Only If You're Lucky: A Novel (Hardcover)
A sharp and twisty exploration of female friendship from the New York Times bestselling author of A Flicker in the Dark and All the Dangerous Things.
Lucy Sharpe is larger than life. Magnetic, addictive. Bold and dangerous. Especially for Margot, who meets Lucy at the end of their freshman year at a liberal arts college in South Carolina. Margot is the shy one, the careful one, always the sidekick and never the center of attention. But when Lucy singles her out at the end of the year, a year Margot spent studying and playing it safe, and asks her to room together, something in Margot can't say no—something daring, or starved, or maybe even envious.
And so Margot finds herself living in an off-campus house with three other girls, Lucy, the ringleader; Sloane, the sarcastic one; and Nicole, the nice one, the three of them opposites but also deeply intertwined. It's a year that finds Margot finally coming out of the shell she's been in since the end of high school, when her best friend Eliza died three weeks after graduation. Margot and Lucy have become the closest of friends, but by the middle of their sophomore year, one of the fraternity boys from the house next door has been brutally murdered... and Lucy Sharpe is missing without a trace.
From the author of A Flicker in the Dark and All the Dangerous Things comes a tantalizing thriller about the nature of friendship and belonging, about loyalty, envy, and betrayal—another gripping novel from an author quickly becoming the gold standard in psychological suspense.
About the Author
STACY WILLINGHAM is the New York Times, USA Today and internationally bestselling author of A Flicker in the Dark, All the Dangerous Things and Only If You're Lucky. Her debut, A Flicker in the Dark, was a 2022 finalist for the Book of the Month's Book of the Year award, Goodreads Choice Best Debut award, Goodreads Choice Best Mystery & Thriller award, and ITW's Best First Novel award. Her work has been translated in more than thirty languages. Before turning to fiction, she was a copywriter and brand strategist for various marketing agencies. She earned her B.A. in magazine journalism from the University of Georgia and M.F.A. in writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband, Britt, and Labradoodle, Mako.
Praise for Only If You're Lucky
BookRiot's Most Anticipated January Mysteries and Thrillers
Goodreads Most Anticipated Mysteries and Thrillers of 2024
Mysterious Bookshop (NYC) February Psychological Suspense Crime Club
LibraryReads Pick (Hall of Fame) January 2024
SIBA Read This Next January 2024
"Willingham is known for psychological twists, and the one she plants here is a doozy." —Booklist
“A first-year college student accepts an invitation to leave her dormitory and move into a house with three other women. Then absolutely everything goes wrong...The payoff is handsome.” —Kirkus Reviews
"Cunning...twisty...Willingham's prose remains evocative, and her deep dive into the thorny nature of female friendship rings true...a gripping ride." —Publishers Weekly
"A hypnotic thriller...Stacy Willingham has already proven she's adept at keeping her readers guessing, and in her third outing she continues her masterfulness." —Charleston.com
"Willingham delivers twist after twist, every one unexpected, plausible, and clever. She’s created a narrator who is telling far less than she knows but does so in a way that there’s never a feeling of being duped or cheated. That feat alone should earn Willingham a place alongside Paula Hawkins and Gillian Flynn in the pantheon of great psychological thriller authors.” —Southern Review of Books
"A twisty mystery that carefully unspools itself with each chapter, Only If You’re Lucky is the kind of book that will grip a reader and refuse to let go...Dark, intense, and completely addictive." –Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of The Girls Are All So Nice Here
“Utterly hypnotic. Only If You’re Lucky seduces the reader into a spiderweb of beguiling friendships, sinister secrets, and the quicksilver danger lurking behind even the tightest of bonds. Reader beware—this will keep you breathless to the very end.” –Lisa Gardner
"Stacy Willingham has crafted a stunning thriller about the transformative power of female friendship, for better and for worse, in which bright young women harbor dark, scary secrets. Only If You’re Lucky is that rare find of a novel that's both literary feat and bingeable airplane read." –Chandler Baker
“Stacy Willingham’s best book yet, a dark masterpiece that captures the bohemian hedonism, punch-drunk emotions, and intense-allegiances that define college life, especially for young women. A powerhouse story, by turns seductive and violent, delicate and brutal, from a virtuosic writer destined for the dark academic canon.”–Ashley Winstead
“With Only If You're Lucky, Stacy Willingham delivers a novel that is at once kaleidoscopic and startlingly real, as thrilling as a dare and as tantalizing as a secret. Lucy and the gang are going to live rent-free in my head for a long time.” –Hannah Morrissey
"Only If You’re Lucky is a dark and chilling look into female friendships, the lies we tell, the secrets we keep and how much we can ever know those closest to us. Hypnotic and haunting with lifelike characters and mind blowing twists that fall perfectly into place, Willingham's latest is a masterpiece." –Mary Kubica
Praise for Stacy Willingham
“Stellar suspense at its very best.” –Vulture
"Exceptionally smart, entertaining." —The Washington Post
“Gripping.” —South Florida Sun Sentinel
"A bona fide rising star in the mystery and thriller genre.” —Goodreads
"Superior plotting." —South Florida Sun Sentinel
“Willingham offers taut storytelling and a heroine with compelling vulnerability.” —Booklist
"Willingham is a writer to watch.” —Publishers Weekly