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About SJI Holliday
Susi (S.J.I.) Holliday is the bestselling Scottish author of 8 novels, a novella and many short stories. By day she works in pharmaceuticals. She lives in London (except when she's in Edinburgh) and she loves to travel the world.
The Last Resort (2020)
Mr Sandman (2020)
The Lingering (2018)
The Deaths of December (2017)
The Damselfly (2017)
Willow Walk (2016)
Black Wood (2015)
You can find out more at her website: susiholliday.com, on Facebook and Twitter @SJIHolliday & Instagram @SusiJHolliday.
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Three people live. Three people die. You make the choice.
Like any mother, Chrissie wants to protect her family. She would do anything to keep them safe. So when a mysterious stranger turns up at her door, offering to prevent the deaths of the people she loves, it sounds too good to be true. The only problem: she must choose someone to die in their place. A substitute.
When her daughter Holly has a terrible accident, Chrissie has no option but to enter the programme. In that horrifying moment, she would do anything to save her. But even after Holly makes a miraculous recovery, Chrissie is convinced it’s just a coincidence. After all, who can really control the laws of life and death?
But as the dangers to her family escalate and her chosen substitutes begin to disappear, Chrissie finds herself in an underworld of hidden laboratories and secretive doctors. And the consequences of playing by their rules are far deadlier than she ever imagined…
A twisty, chilling psychological thriller cum gothic ghost story set in a Victorian psychiatric home with a disturbing history, and someone set on revenge…
LONGLISTED for the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize
Number One Bestseller in Ebook
’Cements Holliday’s position as one of the most gifted and entertaining psychological thriller writers in the business’ Steve Cavanagh
‘Saunters from creepy to genuinely terrifying … I was completely unable to put it down’ Elizabeth Haynes
‘In the new wave of gothic novels, The Lingering is a stand-out triumph’ Eva Dolan
‘An atmospheric chiller of a book … reminiscent of early James Herbert’ Fiona Cummins
Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.
When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…
At once an unnerving mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.
'Utterly beguiling and darkly sinister, this superb Gothic ghost tale is a brilliantly crafted rug puller’ Lisa Howells, Heat Magazine
‘A wonderful cross-over novel that ranges from taut psychological chiller to supernatural suspense … Nail-biting stuff, superbly executed’ Sunday Times
‘Readers will find this contemporary gothic tale hard to put down’ Publishers Weekly
‘A thrilling, chilling, shocking tale, perfect if you take delight in an icy shiver scuttling down your spine’ LoveReading
‘Brilliantly chilling and perfectly paced’ Anna Mazzola
‘One of the most original ghost stories I have ever read’ Cass Green
‘Like Stephen King meets Thomas Harris’ Derek Farrell
‘A serious spine-chiller from an exceptional talent’ Chris Whitaker
‘Tense and chilling, with a creeping sense of unease’ Neil Broadfoot
‘Perfectly paced and guaranteed to cause you sleepless nights for all the right reasons. Fans of Susan Hill and Andrew Taylor, take note’ David Mark
‘Creepy, unsettling and all-consuming’ Jenny Blackhurst
‘Spooky, compelling and chilling’ Jane Isaac
‘Eerie and unsettling, with a bittersweet beauty’ Fergus McNeill
‘Unnerved me r
When two strangers end up sharing a cabin on the Trans-Siberian Express, an intense friendship develops, one that can only have one ending … a nerve-shattering psychological thriller from bestselling author SJI Holliday
***Mail on Sunday BOOK OF THE YEAR***
‘A tense, immersive thriller that kept me guessing’ Ian Rankin
‘Compelling, gripping and horrifically entertaining’ Liz Nugent
‘Wonderfully creepy and compelling’ Mail on Sunday
‘Echoes of a Killing Eve vibe. Fabulously awful women you will love’ Sarah Pinborough
Carrie's best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they'd planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone.
Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is also desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.
When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend's place.
Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel – because one of these women is not who she claims to be…
A tense and twisted psychological thriller about obsession, manipulation and toxic friendships, Violet also reminds us that there's a reason why mother told us not to talk to strangers...
‘A fantastically claustrophobic and hugely enjoyable read’ I-Newspaper
‘Killing Eve meets The Talented Mr Ripley meets Single White Female … This is a tense, uneasy thriller, which will forever stop you befriending strangers’ Red
‘A dark look at toxic friendship, this twisted thriller is a devour-in-a-single-sitting gem’ Crime Monthly
‘A compulsive read … a book you won’t be forgetting in a hurry’ CultureFly
‘Gripping with twists that you don’t see coming’ Woman’s Way
Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One perfect crime.
When Amelia is invited to an all-expenses-paid retreat on a private island, the mysterious offer is too good to refuse. Along with six other strangers, she’s told they’re here to test a brand-new product for Timeo Technologies. But the guests’ excitement soon turns to terror when the real reason for their summons becomes clear.
Each guest has a guilty secret. And when they’re all forced to wear a memory-tracking device that reveals their dark and shameful deeds to their fellow guests, there’s no hiding from the past. This is no luxury retreat—it’s a trap they can’t get out of.
As the clock counts down to the lavish end-of-day party they’ve been promised, injuries and in-fighting split the group. But with no escape from the island—or the other guests’ most shocking secrets—Amelia begins to suspect that her only hope for survival is to be the last one standing. Can she confront her own dark past to uncover the truth—before it’s too late to get out?
Travel the globe with this breath-taking collection of short stories from the Crime Writer’s Association … perfectly chilling one-sitting reads…
'The diverse storytelling styles and takes on familiar genre tropes add up to an entertaining buffet for mystery fans’ Publishers Weekly
Crime spreads across the globe in this new collection of short stories from the Crime Writer’s Association, as a conspiracy of prominent crime authors take you on world mystery tour.
Highlights of the trip include a treacherous cruise to French Polynesia, a horrifying trek in South Africa, a murderous train-ride across Ukraine and a vengeful killing in Mumbai. But back home in the UK, life isn’t so easy either. Dead bodies turn up on the backstreets of Glasgow, crime writers turn words into deeds at literary events, and Lady Luck seems to guide the fate of a Twickenham hood.
Showcasing the range, breadth and vitality of contemporary crime-fiction, these twenty-eight chilling, one-sitting stories will take you on a trip you’ll never forget.
Contributions from: Ann Cleeves, C.L. Taylor, Susi Holliday, Martin Edwards, Anna Mazzola, Carol Anne Davis, Cath Staincliffe, Chris Simms, Christine Poulson, Ed James, Gordon Brown, J.M. Hewitt, Judith Cutler, Julia Crouch, Kate Ellis, Kate Rhodes, Martine Bailey, Michael Stanley, Maxim Jakubowski, Paul Charles, Paul Gitsham, Peter Lovesey, Ragnar Jónasson, Sarah Rayne, Shawn Reilly Simmons, Vaseem Khan, William Ryan and William Burton McCormick
‘A cherishable collection’ Barry Forshaw, Crime Time
'An absolutely cracking anthology which provides a wonderful introduction to the short story, with a mix of crimes to make you smile, cringe, gasp and nod' Jen Med’s Book Reviews
‘A brilliantly witty, dark and captivating collection’ The Book Trail
'This is an excellent collection of high quality crime stories, ranging from psychological thrillers to crime scene investigations, providing something for everyone – and the chance to get out of your usual “crime reads” comfort zone’ Off-the-Shelf Books
When the past catches up, do you run and hide or stand and fight?
When a woman is brutally attacked on a lonely country road by an escaped inmate from a nearby psychiatric hospital, Sergeant Davie Gray must track him down before he strikes again. But Gray is already facing a series of deaths connected to legal highs and a local fairground, as well as dealing with his girlfriend Marie's bizarre behaviour. As Gray investigates the crimes, he suspects a horrifying link between Marie and the man on the run – but how can he confront her when she's pushing him away?
