The Christmas Guest

A Novella

by Peter Swanson

On Sale: 10/17/2023

The Christmas Guest

Enlarge Book Cover

The Christmas Guest

A Novella

by Peter Swanson

On Sale: 10/17/2023


About the Book

New York Times bestselling author Peter Swanson pens a spectacularly spine-chilling novella in which an American art student in London is invited to join a classmate for the holidays at Starvewood Hall, her family’s Cotswold manor house. But behind the holly and pine boughs, secrets are about to unravel, revealing this seemingly charming English village’s grim history.

Ashley Smith, an American art student in London for her junior year, was planning on spending Christmas alone, but a last-minute invitation from fellow student Emma Chapman brings her to Starvewood Hall, country residence of the Chapman family. The Cotswold manor house, festooned in pine boughs and crammed with guests for Christmas week, is a dream come true for Ashley. She is mesmerized by the cozy, firelit house, the large family, and the charming village of Clevemoor, but also by Adam Chapman, Emma’s aloof and handsome brother.

But Adam is being investigated by the local police over the recent brutal slaying of a girl from the village, and there is a mysterious stranger who haunts the woodland path between Starvewood Hall and the local pub. Ashley begins to wonder what kind of story she is actually inhabiting. Is she in a grand romance? A gothic tale? Or has she wandered into something far more sinister and terrifying than she’d ever imagined?

Over thirty years later the events of that horrific week are revisited, along with a diary from that time. What began in a small English village in 1989 reaches its ghostly conclusion in modern-day New York, many Christmas seasons later.

Critical Praise

“Swanson does more with less in this punchy thriller that packs all the potency of his longer works….[He] has plenty of knockout twists up his sleeve, but they never feel cheap, and he manages to build three-dimensional characters despite the brief page count. This is a perfect introduction to one of the cleverest talents in contemporary genre fiction.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Smart, surprising, cool and fun, with a deeply satisfying ending. I loved it!” — Gillian McAllister, New York Times bestselling author, on The Kind Worth Saving

“A spine-tingling quest to expose evil before evil wins. Psychological thriller fanatics will scramble to complete this satisfyingly twisty novel.” — Library Journal on The Kind Worth Saving

The Kind Worth Saving is a pitch-perfect mystery with all the humanity and depth we’ve come to expect from this master of suspense.” — CrimeReads

The Kind Worth Saving is another superb slice of Neo-noir, a genre in which Peter Swanson is pretty much peerless.” — M. W. Craven, Sunday Times bestselling author

“Readers will be hard-pressed not to devour this in one sitting.” — Publishers Weekly on The Kind Worth Saving


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063297456
  • ISBN 10: 0063297450
  • Imprint: William Morrow
  • On Sale: 10/17/2023
  • Pages: 112
  • List Price:24.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Holidays
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC4 : FICTION / Thrillers / Psychological

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