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NOT ALL SECRETS CAN BE BURIED - New spine-chilling psychological thriller

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A BREATH AFTER DROWNING
By ALICE BLANCHARD
 
Child psychiatrist Kate Wolfe’s world comes crashing down when one of her young patients commits suicide, so when a troubled girl is left at the hospital ward, she doubts her ability to help.

However the girl knows things about Kate’s past, things she shouldn’t know, forcing Kate to face the murky evidence surrounding her own sister’s murder sixteen years before.

A murder for which a man is about to be executed.

Unearthing secrets about her own family, and forced to face both her difficult relationship with her distant father and the possibility that her mother might also have met a violent end, the shocking final twist brings Kate face to face with her deepest fear.

Alice Blanchard

Alice Blanchard won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction for her book of stories, The Stuntman’s Daughter. Her first novel, Darkness Peering was named one of the New York Times Book Review’s Notable Books. Her second novel, The Breathtaker was an official selection of the NBC Today Book Club. Alice has received a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, a New Letters Literary Award and a Centrum Artists in Residence Fellowship.
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"Blanchard excels at portraying a multilayered main character who’s damaged but strong, and at sending readers chasing after red herrings. The closing twist, a complete surprise, caps a tale that is as absorbing as it is emotional and thought provoking. This is one for readers of Patricia Cornwell’s Dr. Kay Scarpetta novels...each starring a woman in the field of medicine who cares deeply about her job and about getting justice for those who’ve been wronged."

-- Booklist

"Riveting thriller"

-- Publishers Weekly

"A BREATH AFTER DROWNING had me hooked from page one. A spectacular, gripping, psychological thriller not to be missed.”

-- Lisa Lutz, New York Times bestselling author of The Passenger

“Dark, chilling and complex. Blanchard is a skilled writer who spins a tangled-web thriller that will keep you up at night.”

-- Sherri Smith, bestselling author of Follow Me Down

“In her newest, A BREATH AFTER DROWNING, Alice Blanchard has you by the throat before you know it. This story of a child psychiatrist stalked by violence past and present kept me up all night, long after I stopped reading. Blanchard is a powerhouse, and keeps getting better.”

-- Jacquelyn Mitchard, bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean

"A smart read with a complex heroine and an ending you can't foresee with a crystal ball."

-- Nancy Allen, bestselling author of the Ozarks Mystery Series

 
READ A SAMPLE
Q + A WITH ALICE BLANCHARD
 
You took some time off from writing. What can you tell us about coming back to writing?

Life can knock you sideways. My father took his own life. At the time, I was not prepared for the effects of such a primary loss, which lasted for years. He was such a sweet, vulnerable man. Recovering from his death was like crawling out of emotional quicksand. Eventually I found my love of writing again.
 
What can you tell us about this novel?

A Breath After Drowning is a psychological thriller about a renowned child psychiatrist who treats a mysterious, troubled child connected to her own dark past. As Kate helps the child heal, she faces her deepest fear.
 
What draws you to writing mystery?

I come from a literary background. Early in my career, I won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction for my short story collection, The Stuntman’s Daughter. The prize was judged by Rick DeMarinis who said: “Blanchard takes risks. She walks the tightrope between sentiment and sentimentality, and never loses her balance. And by doing so, she tests the humanity of her characters and thus the humanity of her readers.” That’s still one of my favorite reviews of my work.

I have twin passions for literary and commercial fiction. My goal is to marry the sweeping scope of the thriller with the intimacy of the short story. The idea for my first novel, Darkness Peering, came to me in a dream. There's a runoff pond on the edge of a field where I grew up, and in my dream, there was a dead girl lying in that pond. I woke up and followed the mystery.

What do you think drives interest in psychological thrillers?

We fear the unexpected. We fear the unknown. We fear that the people we love might not be exactly who we think they are. Psychological thrillers give us a powerful vicarious experience without leaving the comfort of our living rooms.

I'll never forget the first time I saw Hitchcock's "Psycho." What a brilliant film. Marion Crane is about to embezzle money, but instead, she changes her mind and does the right thing, shortly before she's knifed to death in her bathroom.

In "Gone Girl," Amy Dunne refuses to be defined by her ambivalent husband, or by anyone else. Readers are shocked when she shifts from victim to villain. The unexpected twist sends chills up our spines.

Who are the main influences in your writing?

There are many--Lorrie Moore, Denis Johnson, Dennis Lehane, JD Salinger, Flannery O’Connor, Truman Capote, Gillian Flynn, Jack Kerouac, Edith Wharton, Cormac McCarthy, Bret Easton Ellis, John Fante, Carson McCullers, Haruki Murakami, Thomas Harris, Caroline Kepnes, Raymond Carver, Vladimir Nabakov, and Tim O'Brien, to name a few.
 
What do you hope readers will get from this book?

A powerful, exhilarating experience.
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