Megan Abbott's picture

Megan Abbott

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Wife of Joshua Gaylord

Megan Abbott has taught literature, writing and film at New York University and the State University of New York at Oswego. Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English Literature. She received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University in 2000, and in 2002 Palgrave Macmillan published her nonfiction study, The Street Was Mine.

Genres: Mystery

Graphic Novels
Series contributed to
Anthologies edited
Non fiction
Anthony Awards Best First Novel nominee (2006) : Die a Little
Anthony Awards Best Paperback original nominee (2008) : Queenpin
Barry Awards Best Paperback Novel winner (2008) : Queenpin
Anthony Awards Best Paperback original nominee (2010) : Bury Me Deep
Anthony Awards Best Novel nominee (2012) : The End of Everything
Anthony Awards Best Novel nominee (2013) : Dare Me
Anthony Awards Best Novel nominee (2017) : You Will Know Me
Macavity Awards Best Book nominee (2017) : You Will Know Me
Anthony Awards Best Novel nominee (2019) : Give Me Your Hand

Megan Abbott recommends
Print the Legend (2010)
(Hector Lassiter, book 8)
Craig McDonald
"With Print the Legend, with a James Ellroy-like scope and vision of national history, McDonald takes on governmental conspiracy, Hemingway hagiography, the under-history of the FBI, the Death of the Author (literal and figurative) and the tantalizing, destructive mythologization of the Writer's Life. While the scale is immense, McDonald's hand is deft, and we never forget that, at its center, this is a human story, complex and bruising and deeply felt."
The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas (2010)
(Charlie Howard, book 3)
Chris Ewan
"Sparkling... an utterly irresistible Sin City caper."
The Bastard Hand (2011)
Heath Lowrance
"...a lurid thrill. You will finish it in one frenzied sitting, then feel as if you're awakening from a red-misted trance."
The Dewey Decimal System (2011)
Nathan Larson
"Like Motherless Brooklyn fused with Charlie Huston... Utterly fresh, inventive, and affecting."
The Circle (2012)
(Engelsfors Trilogy, book 1)
Sara B Elfgren and Mats Strandberg
"The Circle ensnares you from the start, with all the epic mayhem and darkness of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and with teen characters as rich and nuanced as any reader could hope for. It’s an utterly convincing world, and a resonant one, and we find ourselves wanting to follow its heroes anywhere."
Gravesend (2013)
William Boyle
"A bruiser and a heartbreaker of a debut. With echoes of Lehane and Pelecanos but with a rhythm and poignancy all its own, it's a gripping tale of family, revenge, the strains of the past and the losses that never leave us."
Shovel Ready (2014)
(Spademan, book 1)
Adam Sternbergh
"With prose chiseled to hardboiled perfection and a tale that throbs with the keen ache of noir, Adam Sternbergh's 'Shovel Ready' reads like William Gibson as directed with inky brilliance by Christopher Nolan. Debut novels as sleek, resonant and accomplished as this are a rare gift."
The Bear (2014)
Claire Cameron
"An emotional tour de force."
One Kick (2014)
(Kick Lannigan, book 1)
Chelsea Cain
"Prepare to read One Kick with your heart in your throat. Chelsea Cain has created a world that's both utterly exhilarating and emotionally rich. With Kick Lannigan as our protagonist--resilient yet broken, conflicted yet righteous--we find ourselves willing to go anywhere, even to the darkest places, knowing she'll protect us, surprise us, move us."
Luckiest Girl Alive (2015)
Jessica Knoll
"With the cunning and verve of Gillian Flynn but with a febrile intensity all its own, Jessica Knoll's LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE is a debut you won't want to miss. Sly, darkly funny and chilling-to-the bone, it gets under your skin and stays there."
Those We Left Behind (2015)
(DCI Serena Flanagan, book 1)
Stuart Neville
"Those We Left Behind is a great, brawling ache of a novel. Filled with both prickling suspense and fiercely wrought emotion, it’s a tale of the burdens of family and the weight of the past. And at its center, holding it all together, is DCI Serena Flanagan, the bruised and compassionate hero for whom we’ve all been waiting."
Those Girls (2015)
Chevy Stevens
"Haunting and harrowing."
The Killing Kind (2015)
(Michael Hendricks, book 1)
Chris Holm
"Lean, brutal and riveting, Chris Holm's 'The Killing Kind' is the kind of novel you can't put down but also want to savor. With sharply etched characters, knifelike twists and hardboiled energy to burn, it's an utter winner, beginning to end."
Where It Hurts (2016)
(Gus Murphy, book 1)
Reed Farrel Coleman
"Where It Hurts ushers us into a vivid and rueful new world with a striking and haunted hero for whom we fall hard. With his signature hard-bitten lyricism but with an urgency and darkness all its own, Reed Farrel Coleman has given us a riveting new series we'll want to live with for a very, very long time."