As a terrified Marie is pulled back into a violent past she thought she'd escaped, she makes an irrevocable decision. And when events come to a head at a house party on Willow Walk, can Gray piece together the puzzle in time to stop the sleepy town of Banktoun being rocked by tragedy once more?
PRAISE FOR WILLOW WALK
"Unflinching attention to detail lifts Holliday’s inventive and compelling second Banktoun novel to a whole new level."
– THE SUN, 4-stars
"A compelling tale of obsession and dark secrets that grips you from the first chapter and holds you right through to the startling and dramatic conclusion."
– AVA MARSH, author of Untouchable
"Chillingly nuanced, pulse-poundingly suspenseful, and totally unputdownable."
"The kind of book I adore discovering, one that stays with me long after I’ve finished."
– JENNY BLACKHURST, author of How I Lost You
"Tense, atmospheric and gripping from page one. A first-rate psychological thriller.
– MASON CROSS, author of The Samaratin
"Feverish and intense, Willow Walk is a worthy follow up to S.J.I. Holliday’s highly regarded debut, Black Wood. A writer who doesn’t flinch in the face of twisted impulses and unspeakable desires, few can match her for the creation of truly disturbing characters."
– EVA DOLAN, author of After You Die
"A brilliantly dark and twisted tale that expertly builds the tension until you find yourself biting your nails to the quick as the pages fly by."
– STEVE CAVANAGH, author of The Defence
"The writing is sublime and the storyline is darkly delicious with some thought-provoking themes and genuinely intriguing characters."
– Liz Loves Books
He spots the two girls through the cracked screen of beech, sycamore and leg-scratching gorse: a flash of red skirt and a unison of giggles . . . The smaller girl sees him first and she lets out a strange little squeak and jumps back, grabbing onto the other girl’s T-shirt, revealing a flash of milky white shoulder.
Something happened to Claire and Jo in Black Wood: something that left Claire paralysed and Jo with deep mental scars. But with Claire suffering memory loss and no evidence to be found, nobody believes Jo’s story.
Twenty-three years later, a familiar face walks into the bookshop where Jo works, dredging up painful memories and rekindling her desire for vengeance. And at the same time, Sergeant David Gray is investigating a balaclava-clad man who is attacking women on a disused railway, shocking the sleepy village of Banktoun. But what is the connection between Jo’s visitor and the masked man?
To catch the assailant, and to give Jo her long-awaited justice, Gray must unravel a tangled web of past secrets, broken friendship and tainted love. But can he crack the case before Jo finds herself with blood on her hands?
‘A deliciously dark thriller with a shocking secret at its heart’
Fergus McNeill, author ofEye Contact
‘A dark, chilling read that moves fast and builds to a brilliant climax. Superb.’
Steve Cavanagh, author ofThe Defence
‘In her atmospheric debut, Holliday effectively and spookily evokes small-town claustrophobia and backbiting. An edgy and authentic new voice in crime fiction.’
Anya Lipska, author ofWhere the Devil Can’t Go
‘A fast-paced and chilling psychological thriller from an exciting new talent. If you liked Broadchurch, you’ll love this.’
Mark Edwards and Louise Voss, authors ofFrom The Cradle
‘Darkly atmospheric and utterly absorbing.’
Jane Isaac, author ofThe Truth Will Out
‘A plot which weaves and twists its way around a tight-knit community… [where] old sins return to haunt some damaged people and the atmosphere is thick with unspoken dread… You won’t read a more shocking, or satisfying, thriller this year.’
James Benmore, author ofDodger
‘A deeply unsettling story of bad deeds, complex loyalties and secrets better left buried,Black Woodis a thrilling debut which grips from the very first page and doesn’t let go.’
Eva Dolan, author ofLong Way Home
‘Holliday has a knack for creating fascinating, well-observed, and sometimes quirky characters.Black Woodis dark and twisty with a creepy atmosphere that pervades this compelling tale from first page to last. I was gripped. A fantastic new voice on the block.’
