A wickedly sharp suspense thriller…
The latest thriller from Paine sees his troubled protagonist entangled in a dangerous cat-and-mouse game. Lauren Kaine has it all—a wealthy, loving husband, an expensive home, and a bright sixteen-year-old son. When William, her husband, is killed, her fairy-tale life fractures. But that’s just the beginning of Lauren’s problems: a mysterious person begins to stalk her, threatening to kill her son if she doesn’t hand over a card; her estranged brother-in-law is back, and he knows something but has no intention to reveal it, and William’s co-workers refuse to talk to her. Lauren’s search for the truth leads her down a rabbit hole of startling revelations. A slick writer, Paine deftly maintains the narrative’s intensity and brisk pace and piles up shocking revelations. As the story moves forward, he deftly teases the reader by dropping clues to his protagonist’s dark past. The use of alternating first-person voices allows Paine to put readers directly into his characters’ heads and delve into their fears, anxieties and sorrows. He flawlessly examines mental health struggle, alcohol and substance abuse, homelessness, adolescent angst, LGBTQ issues, grief, pain, rage, resilience, determination, truth, and redemption, and he does it with a completely flawed yet appealing cast of characters. Readers will admire Lauren, who will do anything to find her husband’s killer while keeping herself and her son safe. The lengths that she goes to in order to reclaim her life make her a worthy heroine. Readers might guess the story’s outcome, but the trip is winding and downright exciting. This is one hellacious read for suspense fans.
T. O. Paine
Dark Swallow Books
Pub date June 10, 2022
Price $31.99 (USD) Hardcover, $17.99 Paperback, $1.02 Kindle edition