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Her Every Fear

Her Every Fear

4.2 5
by Peter Swanson

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The author of the wildly popular The Kind Worth Killing returns with an electrifying and downright Hitchcockian psychological thriller—as tantalizing as the cinema classics Rear Window and Wait Until Dark—involving a young woman caught in a vise of voyeurism, betrayal, manipulation, and murder.

The danger isn’t all in


The author of the wildly popular The Kind Worth Killing returns with an electrifying and downright Hitchcockian psychological thriller—as tantalizing as the cinema classics Rear Window and Wait Until Dark—involving a young woman caught in a vise of voyeurism, betrayal, manipulation, and murder.

The danger isn’t all in your head . . .

Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.

But soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own—curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.

When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves . . . until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment—and accidently learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? And what about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself . . . So how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met?

Yet the danger Kate imagines isn’t nearly as twisted and deadly as what’s about to happen. When her every fear becomes very real.

And much, much closer than she thinks.

Told from multiple points of view, Her Every Fear is a scintillating, edgy novel rich with Peter Swanson’s chilling insight into the darkest corners of the human psyche and virtuosic skill for plotting that has propelled him to the highest ranks of suspense, in the tradition of such greats as Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, Patricia Highsmith, and James M. Cain.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kate Priddy, the heroine of this unconvincing psychological thriller from Swanson (The Kind Worth Killing), who’s still traumatized by a boyfriend turned stalker, impulsively agrees to swap her London flat with Corbin Dell, an American cousin she has never met. After a harrowing plane trip and a ride through Boston’s Sumner Tunnel that prompts a panic attack, Kate arrives at Corbin’s luxurious Beacon Hill apartment just before the discovery of a murder in the apartment next door. The body of book editor Audrey Marshall is marked with gruesome postmortem cuts, which prove to be similar to those of other victims in places where Corbin has lived. Kate begins to suspect that her cousin knows more about Audrey’s murder than he claims. As a fragile Kate tries to hold herself together, another stalker targets her. The characters, especially the female ones, rarely make rational decisions, and Kate herself doesn’t consistently react in the face of grave danger in the manner of someone suffering from crippling anxiety. Swanson fans will hope for a return to form next time. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Associates. (Jan.)
Library Journal
★ 10/01/2016
When Londoner Kate Priddy reluctantly agrees to a six-month apartment swap with an American second cousin she's never met, she arrives in Boston overloaded with luggage—and more than her share of emotional baggage. She soon learns that her luxurious apartment building is the scene of a homicide and her anxiety accelerates as she regrets her bold transatlantic move. Kate's relentless sleuthing leads her to doubt her cousin Corbin's innocence when she makes a few questionable discoveries in his apartment. As Kate pushes herself to acclimate to her new American life, she uncovers more inconsistencies related to the homicide and further suspects Corbin and several other people in her new social circle. Is she simply an anxious woman with an overactive imagination, or is there something sinister lurking in her world? VERDICT Psychological thriller devotees should block time to read Swanson's (The Kind Worth Killing) novel in one sitting, preferably in the daylight. Readers can expect the hairs on their necks to stand straight up as they are consumed with a full-blown case of heebie-jeebies. [See Prepub Alert, 7/18/16.]—Mary Todd Chesnut, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
Kirkus Reviews
Swanson's third thriller, after The Girl with a Clock for a Heart (2014) and The Kind Worth Killing (2015), nods both to the Leopold & Loeb case and to Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley, offering twists and intensity aplenty.A young Englishwoman named Kate, mending after a horrific trauma—her jealous ex stalked her, locked her in a closet, and killed himself just outside it—decides a change of scenery might help restore her, and she agrees to a six-month apartment switch with Corbin, an American cousin she's never met. If she's looking to tamp down her paranoia and learn to trust again, though, her cousin's ultra-luxe Boston apartment is a disastrous choice. As soon as she arrives, Kate discovers there's been a grisly murder next door. A series of small discoveries in the borrowed apartment, a little police attention/skepticism, and a couple of "chance" conversations with neighbors and acquaintances of the victim lead her increasingly to the conclusion that Corbin was romantically involved with the young woman and is the prime suspect. Swanson is most persuasive when we're with the vulnerable but resourceful Kate, who ends up carrying on an ever more dangerous shadow investigation, and with her unlikely romantic interest, an awkward, somewhat creepy (the "somewhat" makes him a rarity—and a catch—in this fictive world), but well-meaning neighbor named Alan. The book flounders a bit when Swanson enters Highsmith territory, attempting to inhabit the minds of sociopathic killers, but he does complicate things interestingly and engineers a tense and intricate finale. A solid and quick-paced thriller—but one that seems to feature a pop-up psychopath behind every door and under every bed.
BookPage on Her Every Fear
“[It] has ‘movie adaptation’ written all over it. It has an alluring location, a fragile yet resilient protagonist and a thoroughly Hitchcockian storyline, replete with the requisite false starts and plot twists… High tension, lightning-fast pacing and psychological drama in spades.”
Seattle Book Review on Her Every Fear
“Peter Swanson’s third thriller cracks to life in the opening pages. His characters are engaging, and the reader is treated to multiple points of view... The payoff for the reader is an excellent whodunit with a magical appeal for the mystery thriller lover.”
Clare Mackintosh
“I loved it! A brilliantly original premise, delivered with panache.”
Authorlink.com on Her Every Fear
“A compelling tale of murder and deception that keeps the reader turning pages. Kate is a sympathetic heroine who has seen too much, but rises above it.”
Booklist (starred review)
“The skillfully conjured Boston winter creates the perfect atmosphere for breeding paranoia, which kicks into high gear with the introduction of Cherney’s Rear Window-like flashbacks. Swanson … introduces a delicious monster-under-the-bed creepiness to the expected top-notch characterization and steadily mounting anxiety.”
Wall Street Journal on Her Every Fear
“Chapter by chapter, the text peels back layers to reveal a pathological relationship between Kate’s cousin and a long-ago acquaintance that’s reminiscent of a folie à deux out of Patricia Highsmith... By then, readers, privy to much Kate doesn’t know, may be experiencing their own anxiety.”
Washington Post
“Most readers won’t anticipate the Hitchcockian twists and turns in this standout suspense tale.”
St. Louis Post Dispatch
“Peter Swanson tells the engaging story of a woman battling severe anxiety who decides to radically change her life - and the horrifying results that follow - in Her Every Fear… An effective and compulsive thriller.”
Otto Penzler
“The attractive young woman at the heart of this white-knuckle novel, has many fears-mostly justified… Swanson, who also wrote The Girl with a Clock for a Heart and The Kind Worth Killing, has quickly established himself as today’s master of the suspense novel.”
Bookreporter.com on Her Every Fear
“Peter Swanson creates quite a mysterious stew here…. Those readers who are tired of encountering the scenario in which the damsel in distress is rescued by a prince will find much to love here, given how Swanson puts a unique corkscrew on that plot device.”
News and Sentinel (Parkersburg
“There are many twists and turns in this layered novel… It’s definite stay-up-all-night kind of read and will leave you guessing.”
“Did you like the film Rear Window? I did, and turning the pages of Peter Swanson’s HER EVERY FEAR harkened every chilling and suspenseful moment of watching it. Swanson’s pace is brisk, and at any moment you think you have the crime solved, but then another twist happens.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

