Lie Still: A Novel

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In the tradition of Lisa Unger’s Beautiful Lies and Nancy Pickard’s The Scent of Rain and Lightning comes a twisting, riveting novel of shifting trust and shattered lives. Lie Still delves deep into the heart of an opulent Southern town, where gossip is currency and secrets kill.
 
When Emily Page and her husband move from Manhattan to the wealthy enclave of Clairmont, Texas, she hopes she can finally escape her haunted past—and outrun the nameless stalker who has been taunting her for years. Pregnant with her first child, Emily just wants to start over. But as she is drawn into a nest of secretive Texas women—and into the unnerving company of their queen, Caroline Warwick—Emily finds that acceptance is a very dangerous game.
 
It isn’t long before Caroline mysteriously disappears and Emily is facing a rash of anonymous threats. Are they linked to the missing Caroline? Or to Emily’s terrifying encounter in college, years earlier? As the dark truth about Caroline emerges, Emily realizes that some secrets are impossible to hide—and that whoever came for Caroline is now coming for her.

Praise for Lie Still
 
“In this engrossing novel of suspense . . . [Heaberlin] expertly spins out a tale of lies and deceit that will keep the reader guessing.”Publishers Weekly
 
“Heaberlin’s depiction of one tight-knit Texas community is both culturally savvy and politically astute. . . . A carefully wrapped package of Texas soap opera, social and political exposé, and well-paced thriller.”Booklist
 
“Heaberlin combines a culturally pertinent suspense story (the plot revolves around the main character’s struggles with the repercussions of an unreported date rape) with satirical observations about Texas’ moneyed suburban elite.”The New York Times
 
Lie Still mixes serious discussion about ‘the last frontier in crime’ with a twisty-turny mystery plot and a cast of eccentric characters.”Fort Worth Star-Telegram
 
“Reading a book by Julia Heaberlin is like hearing your best friend tell you a particularly thorny story, filled with secrets and intrigue and human hopes and failures. Lie Still is a book you want to curl up with for a good long while but, more important, Julia Heaberlin is an author you want to get to know.”—Jenny Milchman
 
“Julia Heaberlin weaves an intricate tapestry of secrets and suspense, lies and betrayals that kept me reading late into the night. Lie Still is a thriller par excellence and a page-turner, true—but it’s also a moving story of one woman’s unlikely path toward healing, and another’s lifelong search for redemption. I challenge you to visit Claremont, Texas—where nothing is quite as it seems and no one is quite who they claim—and leave unchanged.”—Emily Colin
 
“Julia Heaberlin deceives the reader in the most deliciously chilling way in Lie Still: With gorgeous prose and sterling character work, she takes us on a deeply felt and wonderfully composed thrill ride. Layer after layer of secrets, longing, and deception is peeled away and we begin to dread the twisted kernel at the heart, never guessing what Heaberlin has in store for us.”—Sophie Littlefield, bestselling author of Garden of Stones
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About the author

Julia Heaberlin is the author of Black-Eyed Susans, Lie Still, and Playing Dead. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked at the Fort-Worth Star Telegram, The Detroit News, and The Dallas Morning News. She grew up in Texas and lives with her family near Dallas/Fort Worth, where she is at work on her next novel of psychological suspense.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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3.7
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bantam
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Published on
Jul 2, 2013
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9780345527059
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Contemporary Women
Fiction / Psychological
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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TOP 5 SUNDAY TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER • For fans of Laura Lippman and Gillian Flynn comes an electrifying novel of stunning psychological suspense.

I am the star of screaming headlines and campfire ghost stories. I am one of the four Black-Eyed Susans. The lucky one.

As a sixteen-year-old, Tessa Cartwright was found in a Texas field, barely alive amid a scattering of bones, with only fragments of memory as to how she got there. Ever since, the press has pursued her as the lone surviving “Black-Eyed Susan,” the nickname given to the murder victims because of the yellow carpet of wildflowers that flourished above their shared grave. Tessa’s testimony about those tragic hours put a man on death row.

Now, almost two decades later, Tessa is an artist and single mother. In the desolate cold of February, she is shocked to discover a freshly planted patch of black-eyed susans—a summertime bloom—just outside her bedroom window. Terrified at the implications—that she sent the wrong man to prison and the real killer remains at large—Tessa turns to the lawyers working to exonerate the man awaiting execution. But the flowers alone are not proof enough, and the forensic investigation of the still-unidentified bones is progressing too slowly. An innocent life hangs in the balance. The legal team appeals to Tessa to undergo hypnosis to retrieve lost memories—and to share the drawings she produced as part of an experimental therapy shortly after her rescue.

What they don’t know is that Tessa and the scared, fragile girl she was have built a  fortress of secrets. As the clock ticks toward the execution, Tessa fears for her sanity, but even more for the safety of her teenaged daughter. Is a serial killer still roaming free, taunting Tessa with a trail of clues? She has no choice but to confront old ghosts and lingering nightmares to finally discover what really happened that night.

Shocking, intense, and utterly original, Black-Eyed Susans is a dazzling psychological thriller, seamlessly weaving past and present in a searing tale of a young woman whose harrowing memories remain in a field of flowers—as a killer makes a chilling return to his garden.

