Journalist Isabelle Drake, the narrator of this lyrical thriller from bestseller Willingham (A Flicker in the Dark), is struggling with overwhelming grief and guilt a year after her toddler son, Mason, disappeared one night from their Savannah, Ga., home. She’s tried just about anything to find Mason, even addressing conventions of true crime addicts, but these emotionally draining efforts don’t seem to be making any more headway than the stalled police investigation—which is why the usually guarded Isabelle agrees to cooperate with podcaster Waylon Spencer in hopes of persuading any listeners with possible leads to come forward. Answering Waylon’s painfully probing questions, including ones delving into the childhood tragedy that ended her father’s congressional career, could either provide the fresh perspective the podcaster promises—or prove one of her worst decisions ever. Though some of the climactic twists don’t quite convince, Isabelle’s vivid memories of a past she’s coming to question nicely intersect with her increasingly dangerous drive for answers. This involving, thought-provoking page-turner raises disturbing questions about the nature of the stories people tell themselves to make sense of the world. Willingham remains a writer to watch. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
Advance Praise for All the Dangerous Things
"True crime's trending appeal and Willingham's mastery of the domestic mystery promise popularity for this one... those who crave resolution will appreciate that Willingham tucks the story's ends in tight." –Booklist (starred review)
"[A] lyrical thriller... this involving, thought-provoking page-turner raises disturbing questions about the nature of the stories people tell themselves to make sense of the world. Willingham remains an author to watch." —Publishers Weekly
"Pacey and sinister, All the Dangerous Things has a palpable tension that keeps the pages turning." —Karin Slaughter
"All the Dangerous Things explores the often devastating secrets within families, the hard days of early motherhood and the lies we not only tell each other, but ourselves. Packed full of twists and turns, I couldn’t stop frantically turning the pages. Stacy is a must-read author for me now." —Sarah Pearse
“Brilliant! With a sure hand, the author draws us inexorably into a harrowing blend of gothic storytelling and psychological suspense, dishing up new shocks every time another layer is peeled back. I was as sleepless as our protagonist—since I had to finish this marvelous thriller in one sitting!” —Jeffrey Deaver
Praise for A Flicker in the Dark
"Exceptionally smart, entertaining." —The Washington Post
The gripping A Flicker in the Dark sets a terrific course for the new year, shining a bright light on a new author to savor in Willingham.” —Oline Cogdill, South Florida Sun Sentinel
“A smart, edge-of-your-seat story with plot twists you’ll never see coming. Stacy Willingham’s debut will keep you turning pages long past your bedtime.” —Karin Slaughter
Unable to sleep but for the occasional quick nap after her toddler was taken from his crib a year previously, Isabelle Drake is willing to do anything to discover what happened to him—including being interviewed by a true-crime podcaster. But the way he probes into Isabelle's past is making her nervous. Following her skyrocketing debut, A Flicker in the Dark.
A bereaved mother’s year of sleepless nights is turned even more dire by percolating revelations about her past and present.
Isabelle Drake, a lifestyle reporter for The Grit who turned freelancer so that she could marry Grit publisher Ben Drake without raising too many eyebrows, hasn’t slept through the night since her 18-month-old son, Mason, was snatched from his crib as his parents snoozed a few yards away. She’s been so tireless in pursing leads, even breaking the nose of a supermarket cashier she suddenly learned had a record, that Det. Arthur Dozier of the Savannah Police Department has tuned her out and warned her off the case. Exhausted from touring true-crime conventions across the region, publicizing the tale of her lost boy and the breakup of her marriage that followed, Isabelle agrees to tell her story at length to podcaster Waylon Spencer so that he can spread it more widely while she searches for sleep. But his questions are so unsettling that she begins to wonder if she was the one responsible for Mason’s disappearance—and what her role might have been in a family calamity more than 20 years earlier that was likely papered over because her father was a South Carolina congressman from a long line of congressmen. The windup is anything but tidy, for the multiple mysteries end up requiring multiple culprits. No matter: Willingham is so relentless in linking Isabelle’s sleeplessness to her deepening sense of waking nightmare that fans can expect some seriously sleepless nights themselves.
“People love violence—from a distance,” reflects the protagonist. This one’s for readers who can love it up close.