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Meet the Author

Peter Swanson is the author of The Girl with a Clock for a Heart. He has degrees from Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College. He lives with his wife in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is at work on his next novel.

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Her Every Fear 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous 22 days ago
I look forward every year to Peter Swanson's new book. Her Every Fear was everything that I knew it would be for me in the suspense genre. Great plot, fast moving, and easy to read. Perfect for a winter's read. Looking forward to his next novel and will pre order as I know I will get what I paid for!
Anonymous 1 days ago
Characters, plot,, suspense--this one is his best yet!
Twink 3 months ago
Have you read Peter Swanson yet? No? Well, if you're a fan of twisty, turny suspense novels like I am, you'll want to add him to your 'must read' list. Swanson's latest book is Her Every Fear. Brit Kate Priddy suffers from anxiety, panic attacks and OCD. Her bouts and symptoms got even worse after surviving a horrible relationship with ex-boyfriend George. When the opportunity arises to switch apartments for six months with her distant cousin Corbin in Boston, she decides it's a great opportunity to reclaim her life. But when a neighbour of Corbin's goes missing the day she moves in, Kate begins to wonder if she's made the right choice. And then the neighbour is found dead..... A fantasic premise with loads of places to go - and an uncertain narrator to tell the tale. Love it! Swanson has the reader knowing much more than our poor Kate. There are three other voices - Corbin, a friend of Corbin and another resident of the apartment building in Boston. We know what's happened, what's happening and the danger that Kate is in. Kate tries to downplay odd incidents.... she let the cat out didn't she? How did he get back in? Is someone watching her from the window across the way? (nice little Hitchcockian plot device) Has someone changed one of her sketches? Or is it her own anxieties causing her worries and suspicions? The narrative switches between then and now and only serves to heighten the tension as we learn more about the characters and their secrets. Swanson has painted one heck of a scary antagonist in one of the three characters His inner dialogue is truly frightening. So, while we know the whodunit long before the police, it's the journey there that makes for a deliciously creepy read. Swanson's last book, The Kind Worth Killing, had a fantastic 'gotcha' in the last few pages. I was looking (and hoping) for a similar ending. It's there, but subtle. One line in a paragraph near the end has me thinking that Kate may be making another bad choice......
ReadingwithPugs 3 months ago
I have to admit that I was disappointed in this ending. The book had such promise but it really fell flat in the end. I thought the premise of the story was good and about 30% in I was hooked and turning the pages furiously to unravel this mystery. However, when you have about 20% left of the book you already know the outcome of the whole story which was not ground breaking, it was entirely predictable in my opinion and then the author chose to rehash the whole story from our killers POV. Literally the entire story retold to complete the book. If you like psychological thrillers that play with your mind and very naive narrator, you might like this but overall this book was disappointing for me.
SheTreadsSoftly 4 months ago
Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson is a highly recommended novel of suspense. Kate Priddy suffers from panic attacks and anxiety due to a terrifying experience with an ex-boyfriend. Kate, who lives in London, agrees to a 6 month apartment switch with Corbin Dell, her second cousin who lives on Beacon Hill in Boston. Hoping that a change will help her heal from her emotional trauma, she is planning to take a couple of art classes while in Boston. On the day of her arrival Corbin's next-door neighbor, Audrey Marshall, is discovered murdered. The police are questioning tenants, including Kate, who doesn't know Corbin; in fact, she has never met him, so she doesn't have a lot of personal information to provide the investigators about him. Still suffering from jet lag, Kate is thrust right into a murder investigation, while meeting new people who may or may not be involved, and her growing suspicion that Corbin may be involved. Her Every Fear is a solid, intense thriller that reaches a satisfying conclusion. It is well-written. After a slow start, it does ratchet the suspense up as the novel progresses. The narrative is told through