The American Girl: A Novel (Paperback)
From a bright new talent comes a riveting psychological thriller about an American exchange student in France involved in a suspicious accident, and the journalist determined to break the story and uncover the dark secrets a small town is hiding.
On a quiet summer morning, seventeen-year-old American exchange student Quinn Perkins stumbles out of the woods near the small French town of St. Roch. Barefoot, bloodied, and unable to say what has happened to her, Quinn’s appearance creates quite a stir, especially since the Blavettes—the French family with whom she’s been staying—have mysteriously disappeared. Now the media, and everyone in the idyllic village, are wondering if the American girl had anything to do with her host family’s disappearance.
Though she is cynical about the media circus that suddenly forms around the girl, Boston journalist Molly Swift cannot deny she is also drawn to the mystery and travels to St. Roch. She is prepared to do anything to learn the truth, including lying so she can get close to Quinn. But when a shocking discovery turns the town against Quinn and she is arrested for the murders of the Blavette family, she finds an unlikely ally in Molly.
As a trial by media ensues, Molly must unravel the disturbing secrets of the town’s past in an effort to clear Quinn’s name, but even she is forced to admit that the American Girl makes a very compelling murder suspect. Is Quinn truly innocent and as much a victim as the Blavettes—or is she a cunning, diabolical killer intent on getting away with murder…?
Told from the alternating perspectives of Molly, as she’s drawn inexorably closer to the truth, and Quinn’s blog entries tracing the events that led to her accident, The American Girl is a deliciously creepy, contemporary, twisting mystery leading to a shocking conclusion.
About the Author
Kate Horsley’s first novel, The Monster’s Wife, was shortlisted for the Scottish First Book of the Year Award. Her poems and short fiction have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, including Best British Crime Stories. She coedits Crimeculture, a site dedicated to crime fiction and film offering articles, reviews, and interviews with writers.
“Beguiles from its first fevered pages. We creep tantalizingly closer to the secrets at the heart of the novel--secrets that both shock us and speak volumes about our preconceptions about teenage girls...A rich, captivating novel you simply can’t put down.”
— Megan Abbott, Edgar Award-winning author of Dare Me and The Fever
“The American Girl is a psychological suspense novel written for the 21st century, where threats play out on Snapchat and hashtags lead the way toward the dark and sinister truth. A modern-day gothic tale that will have readers holding their breath until the last page.”
— Lori Rader-Day, Mary Higgins Clark-winning author of Little Pretty Things
“[A] compelling psychological thriller...[with] Poe-like dread and David Lynch-like surrealism...Recommend this one to fans of Allison Brennan, Jennifer McMahon, and Wendy Corsi Staub.”