The Balloon Man

Open Road Media
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A woman attempts to flee her abusive husband in a thriller The New York Times Book Review calls “an unforgettable reading experience.”

Overworked cocktail waitress Sherry Reynard doesn’t expect much anymore from her husband, Ward, whom she’s supported for years. A struggling writer and sometimes-junkie coddled by his wealthy parents, Ward spends his days lost in a fog of self-pity and hallucinations. Then, one morning, he attacks his wife in a sudden, unprovoked, violent fit of rage. When he turns on their three-year-old son, Johnny, Sherry bashes Ward into submission, grabs her boy, and runs.
 
As Johnny recuperates in the hospital, Sherry rents a room in a boarding house—among a group of outcasts—anxious to escape her marriage and her memories. But when her vindictive in-laws file a suit for custody of Johnny, Sherry’s oppressive world starts closing in. She needs someone on her side.
 
When new boarder Clifford Stone arrives, he’s just what Sherry’s looking for. Charming and sympathetic, he’s promised to be there should Sherry ever need him—he’s also been hired by Ward’s calculating father to insinuate himself into her life. Clifford has been paid well to love Sherry, manipulate her, destroy her reputation, and, if need be, even worse.
 
The Balloon Man was made into Claude Chabrol’s classic 1970 film, La Rupture (The Breach). A gripping suspense novel, it will have you “flipping your wig all the way to the last page” (Kirkus Reviews).

“Old fashioned suspense has given way to contemporary trauma and you’ll be flipping your wig all the way to the last page. . . . You won’t want to finish it.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
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About the author

Edgar Award–winning Charlotte Armstrong (1905–1969) was one of the finest American authors of classic mystery and suspense. The daughter of an inventor, Armstrong was born in Vulcan, Michigan, and attended Barnard College, in New York City. After college she worked at the New York Times and the magazine Breath of the Avenue, before marrying and turning to literature in 1928. For a decade she wrote plays and poetry, with work produced on Broadway and published in the New Yorker. In the early 1940s, she began writing suspense.
 
Success came quickly. Her first novel, Lay On, MacDuff! (1942) was well received, spawning a three-book series. Over the next two decades, she wrote more than two dozen novels, winning critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base. The Unsuspected (1945) and Mischief (1950) were both made into films, and A Dram of Poison (1956) won the Edgar Award for best novel. She died in California in 1969. 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Feb 21, 2017
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Pages
218
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ISBN
9781504042673
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Private Investigators
Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A disaster in a Michigan mining town throws a close-knit community into chaos in this novel from an Edgar Award–winning author.

The small mining town of Thor is nestled in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, near the Wisconsin border. Its only source of income is the two ore mines—one to the east, one to west—that its citizens cling to for security. Then, one calm day, the town’s routine is shaken.
 
One of the mines collapses, and five men are trapped underground. They are the only survivors in the wake of the tragic accident. But as the good people of Thor wait and pray, they know that the catastrophe has already changed them forever. Some are coming together in fear and dread, others in grief and resounding faith. For a few, the tragedy will shatter what little is left of their struggling and vulnerable lives.
 
In her most personal novel of suspense, and of human behavior under the most trying conditions, Charlotte Armstrong lends her formidable talents to what the New York Times hailed as her knack for “day-lit terror.” The Trouble in Thor is inspired by the very real landscape of Armstrong’s own childhood on Hanbury Lake. It is a testament to how life in a mining town can define, smother, and confound its people, in particular the wives, daughters, and sisters often left to their own resources and resilience. 
 
The Trouble in Thor was adapted for the stage in 2008. It debuted in Norway, Michigan, only miles from the town of Vulcan, where Armstrong was born and raised.
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING DEBUT PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER YOU CAN'T MISS!