several different points of view. There is no shockingly unexpected twist or surprise, but it is creepy. As a character driven novel, there is some repetition and retelling of the same events. Actually, Her Every Fear would make a good movie. You'd have to work on some of the issues (below) but as a movie much of the repetition could be avoided and the creepiness played up. There were a couple problems/nagging questions with the novel for me. They are all quite obvious. Why on earth would Kate agree to an apartment switch with a cousin she never met, quit her job, and move to Boston for 6 months? How does this mesh with someone who suffers from severe anxiety and panic attacks? How is she supporting herself? It seems that her recovery would progress more in London (and doubtful, to me, that any mother worth that designation would encourage her daughter to do this after the trauma she went through). Why would she be chatting up strangers the way she does? I have no anxiety disorders and I wouldn't be talking to all these people, freely providing personal information. And how does one person manage to be such a psychopath magnet? Where are the rational decisions? 3.5 for me. Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.
beckybh 4 months ago
HER EVERY FEAR by Peter Swanson is a riveting and suspenseful mystery which may make you suspicious of everyone you meet. Set in both Boston and London, it weaves the lives of the main characters into a web of anxiety, fear and distrust. The story takes place over a few days and starts out in Kate Priddy's point of view (POV), adding other characters' POVs as it goes along. Kate arrives in Boston to spend six months experiencing life in a new place and taking design classes. She's agreed to a house switch with her cousin, Corbin Dell, who she's never met, as he's been transferred to London. Anxiety-riddene Kate now has PTSD from a horrific attack by her ex-boyfriend five years ago. As she walks down the hallway toward her cousin's condo door, she encounters a girl pounding on a neighbor's door. The girl believes something bad has happened to her friend. Later on, Kate finds out that the neighbor, Audrey Marshall, is dead. Strange things start happening to Kate in her cousin's condo--slight changes to things around her, cat left inside when she knows she let it out into the hallway--enough to where she questions her sanity. The reader starts wondering if Kate is an unreliable narrator or if something odd is really going on. Corbin Dell first visited London as a student. Though he was a bit of a loner, he began dating a bartender at a local pub. He didn't really gel with the other American students but partied with them on occasion. He left town when his studies ended, with a big secret and a regret that follows him daily. Corbin arrives in London to work his six months parallel to Kate arriving in Boston. He emails her to thank her for the switch in homes and the details she left him about the neighborhood. He also emails Audrey, though he knows she won't answer him. Alan Cherney has lived in the condo building for about a year. His heiress girlfriend left him, so he has to move out within the month. He has been obsessed with Audrey for a long while, almost to the point of being a stalker. Henry Wood was the life of the party in London, with every person his friend, and other American students tended to gravitate toward him. Corbin saw him around school but only interacted with Henry near the end of their studies in London. Though they parted under unusual circumstances, they renewed their acquaintance back in the USA and became bosom buddies. Eventually they parted ways and Corbin moved on with his life. He still remembers Henry, and apparently, Henry has never forgotten Corbin. All the characters have strengths and weaknesses and no two are alike. By using the various POVs, the author reveals a bit of each character's personality and reasons behind their current actions. I'm giving the book 4.5 stars because with every new POV, I had to figure out where it began in the timeline of Kate's experiences. The pacing would've benefitted from giving the time, day and city at the beginning of each change in POV. Though I felt the killer was inferred before the final traumatic scene, interplay between characters and intensity of the plot kept me captivated throughout the story. The author is a master in writing suspense and creating tense scenes, and readers will be engrossed in this novel to the very end. If You Liked This, You May Also Like: EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE by Windy Mejia, I SEE YOU by Clare Mackintosh, THE DRY by Jane Harper, THE SLEEPWALKER by Chris Bohjalian * E-galley provided by William Morrow for honest review.