Sixes, The: A Novel

( 1 )

Overview

Phoebe Hall’s Manhattan life has unexpectedly begun to unravel. Right after her long-term boyfriend breaks off their relationship she’s accused of plagiarizing her latest bestselling celebrity biography. Looking for a quiet place to put her life back together, Phoebe jumps at the offer to teach in a rustic Pennsylvania town at a small private college.

But when the body of a female student washes up from the nearby river, disturbing secrets begin to surface among the students: ...

See more details below
Available in stores.

Pick Up In Store Near You

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Note: This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but may have slight markings from the publisher and/or stickers showing their discounted price. More about bargain books
Sending request ...

Overview

Phoebe Hall’s Manhattan life has unexpectedly begun to unravel. Right after her long-term boyfriend breaks off their relationship she’s accused of plagiarizing her latest bestselling celebrity biography. Looking for a quiet place to put her life back together, Phoebe jumps at the offer to teach in a rustic Pennsylvania town at a small private college.

But when the body of a female student washes up from the nearby river, disturbing secrets begin to surface among the students: accusations of abuses wrought by a secret society of girls on campus known as The Sixes. Determined to find answers, Phoebe embarks on a search for clues—a quest that soon raises dark memories of her own boarding school days years ago. But with truth comes a deeply terrifying revelation: your deepest secrets can still be uncovered . . . and starting over can be a crime punishable by death.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cosmo editor-in-chief White's prose—like a brisk walk through a tree-lined campus in autumn—is perfectly suited to the setting and tone of this stand-alone mystery thriller about mean girl games run amok. Disgraced celebrity tell-all author Phoebe Hall wants nothing more than to leave Manhattan for the peaceful asylum of Lyle College in rural Pennsylvania, where Lyle's president and her best friend from boarding school, Glenda Johns, has offered her a teaching job. But when Glenda asks Phoebe to look into rumors of a secret sorority known as the Sixes and a possible link to a missing coed, the idea of asylum takes on an ominously different meaning. White (Hush) ratchets up the chills as Phoebe starts to find little things, like six apples, left at her house that she takes to be attempts to frighten her. Undaunted, Phoebe persists in her investigation. Great pacing and plausible characterization with only a smidgen of forgivable contrivance make this a worthy end-of-summer beach read. Author tour. (Aug.)
Harlan Coben
"The Sixes is a terrifying, psychological thriller that takes ‘mean girls’ to a whole new level of creepy. It’s Kate White’s best!"
People Magazine
"A coed’s gone missing at leafy Lyle College, and visiting prof Phoebe Hall is asking too many questions. A nifty spine-tingler."
People
“A coed’s gone missing at leafy Lyle College, and visiting prof Phoebe Hall is asking too many questions. A nifty spine-tingler.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Kate White writes smart."
Vanity Fair
"This is the perfect book to take on a transatlantic flight to Europe. Trust me I just did it. . . . A fast-paced plot that wraps itself up in time for you to race to the bathroom before the plane starts its descent."
Harper's Bazaar
"You won’t be able to put it down; just remember to reapply your sunscreen every so often."
Nylon Magazine
"Cleverly woven with comic dialogue and sexy dates, the narrative mixes the spookiness of Twin Peaks with the scandal of Gossip Girl, plus a dash of Ian McEwan-esque drama. . . . A page-turner."
South Florida Sun Sentinel
"A superior mix of romantic suspense and pure mystery while avoiding clichés. . . . An academic mystery, a women’s novel and an insular village mystery with the private school standing in for a small town."
Lisa Scottoline
"Kate White’s newest standalone is scarily good—a riveting, psychologically complex tale of mean girls, with a dark twist. You won’t be able to put it down. I loved this book!"
First for Women
"This thriller hooks you from the get-go-besides the adrenaline rush, this story reminded me how every experience, good or bad, forms us and makes us stronger."
Vanity Fair
“This is the perfect book to take on a transatlantic flight to Europe. Trust me I just did it. . . . A fast-paced plot that wraps itself up in time for you to race to the bathroom before the plane starts its descent.”
Nylon Magazine
“Cleverly woven with comic dialogue and sexy dates, the narrative mixes the spookiness of Twin Peaks with the scandal of Gossip Girl, plus a dash of Ian McEwan-esque drama. . . . A page-turner.”
South Florida Sun Sentinel
“A superior mix of romantic suspense and pure mystery while avoiding clichés. . . . An academic mystery, a women’s novel and an insular village mystery with the private school standing in for a small town.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Kate White writes smart.”
People
“A coed’s gone missing at leafy Lyle College, and visiting prof Phoebe Hall is asking too many questions. A nifty spine-tingler.”
First for Women
“This thriller hooks you from the get-go-besides the adrenaline rush, this story reminded me how every experience, good or bad, forms us and makes us stronger.”
Alafair Burke
"The Sixes has all the ingredients for a fantastic summer read: an elite private school, a secret society, and a band of terrifying mean girls. In Kate White’s skillful hands, it’s a story that simultaneously scares and entertains."
Sara Shepard
"It was so much fun to read about the secret-girl society in The Sixes. Their evil pranks gave me chills! A fun Pretty Little Liars for grown-ups . . . I can’t wait to read more from Kate. She got the evil girl thing just right."
Library Journal
Accused of plagiarizing her latest celeb bio and abandoned by her boyfriend, Phoebe Hall leaves New York for a small college in rural Pennsylvania, where she's been invited by an old friend to teach some classes. Unfortunately, the peace and quiet she sought is shattered when the body of a junior girl is found in the nearby river. Cosmopolitan editor White did nicely with Hush, which made the extended New York Times best sellers list, and the 100,000-copy first printing here suggests high hopes. If you like thrillers.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594434313
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/5/2012
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate White, the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Hush and The Sixes, and the Bailey Weggins mystery series—If Looks Could Kill; A Body to Die For; 'Til Death Do Us Part; Over Her Dead Body; and Lethally Blond. White is also the author of popular career books for women, including Why Good Girls Don't Get Ahead but Gutsy Girls Do and I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know. She lives in New York City.