Down the Darkest Street (2016)
(Pete Fernandez, book 2)
Alex Segura
"With a damaged-yet-resilient hero, the meanest of streets and the twistiestof crimes, Down the Darkest Street is tense and taut. A series not to be missed."
Murder at the 42nd Street Library (2016)
(42nd Street Library Mystery, book 1)
Con Lehane
"Con Lehane's Murder at the 42nd Street Library offers up a masterful tale of intrigue, jealousy, and revenge in the grand tradition of Ross Macdonald. Not to be missed."
Sunset City (2016)
Melissa Ginsburg
"Suffused with longing, regret and a twisty eroticism... it entrances from its first pages."
Time to Win (2017)
(Goodwins, book 1)
Harry Brett
"A winner on all counts."
Every Last Lie (2017)
Mary Kubica
"With Every Last Lie, Mary Kubica spins an utterly mesmerizing tale of marriage and secrets. Haunting, psychologically deft and full of hairpin turns (every one earned), it'll have you rapt until its final pages, and also richly rewarded by them."
The Marsh King's Daughter (2017)
Karen Dionne
"I was drawn into Karen Dionne's The Marsh King's Daughter from its first captivating sentences. Troubling, sinuous and powerfully told, you won't be able to stop turning the pages,"
She Rides Shotgun (2017)
Jordan Harper
"In Polly McClusky, the eleven-year-old girl at the heart of his darkly irresistible debut novel She Rides Shotgun, Jordan Harper gives us a hero for our times. With shades of Mattie Ross but an intelligence and fervor all her own, she is unforgettable."
Watch Me Disappear (2017)
Janelle Brown
"Tantalizing and twisty, Watch Me Disappear is both a spider’s web of a thriller and a moving exploration of the deeper mysteries of marriage and family. You won’t be able to put it down, but you won’t forget it either."
Sunburn (2018)
Laura Lippman
"Note-perfect noir ... not to be missed."
Girls' Night Out (2018)
Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
"Girls’ Night Out is a heart-stopper of a thriller, rippling with suspense from its opening pages. But it’s also much more: Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke plumb the intricacies of female friendship with skill and depth and heart. It’s a deeply satisfying read, and one you won’t want to miss."
November Road (2018)
Lou Berney
"From its first frenetic pages to its wrenching final ones, Lou Berney takes us on the ride of a lifetime...It’s a crime story, a love story, a deeply American story. With November Road, Berney proves beyond doubt that he’s one of the most talented crime novelists working today."
The Feral Detective (2018)
Jonathan Lethem
"Like The Crying of Lot 49 as written and directed by Elaine May, The Feral Detective is hilarious and terrifying and wrenching. Phoebe is one of the grandest, funniest heroes I've come upon in a long time."
Last Woman Standing (2019)
Amy Gentry
"A harrowing and razor-sharp thriller, Amy Gentry’s Last Woman Standing feels both ripped from the headlines and utterly timeless as it takes on gender and violence and the far limits of female rage. As the story twists and turns, you’ll feel breathless, troubled and helplessly propelled to its deeply satisfying final pages."
The Paris Diversion (2019)
(Expats, book 2)
Chris Pavone
"Sleek, cunning and breakneck, Chris Pavone’s The Paris Diversion sweeps you into its frenetic rhythms from its first pages. With a sprawling cast of characters, with its scissoring plot twists, and especially with Kate—as rich and complicated a hero as you could hope for—it keeps you returning for more and more. A knockout."
Breakers (2019)
Doug Johnstone
"It’s as psychologically rich as it is harrowing. I’ve come to expect nothing less from Doug Johnstone, one of the genre’s premiere writers."
The Club (2019)
Takis Würger
"A cunning, sinuous tale, Takis Würger's The Club is so wildly entertaining that, at first, it's easy to miss its deeper mysteries. But, as it unfolds, brutal truths about class and gender and violence emerge, take hold and shudder through the novel's final pages."
One Small Sacrifice (2019)
(Shadows of New York, book 1)
Hilary Davidson
"Hilary Davidson’s One Small Sacrifice is both a heart-pounding procedural and a rich, mesmerizing tale of the weight of trauma and the elusive nature of memory. Twisty, absorbing, and deeply humane, it’s a thriller you won’t want to miss."
Drowning with Others (2019)
Linda Keir
"Drowning with Others is both a deeply compelling page-turner and a timely exploration of power and authority in the hothouse atmosphere of a storied private school. You’ll find yourself racing towards its (very satisfying) ending, but its impact will linger with you long after its final page."
New Waves (2020)
Kevin Nguyen
"Mordant and fiercely smart, Kevin Nguyen's New Waves is a mystery within a mystery within a love story and it left me haunted, breathless. An ambitious, unsparing, exhilarating debut."
The Spinster Diaries (2020)
Gina Fattore
