A Talent for Murder: A Novel (Hardcover)

A Talent for Murder: A Novel By Peter Swanson Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
2 on hand, as of Jun 17 3:30pm


A newlywed librarian begins to suspect the man she married might be a murderer—in this spectacularly twisty and deviously clever novel by Peter Swanson, New York Times bestselling author of The Kind Worth Killing and Eight Perfect Murders.

Martha Ratliff conceded long ago that she’d likely spend her life alone. She was fine with it, happy with her solo existence, stimulated by her job as an archival librarian, constantly surrounded by thought-provoking ideas and the books she loved. But then she met Alan, a charming and sweet-natured divorcee with a job that took him on the road for half the year. When he asked her to marry him, she said yes, even though he still felt a little bit like a stranger.

A year in and the marriage was good, except for that strange blood streak on the back of one of his shirts he’d worn to a conference in Denver. Her curiosity turning to suspicion, Martha investigates the cities Alan visited over the past year and uncovers a disturbing pattern—five unsolved cases of murdered women.

Is she married to a serial killer? Or could it merely be a coincidence? Unsure what to think, Martha contacts an old friend from graduate school for advice. Lily Kintner once helped Martha out of a jam with an abusive boyfriend and may have some insight. Intrigued, Lily offers to meet Alan to find out what kind of man he really is . . . but what Lily uncovers is more perplexing and wicked than they ever could have expected.

About the Author

Peter Swanson is the New York Times bestselling author of The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; and Eight Perfect Murders, a New York Times bestseller, among others. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science FictionThe Atlantic MonthlyMeasureThe GuardianThe Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. He lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts, where he is at work on his next novel.

Praise For…

"Brilliant. . . Swanson’s gift for well-earned yet seismic reveals is on full display, and he fortifies them with unexpected heart. . . This is a masterpiece of misdirection." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This seems like a fairly straightforward is-he-or-isn’t-he story until, in a rather startling fashion, Swanson reveals what the book is really about (and it’s probably safe to say that the reader will not see it coming). Swanson has written many excellent novels, but this one is certainly his most shocking." — Booklist

“Peter Swanson never disappoints! A Talent for Murder is a clever, ingenious, edge-of-your-seat thriller that will flip your expectations upside down. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to reach the jaw-dropping conclusion.” — Liv Constantine, bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish

"Peter Swanson has such a knack for getting readers to root for the most complicated characters, and A Talent for Murder is no exception. This time, Lily Kintner is back with another game of cat-and-mouse as she helps her long-lost friend determine if her husband is a serial killer. The stakes are high, the body count is higher, and yet I would still follow Lily anywhere." — Stacy Willingham, New York Times bestselling author of Only If You're Lucky

“Smart, surprising, cool and fun, with a deeply satisfying ending. I loved it!” — Gillian McAllister, New York Times bestselling author, on The Kind Worth Saving

“A complex tale of multiple killings over many years involving at least one, and possibly more, murderous psychopaths. The story is told in alternating timelines. . . How those two stories converge, and the shocking sleight-of-hand twist that is, trust me, impossible to predict, are just two of the many balls that Swanson juggles in this entertaining story.” — Sarah Lyall, New York Times Book Review, on The Kind Worth Saving

“The inventive Mr. Swanson never lets the willing reader down. With The Kind Worth Saving, he surpasses his own high standard.” — Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal

“Swanson’s take on Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley adds a few unnerving twists of its own. . . forges distinctly new links to Highsmith’s classic study of an upwardly mobile sociopath and hurtles this take into hyperdrive.” — Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063205031
ISBN-10: 0063205033
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: June 11th, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English