This ebook edition contains a special preview of Julia Heaberlin’s Paper Ghosts.

Praise for Black-Eyed Susans

“A masterful thriller that shouldn’t be missed . . . brilliantly conceived, beautifully executed . . . [Julia] Heaberlin’s work calls to mind that of Gillian Flynn. Both writers published impressive early novels that were largely overlooked, and then one that couldn’t be: Flynn’s Gone Girl and now Heaberlin’s Black-Eyed Susans. Don’t miss it.”—The Washington Post

“[A] gem of a novel . . . richly textured, beautifully written . . . Tension builds, and the plot twists feel earned as well as genuinely surprising.”—The Boston Globe

“A tense, slow-burning, beautifully written novel of survival and hope. Highly recommended.”—William Landay, New York Times bestselling author of Defending Jacob

“My book of the year so far . . . breathtakingly, heart-stoppingly brilliant.”—Sophie Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Monogram Murders

“Deliciously twisty and eerie, Heaberlin’s third psychological suspense novel is intricately layered and instantly compelling.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Brilliant . . . a breakout book.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Entertainment Weekly • The Boston Globe • Kansas City Star
 
“A legal thriller that’s comparable to classics such as Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent . . . Tragic and shocking, Defending Jacob is sure to generate buzz.”—Associated Press
 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney for two decades. He is respected. Admired in the courtroom. Happy at home with the loves of his life, his wife, Laurie, and teenage son, Jacob.

Then Andy’s quiet suburb is stunned by a shocking crime: a young boy stabbed to death in a leafy park. And an even greater shock: The accused is Andy’s own son—shy, awkward, mysterious Jacob.

Andy believes in Jacob’s innocence. Any parent would. But the pressure mounts. Damning evidence. Doubt. A faltering marriage. The neighbors’ contempt. A murder trial that threatens to obliterate Andy’s family.

It is the ultimate test for any parent: How far would you go to protect your child? It is a test of devotion. A test of how well a parent can know a child. For Andy Barber, a man with an iron will and a dark secret, it is a test of guilt and innocence in the deepest sense.

How far would you go?

Praise for Defending Jacob
 
“Ingenious . . . Nothing is predictable. All bets are off.”—The New York Times
 
“Stunning . . . a novel that comes to you out of the blue and manages to keep you reading feverishly until the whole thing is completed.”—The Huffington Post
 
“Gripping, emotional murder saga . . . The shocking ending will have readers pulling up their bedcovers to ward off the haunting chill.”—People
 
“The hype is justified. . . . Exceptionally serious, suspenseful, engrossing.”—The Washington Post
 
“Even with unexpected twists and turns, the two narratives interlock like the teeth of a zipper, building to a tough and unflinching finale. This novel has major motion picture written all over it.”—The Boston Globe
 
“Yes, this book came out in January. No, we are not done talking about it.”—Entertainment Weekly

BONUS: This edition contains excerpts from William Landay's Mission Flats and The Strangler and a Defending Jacob discussion guide.
A Texas map marked with three red dots like drops of blood. A serial killer who claims to have dementia. A mysterious young woman who wants answers. What could go wrong?

“A rich hybrid work that’s at once . . . a murder mystery, a road novel, a pair of psychological case studies and a meditation on photography.”—The Sunday Times (U.K.), Thriller of the Month

An obsessive young woman has been waiting half her life—since she was twelve years old—for this moment. She has planned. Researched. Trained. Imagined every scenario. Now she is almost certain the man who kidnapped and murdered her sister sits in the passenger seat beside her.
 
Carl Louis Feldman is a documentary photographer who may or may not have dementia—and may or may not be a serial killer. The young woman claims to be his long-lost daughter. He doesn’t believe her. He claims no memory of murdering girls across Texas, in a string of places where he shot eerie pictures. She doesn’t believe him.
 
Determined to find the truth, she lures him out of a halfway house and proposes a dangerous idea: a ten-day road trip, just the two of them, to examine cold cases linked to his haunting photographs.
 
Is he a liar or a broken old man? Is he a pathological con artist? Or is she? In Paper Ghosts, Julia Heaberlin once again swerves the serial killer genre in a new direction. You won’t see the final, terrifying twist spinning your way until the very last mile.

Praise for Paper Ghosts

“You’ll enjoy the journey and all its macabre side trips. You’ll love the travel commentary written in Heaberlin’s lean, muscular prose. . . . Signposts along the way warn of angst, secrets and deadly plot twists, but you’ll never see what’s coming. You’ll step out of this fictional vehicle feeling like you’ve been T-boned by an 18-wheeler.”—The Washington Post

“Heaberlin anchors her books with troubled but endearingly badass women. Think Amy Schumer’s character in Trainwreck except with guns and the greater possibility of redemption. . . . Like [Patricia] Highsmith, Heaberlin displays a keen grasp of casual cruelty that defines human interaction, not to mention a flair for stories in which no one—least of all the protagonist—can be trusted.”—D Magazine

“[An] artful and elegiac psychological thriller . . . Heaberlin brilliantly combines travelogue with a heartbreaking portrait of the damage done by childhood.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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