Now a major BBC TV show starring John Simm. Taut, menacing, sinister, gripping, intelligent, action-packed – everything you could want from a thriller.
When ex-LAPD patrol cop Jack Whalen’s wife goes missing on a routine business trip to Seattle, his world is shaken.
Meanwhile, a ten-year-old girl vanishes from a beach in Oregon after an encounter with a sinister stranger – but it gradually becomes clear that she’s very far from defenceless.
Searching for answers in the shadowy secrets of a past that still haunts him, Jack discovers that the truth has roots deeper and darker than he ever feared.
‘A nerve-wracking story, full of twists’ New York Times
‘A jaw-dropping mystery that makes a hairpin turn on nearly every page’ Entertainment Weekly
‘A good, taut thriller, with lots of action and a very gripping ending’ Guardian
‘Devilishly clever … a tautly crafted page-turner of the highest order ’ Bookpage
‘Bestseller Marshall outdoes his own high standards with this potent blend of suspense, paranoia and just plain creepiness … a provocative and supremely intelligent thriller’ Publishers Weekly
‘Marshall ratchets up the paranoia’ New York Daily News
‘Captures a sense of the menacing inevitable’ Time Out
‘Subtle, satisfying – and really scary ’ Kirkus Reviews
About the author
Michael Marshall is a novelist and screenwriter. Before writing the internationally bestselling novels ‘The Straw Men’, The Lonely Dead’ and ‘Blood of Angels’, he had already established a successful career under the name Michael Marshall Smith: his groundbreaking first novel, ‘Only Forward’, won the Philip K. Dick and August Derleth Awards, and its critically acclaimed successors ‘Spares’ and ‘One of Us’ have been optioned by major Hollywoood studios. He lives in North London with his wife, son and two cats.
Bestseller Marshall (The Straw Men) outdoes his own high standards with this potent blend of suspense, paranoia and just plain creepiness. Jack Whalen, a former L.A. cop, is pursuing a new career as a writer in an idyllic small town just east of Seattle when weird things start to undermine his pursuit of the American dream. First, an old acquaintance from Jack's childhood suddenly turns up with a strange tale about a double homicide; then Jack's wife, an advertising executive, disappears briefly on a business trip. Is he going crazy, or is she leading some sort of secret life? And what about these disturbing spells he keeps having, these fleeting sensations of otherness, in which his own existence is unfamiliar to him? Meanwhile, down the coast in Portland, a nine-year-old girl having similar visions has gone missing. As Jack investigates, he stumbles onto a secret much darker than he ever could have anticipated. Marshall ingeniously threads these strands together into a provocative and supremely intelligent thriller that reads like a cross between Andrew Klavan and Philip K. Dick.