Ruby Fletcher has been gone for over a year. After the deaths of Fiona and Bob Truett, Ruby was quickly—too quickly, perhaps—pegged for their murder. With the help of neighborhood cop Chase Colby, Ruby’s guilt was proven to both the residents of Hollow’s Edge and the courts.
But then, it became clear that evidence had been manipulated. Ruby was freed on a mistrial… and now she’s returned abruptly, back to her old home, the one she shared with Harper. Harper’s not sure what to believe.
After all, when Harper’s fiance walked away without so much as a warning sign, Ruby was there for Harper, to keep her company and fill those empty spaces that had so suddenly appeared in her life. Ruby may have taken advantage of others to get what she wanted, but she’d always been kind to Harper, especially as Harper’s life imploded around her.
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But when the Truetts are found dead in their home, slowly poisoned by the carbon monoxide around them, all the signs seemed to point straight to Ruby. Ruby is well-known in the neighborhood as an occasional dog walker, keyholder, flirt, and thief. Who else could be responsible?
In her fifth adult novel, Megan Miranda returns to the setting in which she excels—small towns, filled with people who above all strive to remain known as good people, the right kind of people.
Best known for her timeline-defying, utterly enthralling mystery, All the Missing Girls, Miranda has made her mark with a number of thrillers that focus on small communities. A rural hometown in All the Missing Girls and an exclusive vacation enclave in Reese Witherspoon’s book club pick, The Last House Guest, gave readers a fascinating, secret-filled community to uncover. Now, we venture to the suburban college-adjacent town of Hollow’s Edge.
Miranda’s careful plotting and slow burn are the perfect companions for a suburban mystery—even though we may see our neighbors every day, we know so little about what their lives are really like. As Miranda carefully unveils revelation after revelation, readers will realize that much like Harper, they know nothing about what their neighbors are capable of doing.
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When asked what draws her to mysteries in close-knit communities, Miranda says “ I love exploring the dynamics in a small town setting, where people believe they know everything about one another—only to discover all the layers hidden underneath, just out of sight.
I’d been thinking for a long time about pulling those boundaries even tighter and setting a story within a single neighborhood. In Such A Quiet Place, most of the residents don’t only live together—they also work together. I was interested in exploring that type of community, where their work lives and home lives also overlap.“
The longer Ruby remains in town, the more Harper feels that no one can be trusted. Soon, readers will find themselves questioning if they can even trust Harper herself—after all, can someone who couldn’t see the demise of her own most cherished relationship coming be able to see who’s at fault in a highly contested murder?
Such a Quiet Place is particularly interested in investigating the relationship between Harper and Ruby—Miranda says “I find there’s so much to explore in the nuances of an intense relationship, such as the one between Harper and Ruby. I am drawn to the idea that nothing is all one thing—there can be pros and cons, highs and lows, truth and lies. Especially in a thriller, all of those things can become difficult to untangle. There aren’t always clear cut, simple answers, and so many things depend on perspective.”
The artful portrayals of each type of neighbor you’re used to encountering soon face new wrinkles in Such a Quiet Place, from perfectly prepared mother Charlotte to the potentially crooked Chase Colby.
If you’re a fan of thrillers like Sharp Objects or The Dry, you’ll recognize how a small, close-knit town can be one of the best settings for a mystery, as residents seek to both reveal themselves and conceal what makes them anything less than perfect.
The characters of Hollow’s Edge fear, perhaps even more than the once-convicted killer in their midst, their foibles being revealed. So, though their feathers are fully ruffled by Ruby’s return, it’s not until she makes it clear that she’s back to find the person who put her in jail that the neighborhood fully revolts.
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Here, Miranda shows her power as a writer, as each of Harper’s neighbors—and Harper herself—begin to question the ties that bind them to each other. Can Ruby absolve herself? Will the neighbors once again prove her guilt?
Such a Quiet Place, released on July 13, is the small-town thriller readers have been waiting for. Get your copy now!
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Featured photo: J King / Unsplash