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Half Moon Bay
Cover of Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay
A Novel
"An eerie, tense, and finely written novel...Readers will grip their chairs" (SFGate.com) as they try to unravel this tale of psychological suspense from the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of Turn of Mind.
Jane loses everything when her teenage daughter is killed in a senseless accident. Devastated, she manages to make one tiny stab at a new life: she moves from San Francisco to the seaside town of Half Moon Bay. Jane is inconsolable, and yet, as the months go by, she is able to cobble together some version of a job, of friends, of the possibility of peace.

And then, children begin to disappear. And soon, Jane sees her own pain reflected in all the parents in the town. She wonders if she will be able to live through the aching loss, the fear all around her. And as the disappearances continue, she begins to see that what her neighbors are wondering is if it is Jane herself who has unleashed the horror of loss.

Alice LaPlante's "well-crafted novel of psychological suspense" is a chilling story about a mother haunted by her past, a "brooding suspense novel...dark, starkly beautiful...LaPlante uses a seductively dangerous landscape to mirror her heroine's inner life" (Kirkus Reviews).
"An eerie, tense, and finely written novel...Readers will grip their chairs" (SFGate.com) as they try to unravel this tale of psychological suspense from the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of Turn of Mind.
Jane loses everything when her teenage daughter is killed in a senseless accident. Devastated, she manages to make one tiny stab at a new life: she moves from San Francisco to the seaside town of Half Moon Bay. Jane is inconsolable, and yet, as the months go by, she is able to cobble together some version of a job, of friends, of the possibility of peace.

And then, children begin to disappear. And soon, Jane sees her own pain reflected in all the parents in the town. She wonders if she will be able to live through the aching loss, the fear all around her. And as the disappearances continue, she begins to see that what her neighbors are wondering is if it is Jane herself who has unleashed the horror of loss.

Alice LaPlante's "well-crafted novel of psychological suspense" is a chilling story about a mother haunted by her past, a "brooding suspense novel...dark, starkly beautiful...LaPlante uses a seductively dangerous landscape to mirror her heroine's inner life" (Kirkus Reviews).
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About the Author-
  • Alice LaPlante is an award-winning journalist whose bestselling books include Half Moon Bay, A Circle of Wives, Method and Madness—The Making of a Story, and the New York Times bestseller Turn of Mind. She taught creative writing at Stanford University where she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow and in the MFA program at San Francisco State University.
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    February 15, 2018

    Devastated by the loss of her daughter, Jane moves from San Francisco to quiet, salt-sprayed Half Moon Bay. Then the town's children start disappearing, and both Jane and her neighbors wonder whether she's somehow brought terror to their midst. From the author of the psychological twisters A Circle of Wives and the New York Times best-selling Turn of Mind.

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 14, 2018
    In this well-crafted novel of psychological suspense from bestseller LaPlante (Coming of Age at the End of Days), 39-year-old Jane O’Malley moves from San Francisco to a village on the California coast near Half Moon Bay, where she works with plants at Smithson’s Nursery in an effort to get over the death of her 16-year-old daughter, Angela, in a car accident and her divorce from husband Rick, which was a consequence of that tragedy. Then, five-year-old Heidi McCready disappears, and her body turns up carefully wrapped in a blanket left in a field eight days later. More children go missing, much to the consternation of the members of the little community. Jane feels empathy for the bereaved parents, but her erratic behavior causes the FBI to consider her a suspect. The seductive Edward Stanton, an environmental activist, and his beautiful companion, Alma Godwin, who happen to know about Jane’s losses, challenge her to move beyond her pain as a surprising climax approaches. This complex character study will appeal as much to mainstream fiction readers as genre fans. Agent: Victoria Skurnick, Levine Greenburg Literary.

  • Kirkus

    May 15, 2018
    A grieving, unstable mother who has lost her teenage daughter relocates to a small town on the coast of northern California in this brooding suspense novel.Jane O'Malley, whose daughter was killed the year before by a distracted driver and whose husband has left her, moves to Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, to try to make a new life for herself. A former biologist, she works at a plant nursery guiding customers in the use of native plants. In her spare hours, she walks deserted beaches late at night and considers drowning herself. When young girls from the area begin to disappear and then turn up dead a week later, Jane comes under suspicion. Deserted by some of her local friends and bored with others, she forms an increasingly desperate bond with an alluring new couple. Edward, an environmental activist with a taste for lawbreaking, is a "dark archangel" with "a face that would heal wounds." Alma, a physics professor, is his equal, gorgeous with eyes that are "a strange blue-green, very intense." Readers looking for a mystery with diverting twists and turns won't find them here. This is a classic story of a woman in jeopardy, with the heroine making one bad, though emotionally credible, decision after another. LaPlante (Coming of Age at the End of Days, 2015, etc.) anchors the plot, and Jane's mood swings and secrets, in a physically real and detailed world. The cozy little town, with its family coffee shop and popular pumpkin festival, is contrasted with the dark, starkly beautiful, and deserted midnight seaside, paralleling the alternation in Jane's mental states. Secondary characters drawn in swift, precise strokes, living their lives largely outside Jane's troubled trajectory, help make this a fully developed novel rather than simply a mood piece.In a book that's more acute psychological study than thriller, LaPlante uses a seductively dangerous landscape to mirror her heroine's inner life.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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A Novel
Alice LaPlante
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