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The Overnight Guest
Cover of The Overnight Guest
The Overnight Guest
A Novel
Borrow Borrow
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"Fully realized, wholly absorbing and almost painfully suspenseful...The journey is mesmerizing."
—New York Times
A woman receives an unexpected visitor during a deadly snowstorm in this chilling thriller from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf.
True crime writer Wylie Lark doesn't mind being snowed in at the isolated farmhouse where she's retreated to write her new book. A cozy fire, complete silence. It would be perfect, if not for the fact that decades earlier, at this very house, two people were murdered in cold blood and a girl disappeared without a trace.
As the storm worsens, Wylie finds herself trapped inside the house, haunted by the secrets contained within its walls—haunted by secrets of her own. Then she discovers a small child in the snow just outside. After bringing the child inside for warmth and safety, she begins to search for answers. But soon it becomes clear that the farmhouse isn't as isolated as she thought, and someone is willing to do anything to find them.
And don't miss these other great stories by Heather!
The Weight of Silence
These Things Hidden
Little Mercies
MIssing Pieces
Not a Sound
Before She Was Found
This is How I Lied
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"Fully realized, wholly absorbing and almost painfully suspenseful...The journey is mesmerizing."
—New York Times
A woman receives an unexpected visitor during a deadly snowstorm in this chilling thriller from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf.
True crime writer Wylie Lark doesn't mind being snowed in at the isolated farmhouse where she's retreated to write her new book. A cozy fire, complete silence. It would be perfect, if not for the fact that decades earlier, at this very house, two people were murdered in cold blood and a girl disappeared without a trace.
As the storm worsens, Wylie finds herself trapped inside the house, haunted by the secrets contained within its walls—haunted by secrets of her own. Then she discovers a small child in the snow just outside. After bringing the child inside for warmth and safety, she begins to search for answers. But soon it becomes clear that the farmhouse isn't as isolated as she thought, and someone is willing to do anything to find them.
And don't miss these other great stories by Heather!
The Weight of Silence
These Things Hidden
Little Mercies
MIssing Pieces
Not a Sound
Before She Was Found
This is How I Lied
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About the Author-
  • Heather Gudenkauf is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Not a Sound. Heather lives in Iowa with her family.
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    August 1, 2021

    Known for her small-town thrillers, the New York Times best-selling Gudenkauf here takes us farther afield, with true-crime writer Wylie Lark snowbound in a remote farmhouse where two people were murdered and a little girl vanished. Then she discovers a shivering child outside her door and gets the distinct feeling that she is being watched.

    Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    November 15, 2021
    A contemporary mystery may hold the key to a 20-year-old murder and abduction case. As a blizzard rages across the Iowa plains, true-crime writer Wylie Lark steps outside with her dog--and discovers a half-frozen child in her front yard. When revived, the boy shows clear signs of abuse and trauma, so Wylie braves the elements to see if perhaps he's been in a car accident. Sure enough, a truck crumpled in the ditch leads Wylie to another body, a clearly injured woman, also almost frozen to death. Who are these two strangers who are willing to risk their lives to run away from something--or someone--in the midst of such terrible weather? Intercut with this unspooling mystery is another that took place 20 years earlier in the same small town: A family was murdered, their daughter the only survivor, and the daughter's friend went missing the same night and has never been found. Gudenkauf offers a third narrative strand, told from the perspective of a young girl who lives with her mother and fears the occasional visits of a brutal, abusive father figure. Of course, all of these narratives will share a solution in the end. Up to this point, the suspense that Gudenkauf creates and builds into each separate story is masterful, terrible, and absolutely addicting. The problem: the solution feels arbitrary and, ultimately, disappointing. There are no clues leading the earnest reader to the answer, just an author's deus ex machina. Despite an actively plotted climax and a gesture toward a hopeful ending, the unknown is the lifeblood of this novel; once the truth comes out, the energy, originality, and interest wink out, too. Tense, taut, and terrifying--until the reveal. Read the first 43 chapters and be satisfied.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 15, 2021
    In this riveting thriller from bestseller Gudenkauf (This Is How I Lied), Oregon writer Wylie Lark retreats to an unoccupied, isolated farmhouse in Burden, Iowa, where two people were murdered and a little girl went missing in 2000. The murders and disappearance are the subject of her fourth true crime book. During a major snowstorm, Wylie discovers a bleeding five-year-old boy in her front yard with remnants of duct tape on his mouth. She can’t contact the sheriff because her utilities are out due to the storm, so she brings the boy inside, tends to his injuries, and tries to get him to tell her what happened, but he’s frightened and refuses to talk. Wylie goes outside to collect firewood, but on returning she finds she’s locked out, and, through a window, she sees a woman with a hatchet. Wylie’s frantic efforts to save the boy alternate with flashbacks that reveal in suspenseful increments what happened in the farmhouse two decades earlier. This twisty tale builds to a satisfying conclusion. The talented Gudenkauf consistently delivers. Agent: Marianne Merola, Brandt & Hochman Literary.

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    Park Row Books
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A Novel
Heather Gudenkauf
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