Amanda Jennings, author ofThe Judas Scar
‘Hugely satisfying twists and great characterisation, creepy and astute.
An unsolved murder. A community turned against each other. A killer close to home...
Katie Taylor is the perfect student. She’s bright and funny, she has a boyfriend who adores her and there are only a few months left of school before she can swap Banktoun for the bright lights of London. Life gets even better when she has an unexpected win on a scratch card. But then Katie’s luck runs out.
Her tragic death instead becomes the latest in a series of dark mysteries blighting the small town. The new school counsellor Polly McAllister, who has recently returned to Banktoun to make amends in her own personal life, is thrown in at the deep end as the pupils and staff come to terms with Katie’s death. And it’s not long before she uncovers a multitude of murky secrets. Did Katie have enemies? Is her boyfriend really so squeaky clean? And who is her brother’s mysterious friend?
With Banktoun’s insular community inflamed by gossip and a baying mob stirring itself into a frenzy on social media, DS Davie Gray and DC Louise Jennings must work out who really murdered Katie before someone takes matters into their own hands…
The Damselfly is the latest novel from the bestselling author of Black Wood and Willow Walk set in the small Scottish town of Banktoun. Fans of Rachel Abbott, Angela Marsons and Peter James will love this rivetting psychological crime thriller as DS Davie Gray tries to hold together a community once again rocked by tragedy.
What readers are saying about The Damselfly:
"A compulsive read until the final breathtaking page." – Elizabeth Haynes, author of Never Alone
"Multi-layered, fiendishly plotted and peopled by a cast of characters drawn with rare delicacy and skill." – Eva Dolan, author of Watch Her Disappear
"The Damselfly is everything we’ve come to expect from Holliday – unnerving, compelling, and grabs tight from the start.” – Amanda Jennings, author of In Her Wake
"Grips throughout then stops you dead in your tracks, beautiful writing, beautiful plotting from an entirely twisted genius of an author." – LizLovesBooks
"I read it in a day – this is one you won’t want to put down until its heart-breaking conclusion." – Jenny Blackhurst, author of Before I Let You In
"Think you're in for a cosy time of it if you move in to a small town? Read this book and have a re-think ... A pacy read: a fascinating ride, and one that will keep you glued to the book, right to the very last word." – Michael J Malone, author of A Suitable Lie
"Another haunting, fast-paced thriller. The Damselfly gets under the skin of teenagers, families and the Banktoun community." – AK Benedict, author of The Beauty of Murder
"A blaster of a plot that grips you right from the get-go.
Following the Spinetingler award nominated 'Off The Record', the charity anthology featuring stories based on classic song titles, comes the highly anticipated sequel.
This time, inspiration arrives in the form of classic film titles. With an introduction penned by Chris Ewan and featuring some of biggest and brightest names writing today including...
Will Carver, Steve Mosby, Helen FitzGerald, Adrian McKinty, Matt Hilton, Stav Sherez, Claire McGowan, Sean Cregan, David Jackson, Mel Sherratt, Nick Quantrill, Maxim Jakubowski, and many, many more...
47 writers from around the world. All coming together to raise money for two children's literacy charities...
In the UK, National Literacy Trust.
In the US, Children's Literacy Initiative.
From Crime to Fantasy, Taxi Driver to Weekend at Bernie's, there's something for everyone in this collection of 47 short stories.
And all proceeds from the sales of this anthology go directly to charity!
100 of the best crime stories written by women, selected and introduced by Sophie Hannah.
From Agatha Christie and Daphne du Maurier, to Val McDermid and Margaret Atwood, women writers have long been drawn to criminal acts. Here, award-winning author Sophie Hannah brings together 100 of her favourite examples.
Deadlier includes prize-winners, bestsellers and rising stars, so whether you take your crime cosy or hard-boiled, this big, beautiful anthology will keep you reading long into the night.