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

“A hair-raising debut, both unsettling and addictive...A chilling thriller that will keep you reading long into the night.” —Mary Kubica, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Good Girl

“This is one readers won’t be able to put down.” —Booklist (starred review)

"A can’t-put-down psychological thriller.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“This debut is guaranteed to haunt you...Warning: brace yourself.” —Bustle (10 New Thrillers to Read This Summer)

“The sense of believably and terror that engulfs Behind Closed Doors doesn't waver.” —The Associated Press, picked up by The Washington Post

“This was one of the best and most terrifying psychological thrillers I have ever read.” —San Francisco Book Review


Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.

Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.

Some might wonder what’s really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed.

From bestselling author B. A. Paris comes the gripping thriller and international phenomenon Behind Closed Doors.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Together in one volume—the first three books in the world’s most beloved science-fiction series!

DRAGONFLIGHT

On a beautiful world called Pern, an ancient way of life is about to come under attack. Lessa is an outcast survivor—her parents murdered, her birthright stolen—a strong young woman who has never stopped dreaming of revenge. But when an ancient threat reemerges, Lessa will rise—upon the back of a great dragon with whom she shares a telepathic bond more intimate than any human connection. Together, dragon and rider will fly, and Pern will be changed forever.

DRAGONQUEST

Since Lessa and Ramoth, her golden queen dragon, traveled into the past to bring forward a small army of dragons and riders to save their world from deadly alien spores, fear and desperation have spread across the land. But while the dragonriders struggle with threats both human and otherworldly, a young rider named F’nor and his brown dragon, Canth, hatch a bold plan to destroy the alien scourge at its source—the baleful Red Star that fills the heavens and promises doom to all. 

THE WHITE DRAGON

Never in the history of Pern has there been a dragon like Ruth. Mocked by other dragons for his small size and pure white color, Ruth is smart, brave, and loyal—qualities that he shares with his rider, the young Lord Jaxom. Unfortunately, Jaxom is also looked down upon by his fellow lords, and by other riders as well. His dreams of joining the dragonriders in defending Pern are dismissed. What else can Jaxom and Ruth do but strike out on their own, pursuing in secret all they are denied? But in doing so, the two friends will find themselves facing a desperate choice—one that will push their bond to the breaking point . . . and threaten the future of Pern itself.
A New York City drama teacher risks her life to expose a potentially deadly public hoax in this “most uncommon thriller” (New York Herald Tribune).

Olivia Hudson, a drama teacher at a Manhattan girl’s school, refuses to let her uncle John Paul Marcus play the role of dupe in a real-life revenge story. Uncle John is a beloved war veteran, a New York institution, and a hard-working philanthropist with an unimpeachable reputation. His mistake—an honorable one, at that—was disclosing the financial chicanery of industrial heir Raymond Pankerman, and it could cost John his life.
 
Raymond has staged the perfect crime, and the perfect frame-up, to destroy the old man. He has everything he needs: a failed and penniless playwright who’d sell his soul if the price was right, a budding television starlet looking for a breakout role, and a susceptible public suckered into believing a supernatural swindle that’s making headlines.
 
As a good man is taken down by the outlandish claims of an “otherworldly” publicity-seeking beauty nicknamed the Dream Walker, Olivia refuses to stand idly by—especially since she has the talent to outwit and outplay an actress at her own duplicitous game.
 
Inspired by the mob mentality of the postwar McCarthy hearings, Charlotte Armstrong’s The Dream Walker (also published as Alibi for Murder) is both an ingeniously clever mystery of double-crosses and triple-twists, and a still-relevant cautionary tale about the irreversible consequences of tabloid journalism and the gullibility of the masses.
The instant New York Times Bestseller (January 2018)!

"A fiendishly smart cat-and-mouse thriller" —New York Times Book Review

"Buckle up, because you won't be able to put this one down." —Glamour

"Jaw dropping. Unforgettable. Shocking." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The best domestic suspense novel since Gone Girl." —In Touch Weekly

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love.
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing.

Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen's The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage - and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

Read between the lies.

