By Amy Stuart
Top of the Lake meets The Silent Wife in this taut domestic thriller.
When Clare O’Dey turns up alone and unannounced in the remote mountain town of Blackmore, its residents have little reason to connect her arrival to the recent disappearance of local drug-addict Shayna Fowles. Already well versed in hiding the details of her own past, Clare plays the part of an amateur travel photographer in search of landscape. In truth, she has been sent to Blackmore by Malcolm Boon, hired to search for a woman she’s never met. With Malcolm looking over her shoulder from the sidelines, Clare’s instincts are drawn from her own disappearance six months earlier, a long-plotted flight from an abusive marriage she felt certain would end in her death.
Clare soon uncovers a town decimated by the closing of its coalmine, by the influx of drugs that followed, by the bad blood that runs between Shayna’s friends, neighbours, family. Her own small town sensibilities still in place, and haunted by a past she isn’t certain she’s escaped, Clare fits in to Blackmore almost too well, befriending Shayna’s mother, charming her ex-husband, and embroiling herself in the same destructive world that spelled disaster for Shayna.
“Twisty and swift, Amy Stuart’s Still Mine is a darkly entertaining mystery machine. But what will really surprise you is the emotional foundation on which it has been built.”
–Andrew Pyper, bestselling author of The Demonologist and The Damned
“A shadowy, haunting treasure of a book that burrowed its way into my psyche as I read it. Amy Stuart so deftly captures the play between light and dark that exists within all of us that I found myself questioning my own instincts as I fell helplessly into this insular world of familiar small town characters and enigmatic outsiders who are both recognizable and unknowable: people to fall in love with or run away from, depending on the moment. Stuart’s writing is elegant and gripping, and she unwinds this slow burn of a story with such precision that I didn’t know what to expect, even as I turned the last few pages—and realized Stuart is one of my new favourite authors. Not since The Silent Wife have I been rendered so powerlessly riveted by a psychological thriller. I can’t wait to read what Stuart writes next.”
–Marissa Stapley, author of Mating for Life
“An intricately woven thriller…. You’ll want desperately to solve the mystery not only of the missing Shayna, but of Clare O’Dey, Amy Stuart’s heartbreaking heroine, on the run from the darkest forces both within and without—and you’ll have a hard time forgetting the everytown of Blackmore and its scheming, desperate inhabitants…. A vivid and haunting debut.”
–Holly LeCraw, author of The Swimming Pool
“Still Mine delivers all the nail-biting moments of a fast-paced thriller and filters them through the eyes of girl-with-a-past Clare O’Dey: deeply flawed yet instantly recognizable, O’Dey is a noir detective hero for a postmodern age. Author Amy Stuart sends one missing woman out to look for another one, and the result is chilling. You’ll find yourself turning the pages faster and faster.”
–Elisabeth de Mariaffi, author of The Devil You Know
Simon & Schuster Canada, Spring 2016
Touchstone, US, July 2016