Paula McLain

New York Times bestselling author


[A] stunning crime novel . . . McLain matches poetic prose with deep characterizations as she shines a light on the kindness in her characters’ souls. Fans of literary suspense won’t be able to put this one down.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

A muted yet thrilling multilayered mystery enriched by keen psychological and emotional insight.” – KIRKUS

Billed as a love letter to California, Paula McLain’s absolutely incredible literary thriller about the human journey on the way to solve a mystery includes parts of her own experience in foster care mixed in with her reflections on abandonment and belonging in this genre-bending novel from the author of The Paris Wife.” – GOOD MORNING AMERICA

The author of The Paris Wife harnesses heavy suspense for her fifth novel. A detective seeks refuge from a personal tragedy in Mendocino, the Northern California town where she spent her youth, when she confronts a missing persons case that harkens back to a traumatic disappearance from her past.” – ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

From the bestselling author of The Paris Wife, When the Stars Go Dark follows grieving detective Anna Hart as she flees San Francisco for her small North California hometown. But when she learns a local teenage girl has gone missing, the crime feels reminiscent of a tragedy that occurred when she was a child. McLain waves together actual cases of missing persons, trauma theory, and a touch of the metaphysical in this gripping tale that will keep you up all night, muttering “just one more chapter” to yourself.” – E ONLINE 

In this stunning and atmospheric crime novel, a seasoned missing persons detective returns to her hometown after a personal tragedy. When she arrives, she learns a local teen girl has gone missing in a case eerily reminiscent of one from her childhood. As her past and present collide, she finds herself further entangled in a complex mystery that will have you glued to the page.” – BOOK RIOT

Paula McLain . . . focuses her gimlet eye on the not-so-sunny underbelly of California in this gripping new novel about a San Francisco detective who can’t seem to outrun her past.” – TOWN & COUNTRY

We’re thrilled to sink our teeth into this atmospheric read.” – BUZZFEED

Paula McLain has written a powerhouse of a novel that is guaranteed to keep the reader up all night. When the Stars Go Dark is a beautifully written, sharply observed literary thriller with an extraordinary, unforgettable heroine and a twisty plot with a surprise ending. An unconventional, unflinching look at the long shadow cast by trauma and the resilience it takes to survive. This is a novel of both great sadness and great beauty, a gripping story drenched in the exquisite allure of the natural world.” —Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Great Alone and The Nightingale

When the Stars Go Dark is a fantastically propulsive and deeply atmospheric novel that grabs you from the very first page. Visceral and hauntingly suspenseful, Paula McLain has proven to be a masterful storyteller no matter the genre.” —Aimee Malloy, New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Mother

“With this breathtaking novel, Paula McLain proves she can do anything. Exquisitely written, immersive, and atmospheric, When the Stars Go Dark is a tour de force of literary suspense. It pulled me under and left me gasping.” —Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author of The Exiles and Orphan Train

“I loved Paula McLain’s When the Stars Go Dark, which is the beautifully written and positively profound story of Detective Anna Hart, who after an incalculable loss of her own, finds herself going back to her hometown of Mendocino, where she is drawn to investigate the disappearance of a local teenager. During her haunting search, Anna plumbs the depths of her own childhood memories, flashing back-and-forth between past and present, and risks her life to save the missing girl. The twisty plot keeps the pages flying, and McLain’s lyrical and poetic prose reveals insight after insight about the human heart, making this riveting read not onlyan engrossing psychological thriller, but crime fiction of the highest order.” —Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author of Someone Knows and After Anna

“Paula McLain, already established as the master of the historical novel, now explodes into crime fiction with a richly satisfying, tremendously moving mystery—haunting, poignant, lyrical, urgent, unique, unforgettable.” —Chris Pavone, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Diversion and The Expats

Lyrical and beautiful, When the Stars Go Dark is a riveting deep dive into trauma, survival and obsession. With her deeply flawed and utterly compelling heroine, elegant prose, and layered, twisting story, Paula McLain has penned an extraordinary novel of literary suspense, as gripping as it is unique and unforgettable.”—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Confessions on the 7:45

In Anna Hart, Paula McLain has created a vulnerable, intelligent, unforgettable protagonist whose interior life is as interesting as the mysteries she has to solve. When the Stars Go Dark is simultaneously suspenseful and moving – my favorite kind of book. I’ll recommend it far and wide.” — Liz Moore, New York Times bestselling author of Long Bright River


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