"Witty, whip-smart and winning, Gina Fattore’s Spinster Diaries is a sheer delight. In her tale of an anxious TV writer who turns to the lessons gleaned from her favorite writer - eighteenth-century novelist Fanny Burney - to navigate a health scare and ensuing existential crisis, Fattore expertly carries us from droll humor to incisive cultural critique, from lively comedy to utter poignancy."
Nothing Can Hurt You (2020)
Nicola Maye Goldberg
"Captivating, serpentine and affecting ... It subverts the tropes of the 'dead girl' genre in ways that impart its female characters with a dark majesty and mystery all their own."
Leave the World Behind (2020)
Rumaan Alam
"Rumaan Alam’s Leave the World Behind is a canny Trojan horse of a novel, and also a Pandora’s Box. Like the family at its center, we’re seduced utterly by the bounty and insularity of its world, only to find ourselves, inch by inch, approaching a larger darkness lurking just beyond. With a potent Shirley Jackson energy, it is both eerily timeless and sharply prescient at once, and lingers long after its final page."
Lurkers (2021)
Sandi Tan
"Sandi Tan’s Lurkers is an acid-etched American Beauty for our current moment. But rather than suburban white male dread, Lurkers excavates the deeper mysteries and dark humor of female desire and a cultural and existential desperation so heavy it takes both tragedy and catastrophe to root it loose. A sneaky marvel of a novel and not to be missed."
A Man Named Doll (2021)
(Happy Doll, book 1)
Jonathan Ames
"If Elliott Gould’s Philip Marlowe landed in the middle of Uncut Gems, you’d have something like Jonathan Ames’s A MAN NAMED DOLL, which expertly mines the dark humor, mordant wit and dreamy fatalism of great LA noir. And at its center is a detective with a battered heart and bruised conscience. I’d follow him, and his dog George, anywhere."
The Night Always Comes (2021)
Willy Vlautin
"Willy Vlautin’s The Night Always Comes is a tear-struck revelation—both epic and timely, intimate and clear-eyed. Only Vlautin could cross the harrowing emotional richness of A Woman Under the Influence with the breakneck desperation of the greatest of film noir. Lynette will have you from the first page and put you to the test a hundred times before the last. You’ll finish knowing you’ll never forget her."
The Collective (2021)
Alison Gaylin
"It's a nerve-shredding, emotionally harrowing ride. Don't miss it."
The Plot (2021)
Jean Hanff Korelitz
"From its first pages, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Plot ensnares you in a rich tangle of literary vanities, treachery and fraud. Psychologically acute and breathtakingly suspenseful, you’ll find yourself rushing towards a finale both astonishing and utterly earned."
The Last Mona Lisa (2021)
Jonathan Santlofer
"From its seductive first pages, The Last Mona Lisa carries us along on an utterly irresistible time-jumping, continent-leaping tale of intrigue and family secrets, obsession and the ineffable power of art itself. I could not put it down."
Five Decembers (2021)
James Kestrel
"Utterly enthralling. Wildly ambitious and deeply haunting, Five Decembers drops you in the middle of a dark noir dream full of heat, loss and memory. Not to be missed."
The Savage Kind (2021)
(Nightingale Trilogy, book 1)
John Copenhaver
"John Copenhaver’s dark sparkler of second novel, The Savage Kind, tantalizes from its first pages. With rich period detail and a sneaky subversion of storied noir tropes, it brings to life the delicious intricacies of teen female friendship and the slippery line between identification and desire, between desire and desperation."
Notes on an Execution (2022)
Danya Kukafka
"Spellbinding and beautifully written. Danya Kukafka's Notes on an Execution is an irresistible, unbearably tense thriller; a poignant, deeply compassionate tale of resilience; and a vital intervention in the way we talk about violent crime, its endless reverberations and foremost its survivors."
Ocean State (2022)
Stewart O'Nan
"Stewart O'Nan's haunting and fleet Ocean State tunnels deeply into the heady, hard lives of the vivid young women at its center. Half-broken and full of longing, these women move us deeply. As the story hurtles toward an act of violence that feels both impossible and inexorable, we find ourselves wanting to stop and protect all of them."
The Lioness (2022)
Chris Bohjalian
"From its first dazzling pages, Chris Bohjalian's The Lioness enraptured me. You'll want to sink into its velvety glamour at the same time as you'll be swept up in its sharp-eyed exploration of power and predation."
The Wild One (2022)
Colleen McKeegan
"Addictive from its first pages, Colleen McKeegan's The Wild One mines all the complexities and darkness of young women in the battleground of summer camp, fashioning a riveting tale of secrets, shame and a harrowing reckoning."
The Island of Lost Girls (2022)
Alex Marwood
"One of crime fiction's brightest stars."
Other Women (2023)
Emma Flint

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