‘A superior psychological thriller... Paula McLain focuses on the victims rather than the abductors in a gripping serial-killer story that is also a sensitive study of grief.’
When the Stars Go Dark
New York Times BestsellerPaula McLain
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife comes a bold combination of true crime, psychology and a hint of the metaphysical.
‘A novel of both great sadness and great beauty; a gripping story drenched in the exquisite allure of the natural world.’ Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale
‘A tour de force of literary suspense. It pulled me under and left me gasping.’ Christina Baker Kline, author of The Exiles
‘Visceral and hauntingly suspenseful.’ Aimee Molloy, author of The Perfect Mother
A missing girl.
A lost detective.
The case that brings them together.
Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective living in San Francisco. When unspeakable tragedy strikes, she turns to the Californian village of Mendocino to grieve. Seeking comfort in the chocolate-box village she grew up in, Anna instead arrives to news that a local girl has gone missing.
The crime feels frighteningly reminiscent of a crucial time in Anna’s childhood, when an unsolved murder changed the community forever. As past and present collide, Anna is forced to confront the darkest side of human nature.
‘A powerhouse of a novel that is guaranteed to keep the reader up all night. When the Stars Go Dark is a beautifully written, sharply observed literary thriller with an extraordinary, unforgettable heroine and a twisty plot with a surprise ending... A gripping story drenched in the exquisite allure of the natural world.’
‘McLain puts her heroine in mortal peril to deliver the kind of heartpounding conclusion that thriller fans crave. As a bonus, avid readers of the genre will be pleased to find they’ve picked up several kernels of intellectual nourishment along the way. In the end, a book full of darkness lands with a message of hope.’
‘A lyrical and quietly devastating novel.’
‘With this breathtaking novel, Paula McLain proves she can do anything. Exquisitely written, immersive, and atmospheric, When the Stars Go Dark is a tour de force of literary suspense. It pulled me under and left me gasping.’
‘Fuelled by pure high anxiety. . . When the Stars Go Dark is an atmospheric and intricately plotted suspense novel.’
‘When the Stars Go Dark is a fantastically propulsive and deeply atmospheric novel that grabs you from the very first page. It’s visceral and hauntingly suspenseful. Paula McLain has proven to be a masterful storyteller no matter the genre.’
‘Paula McLain, already established as the master of the historical novel, now explodes into crime fiction with a richly satisfying, tremendously moving mystery – haunting, poignant, lyrical, urgent, unique, unforgettable.’
‘I loved Paula McLain’s When the Stars Go Dark, which is the beautifully written and positively profound story of Detective Anna Hart... The twisty plot keeps the pages flying, and McLain’s lyrical and poetic prose reveals insight after insight about the human heart, making this riveting read not only an engrossing psychological thriller, but crime fiction of the highest order.’
'Stunning... McLain matches poetic prose with deep characterisations as she shines a light on the kindness in her characters’ souls. Fans of literary suspense won’t be able to put this one down.'
‘A total departure for the author of The Paris Wife, McLain’s emotionally intense and exceptionally well-written thriller entwines its fictional crime with real cases – including Polly Klaas’s 1993 kidnapping – and is enriched by her own experiences as a survivor of trauma.’