A 2018 Indie Next Pick | One of Glamour Magazine's Best Books of 2018 | One of Hello Giggles' 19 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2018

Praise for The Wife Between Us:

"Fiendishly clever...in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. This one will keep you guessing." —Anita Shreve, New York Times bestselling author of The Stars are Fire

“A clever thriller with masterful twists.” – Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of The Kept Woman

"The Wife Between Us delivers a whip smart, twisty plot in a taut, pacy narrative. It's terrific and troubling. This is one scary love triangle where you won't know who to trust. I loved it." –Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew

"A twisty, mind-bending novel about marriage and betrayal. A gripping plot and fascinating characters; this book will keep you turning the pages and guessing until the very end. A must-read!" –Lauren Weisberger, New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada

“This amazing story gallops along at breakneck speed, with an ending that smacks you between the eyes and takes your breath away. These authors are destined to become trail blazers in the field of psychological suspense books that explode in your hands!” —Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault

“Like a house of mirrors, The Wife Between Us kept me guessing around every corner, delving into the complexities of marriage, friendship, and obsession.” —Javier Ramirez, The Book Table

A government secret about the end of the world will change what’s left of a man’s suburban life in this thriller by an Edgar Award–winning author.

California businessman J. Middleton Little is on company assignment in Chicago when he’s caught eavesdropping on a top-secret confab between high-level government officials. J. knows he isn’t just hearing things; they actually referred to the coming Armageddon. To ensure his silence, J.’s been offered the chance of a lifetime: seven seats on an “ark” scheduled to carry the last vestiges of the human race from Earth before the apocalypse. In a matter of minutes, J. has gone from a self-described “middle-class, middle-income, middlebrow man-of-the-street” to one of the most privileged men in the universe. The only stipulation: He can’t tell a single soul until the proper time.
 
For now, it’s back to life in Burbank with his dutiful, intuitive wife; an underhanded and scheming son; his impossibly spoiled daughter; his unhinged father; and a mother-in-law whose religious fanaticism is making J. think twice about his role as savior—especially when he finds himself shadowed by an insidious pack of secret agents, counterspies, and a lone madman on a terrifying mission.
 
Soon enough, J.’s once-ordinary world will be ripped apart by threats, deceit, cover-ups, secrets, and shifting family loyalties. It will also leave J. wondering what he really does know, what he doesn’t, what he’s been led to believe, and above all, why. J. Middleton Little has a lot to learn before the end.
 
This smart, inventive thriller by “the American queen of suspense novelists” is impossible to put down (New York Telegraph).
From “the mistress of day-lit terror”: A couple invites two indigent women into their Hollywood home—and lives to regret it (The New York Times).

In a roadside Santa Clara motel, Tom and Esther Gardner wake up to an intruder lurching toward Esther’s bed in the dark. No one blames Tom for taking down the stranger with a single blow to the head—least of all the victim himself, an embarrassed real estate broker from Arcadia, too drunk to realize he’s stumbled into the wrong room. All is forgiven.
 
Three days later, the poor man drops dead of a neglected head injury—leaving his wife, Audrey, and her invalid sister, Joan, penniless and desperate. Overcome with guilt, Tom and Esther make amends by welcoming the grateful and unexpectedly forgiving ladies into their home. It’s just for the time being, after all. It’s the least the couple can do. But as the “temporary” stay stretches into months, Esther starts to feel the dreadful weight of their good deed and suspects their freeloading guests are up to something.
 
Audrey and Joan’s disquieting whispers are starting to sound conspiratorial, their stories aren’t adding up, and their smiles are beginning to curl with menace. Is it all in Esther’s overburdened imagination? Or is it terrifying reality?
 
With eight novels and nearly two dozen short stories adapted for film and television, it’s no wonder Edgar Award–winning author Charlotte Armstrong is considered “the American queen of suspense novelists” (New York Telegraph).
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