From acclaimed, bestselling author Andrew Pyper, a suspenseful page-turner that explores the repercussions of that most dishonest of thefts: stealing another’s story and calling it your own.
Patrick Rush, a former bright light at the National Star now demoted to the reality TV beat, is still recovering from his wife’s death when he joins a writers’ group in Toronto. His goal: to write the book he’s always felt lived within him. Trouble is, Patrick has no story to tell. And while the circle’s members show similarly little literary promise, there is one exception: Angela. Her unsettling readings tell of a shadowy childhood tragedy and an unremitting fear of the Sandman, a “terrible man who does terrible things.” It’s the stuff of nightmares or horror films. Or is it?
Over the weeks that follow, a string of unsolved murders seem increasingly connected to Patrick. And then the circle’s members start to go missing, one by one. Still haunted by loss–and by a crime only those in the circle could know of–Patrick finds himself in a fictional world made horrifically real. But nothing will put him in greater danger than that ancient curse of natural born readers: the need to know how the story ends.
At once a complex and compulsive read, The Killing Circle explores the side effects of an increasingly fame-mad culture, where even the staid realm of literature can fall prey to ravenous ambition and competition.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The Killing Circle is a total thief: It robbed us of a decent night’s sleep and made us afraid to turn off the light. It’s only fitting, since the book’s protagonist is also a thief. Flailing TV critic Patrick Rush has passed off another writer’s novel as his own—but he chose poorly, since he’s now haunted by parallels between the stolen story’s terrifying villain (a serial killer menacing Toronto) and his own loosening grasp on reality. Andrew Pyper’s ambitious and dark pageturner is best read in a single, spellbound sitting.
In this extraordinary thriller from Canadian author Pyper (The Wildfire Season), Patrick Rush, a lowly TV critic for a Toronto newspaper whose life has been slowly deteriorating since the untimely death of his wife, struggles to remain employed while trying to raise his precocious young son. When Rush decides to join a local writing circle in hopes of pursuing his lifelong dream of being an author, he becomes obsessed with a horrific work-in-progress written by a would-be writer in the group, a possibly autobiographical tale about being haunted by a "terrible man who does terrible things." Rush begins finding connections among the story's supernatural villain, a shadowy serial killer with a predilection for dismemberment that has all of Toronto living in fear, and his own unraveling sanity. Powered by an ingeniously nonlinear narrative and suffused with a tone thick with dread, this is easily Pyper's most ambitious and absorbing work to date.