Bright Young Women
‘Cleverly constructed [. . .] psychologically astute and written with flair.’ – The Sunday Times
‘A compelling, almost hypnotic read’ – Lisa Jewell, bestselling author of None of This is True
‘Bright Young Women is Jessica Knoll at her best: an unflinching and evocative novel’ – Laura Dave, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Thing He Told Me
January 1978. Tallahassee. When sorority president Pamela Schumacher is startled awake at 3 a.m. by a strange sound, she’s shocked to encounter a scene of implausible violence – two of her friends dead and two others, maimed. Thrust into a terrifying mystery, Pamela becomes entangled in a crime that captivates public interest for more than four decades . . .
On the other side of the country, Tina Cannon has found peace in Seattle after years of hardship. When Ruth, her best friend, goes missing from Lake Sammamish State Park in broad daylight, surrounded by thousands of beachgoers on a beautiful summer day, Tina devotes herself to finding out what happened to her.
When Tina hears about the tragedy in Tallahassee, she suspects the same man the papers refer to is responsible. Determined to make him answer for what he did to Ruth, she travels to Florida on a collision course with Pamela – and one last impending tragedy.
From the author of the New York Times bestseller and #1 Netflix movie Luckiest Girl Alive comes Jessica Knoll’s extraordinary novel inspired by the real-life sorority targeted by America’s first celebrity serial killer in his final murderous spree.
Praise for Bright Young Women:
‘This book is extraordinary’ – Catherine Ryan-Howard, author of Run Time
‘Writing with pulse-pounding tension and urgency, Knoll expertly conjures an atmosphere of dread and anxiety . . . An utterly absorbing, disturbing, and absolutely essential read.’ – Booklist, Starred Review
Jessica Knoll is a careful writer, and this, her third novel, is a perfect match for her cold dissection of social mores and her fierce rage at misogyny. Knoll takes on the story of Ted Bundy, told from the perspective of a student who survives a horrific attack on a sorority house . . . Some may claim that the crime genre is rift with misogyny; those people have not read Jessica Knoll. She tears apart the restrictive world of women's roles and lays bare the purpose of such hobbles: to keep women from making a scene, to keep them from seeking justice, and most of all, to keep them from seeking their own lives. * CrimeReads/LitHub, Most Anticipated Books of 2023 * Bright Young Women is a fearless and intoxicating ride into the aftershocks of a series of brutal murders. Knoll explores in vivid, pointillist prose the effects on the 'bright young women' of the title, both the victims snuffed out in their glorious prime, and those left behind in their wake. It's a compelling, almost hypnotic read and I loved it with a passion. -- Lisa Jewell, Bestselling author of None of This is True Knoll sets about dismantling every last Bundy myth with a controlled but palpable rage. I already loved how she writes, but this book is extraordinary. Genuinely can't rememebr the last time a novel moved me so much. Don't miss it. -- Catherine Ryan-Howard, author of Run Time [A] huge summer read . . . one of those great stories that you can't put down! -- Reese Witherspoon, InStyle on Luckiest Girl Alive Bright Young Women is Jessica Knoll at her best: an unflinching and evocative novel about the tabloid fascination with evil and the dynamic and brilliant women who have the real story to tell. -- Laura Dave, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Thing He Told Me Blistering and powerful, Bright Young Women is an almost unbearably vivid story of sisterhood and survival. With razor-sharp skill, Jessica Knoll deconstructs the myth of a criminal mastermind, revealing the women he seeks to destroy as the truly brilliant ones. -- Flynn Berry, New York Times bestselling author of Northern Spy and Under the Harrow Knife-sharp and enthralling -- Megan Abbott, author of The Turnout on The Favourite Sister Writing with pulse-pounding tension and urgency, Knoll expertly conjures an atmosphere of dread and anxiety while paying tribute to all the bright young women whose lives are cut short or forever changed by craven actions of sociopaths. An utterly absorbing, disturbing, and absolutely essential read. * Booklist, starred review * An unsettling and thrilling page-turner . . . Knoll's haunting, must-read account will captivate [readers] until the end. * Library Journal (Starred) * A stunning, engaging subversion of the Bundy myth-and the true-crime genre. * Kirkus Reviews (Starred) * Brilliant . . . Writing with pulse-pounding tension and urgency, Knoll expertly conjures an atmosphere of dread and anxiety while paying tribute to all the bright young women whose lives are cut short or forever changed by the craven actions of sociopaths. An utterly absorbing, disturbing, and absolutely essential read. * Booklist (Starred) * Stunning . . . By focusing on the women affected by her Ted Bundy stand-in instead of the nuances of his criminal psychology, Knoll movingly reframes an American obsession without stripping it of its intrigue. The results are masterful. * Publishers Weekly *
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