Nine Lives: A Novel (Hardcover)
If you’re on the list, someone wants you dead.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Eight Perfect Murders comes the heart-pounding story of nine strangers who receive a cryptic list with their names on it—and then begin to die in highly unusual circumstances.
Nine strangers receive a list with their names on it in the mail. Nothing else, just a list of names on a single sheet of paper. None of the nine people know or have ever met the others on the list. They dismiss it as junk mail, a fluke—until very, very bad things begin happening to people on the list.
First, a well-liked old man is drowned on a beach in the small town of Kennewick, Maine. Then, a father is shot in the back while running through his quiet neighborhood in suburban Massachusetts. A frightening pattern is emerging, but what do these nine people have in common? Their professions range from oncology nurse to aspiring actor, and they’re located all over the country. So why are they all on the list, and who sent it?
FBI agent Jessica Winslow, who is on the list herself, is determined to find out. Could there be some dark secret that binds them all together? Or is this the work of a murderous madman? As the mysterious sender stalks these nine strangers, they find themselves constantly looking over their shoulders, wondering who will be crossed off next…
Peter Swanson is the author of seven novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; Before She Knew Him, and Eight Perfect Murders. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. He lives outside of Boston, where he is at work on his next novel.
— Ann Cleeves, author of The Heron’s Cry
“With economical strokes of his pen, Peter Swanson presents us with a clever homage to the Golden Age of Mystery and keeps us guessing right to the end.”
— Peter May, author of The Blackhouse
“Swanson again takes the idea of fiction as homage to deliriously vertiginous new heights… While the tension mounts deliciously as we wonder if there will be any survivors, the real fascination here is the explanation itself—and what it reveals about the cancerous effects of guilt and obsession.”
— Booklist (starred review)
“Swanson (Every Vow You Break) neatly riffs on Agatha Christie’s classic And Then There Were None in this taut thriller… This is a well-crafted page-turner.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Hitchcockian chills and thrills abound in Swanson's latest mystery, a twisty tale of survival and deception. "
— O, the Oprah Magazine on Every Vow You Break
“Swanson specializes in writing mesmerizing thrillers that subvert readers’ expectations. The author works his particular magic once again with Every Vow You Break… Swanson’s shape-shifting saga is reminiscent, by turns, of such foreboding films as Vertigo [and] Fatal Attraction.”
— Wall Street Journal
“Just when we think we have an idea of what Abigail is up against, Swanson pulls the rug away from under us. Strange events give way to sinister revelations... The last act cranks up tension to the breaking point. Sit back, suspend all disbelief, and watch those pages fly by.”
— Minneapolis Star Tribune on Every Vow You Break
“With mounting tension and fraying nerves, it careens to the final stunning conclusion. A true tour de force.”
— Lisa Gardner on Eight Perfect Murders
“Eight Perfect Murders creates expectations it then subverts, presents suspects only to eliminate them, and in general has its own way with the tropes of the mystery thriller—including that genre mainstay, the unreliable narrator.”
— Wall Street Journal
“A devious whodunit”
— New York Times Book Review on Eight Perfect Murders
“In Peter Swanson’s expert hands, one woman’s discerning observation at a quiet suburban dinner party unfolds into a gripping, twisty, psychologically complex thriller. I could not put it down.”
— Alafair Burke on Before She Knew Him
“A fun read, full of switchbacks and double crosses… With classic misdirection, Swanson distracts us from the details - changing up murderers and victims fast enough to keep us reading. And, implausibly, rooting for the cold-blooded killer at this thriller’s core.”
— Boston Globe on The Kind Worth Killing
“Chilling and hypnotically suspenseful … could be an instant classic.”
— Lee Child on The Kind Worth Killing
The Kind Worth Killing is not your ordinary murder mystery; it is an extraordinarily well-written tale of deceit and revenge told by a very gifted writer. Peter Swanson takes us on a harrowing journey through the hearts and minds of a cast of characters who seem normal on the outside, but are deliciously abnormal on the inside. The twists are not just in the plot; they are also in the heads of the plotters.”
— Nelson DeMille