
In 1989, the Alphabet Killer, Professor Rodney Boone, murdered eight students. The victims, A to H, were each found with their surname initial carved into their neck. Victim nine narrowly escaped, and the murderer was left to burn to death.Eight years later, rookie police officer Rebecca Angell is thrown headlong into assisting a murder investigation. A body is found floating in the sewer, bearing the initial J. The investigators are convinced they are dealing with a copycat killer, but Boone's body was never recovered...As Angell scrambles to uncover the truth, the body count continues to rise, and it soon becomes apparent that the killer is intent on completing the alphabet...Show more
Lauren Bailey may be a romantic at heart, but after a decade of matchmaking schemes gone wrong, there's only one match she's committed to now-the one that will make her a mother. Lauren is a dedicated first-grade teacher in Idaho, and her love for children has led her to the path of international adoption. To satisfy her adoption agency's requirements, she gladly agreed to remain single for the foreseeable future; however, just as her long wait comes to an end, Lauren is blindsided by a complication she never saw coming: Joshua Avery. Joshua may be a substitute teacher by day, but Lauren finds his passion for creating educational technology as fascinating as his antics in the classroom. Although she does her best to downplay the undeniable connection between them, his relentless pursuit of her heart puts her commitment to stay unattached to the test and causes her once-firm conviction to waver.Show more
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