A mother's life is turned upside-down by the disappearance of her son in Elisabeth de Mariaffi's thrilling novel.

Elisabeth de Mariaffi

Heike Lerner's life looks perfect from the outside. She's settled into an easy routine of caring for her young son, Daniel, and spends her days wandering the woods near their summer house, while her nights are filled with clinking glasses and charming conversation. It all helps to keep her mind at ease — or at least that's what her husband, Eric, tells her. But lately, Heike has noticed there are some things out of place: a mysterious cabin set back in the trees and a strange little girl who surfaces alone at the pond one day, then disappears. While at home Eric is becoming increasingly more controlling. Something sinister that Heike cannot quite put her finger on lingers just beneath the surface of this idyllic life.

It's possible Heike's worries are all in her head, but when the unthinkable happens — Daniel vanishes while she and Eric are at a party one night — she can no longer deny that something is very wrong.

Desperate to find her son, Heike will try anything, but Eric insists on a calm that feels so cold she wonders if she can trust him at all.

Could Eric be involved in Daniel's disappearance? Or has some darker thing taken him? The closer Heike gets to the truth, the faster it slips away. But she will not rest until she finds her son. (From HarperCollins)

From the book

The dog was standing at the edge of the clearing, hackles raised. It lowered its head, watching her, but made no warning sound. Heike crouched where she had fallen, on her hands and knees, maybe twenty-five feet away. For a moment she froze, fear dropping low into her body. She was used to worrying about soldiers, but there were no people with the animal. It might have been a wolf.

No: a wolf would not be so purely black, and its fur would be matted. She sat up, moving slowly. Twenty-five feet is nothing for a dog.

She'd come hard through the bush, her arms and hands badly scratched, and her throat raw from calling out despite the danger of being heard. Her braids loose and tangled. When a root caught her foot, she'd pitched forward, slamming her shoulder against a stump. She hadn't slept for two days, her bones heavy with exhaustion.

From Hysteria by Elisabeth de Mariaffi ©2018. Published by HarperCollins.

Interviews with Elisabeth de Mariaffi

Elisabeth de Mariaffi on her new thriller, which combines the dark side of fairy tales with the dark side of the American Dream in the 1950s.

Other books by Elisabeth de Mariaffi