Biography

As the editor-in-chief of famed magazine Cosmopolitan, Kate White knows women inside and out. She knows what women like, and she especially knows what they like to read. So it's no surprise that her deliciously decadent mystery novels are such a hit with the ladies.

White came from a strong background in the magazine world. Since getting her foot in the door at Glamour magazine by winning their Top Ten College Women contest, she has worked as an editorial assistant at Glamour, later becoming a feature writer and columnist for the magazine. Following her stint at Glamour, she worked her way up to editor-in-chief for Child, then Working Woman, McCall's, and Redbook. In 1998, White became editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan.

Since joining the ranks of Cosmo, White has spear-headed a spin-off magazine called Cosmo Style, started a channel called Cosmo Radio on Sirius Radio, and published books such as Cosmo Kama Sutra through the magazine's Cosmo Books. She is also responsible for driving Cosmopolitan's readership through the roof. Since taking control of the magazine, she has increased its circulation by over 500,000. So, how can a woman with such a full plate find time to also launch a successful fiction-writing career? Well, as she says on her web site, "I don't really have any other hobbies other than cooking. I can't sing, play a musical instrument, excel at sports, draw, quilt, knit or decoupage. So writing mysteries is my hobby."

That hobby has led White to create sultry true-crime reporter Bailey Weggins, who has sashayed her way through three novels since If Looks Could Kill was published in 2002. The following year, Weggins reappeared in White's second perfect-for-the-beach mystery. A Body to Die For is rife with White's trademark wit and sexiness and became another big seller. The book not only pleased White's readers but also garnered her some well-deserved praise from the press. Publishers Weekly, which was critical of If Looks Could Kill, applauded A Body to Die For, saying that "fans will find Bailey's sassy wit as engaging as ever and are sure to admire the skill with which White pulls together all the threads."

In 2005, White published her third Bailey Weggins novel, Over Her Dead Body. This time out, Bailey loses her job at Gloss magazine (no doubt a fictional stand-in for Cosmo). However, things get hotter than ever when she begins covering celebrity crime for Buzz magazine and her new boss is murdered. Again, White is pleasing fans and critics alike.

White's most recent release is a brief break from Weggins's exploits, but it certainly isn't a break from the kind of sly blend of humor and sex that readers have come to expect from her. How to Set His Thighs on Fire: 86 Red-Hot Lessons on Love, Life, Men, and (Especially) Sex is a slightly satirical, high-spirited take on the kinds of self-help guides found in women's mags such as, well, Cosmopolitan. But fans of Bailey Weggins should not fear -- White is currently working on the next installment of her hit series.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      1950
    2. Place of Birth:
      Glens Falls, New York
    1. Education:
      Union College, 1972
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The Sixes

A Novel

HarperCollins

Copyright © 2011 Kate White
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061576621


Chapter One

She sensed it as soon as she began to walk across the quad that night.

The weather was practically balmy, weird for late October,
and yet the air carried the pungent smell of wood smoke.
But that wasn't the reason things seemed strange to her.

It was the deserted pathways. Though
Phoebe wasn't really used to the place yet, she expected to find
more than just a few people crossing campus at eight o'clock on a
Friday night.
She'd veered left, planning to exit through the eastern gate,
when with a start she discovered where everyone was. About forty
people—both students and faculty—were congregated in front of
Curry Hall. In the two months she'd been at Lyle College, she'd
noticed that kids often relaxed outside this particular dorm, tossing
Frisbees or lolling on the slope of the balding lawn, but tonight
everyone was standing, their arms folded and their backs stiff, as
if poised for news.
As she drew closer, she saw what was drawing their attention:
two campus police, as well as a local town cop, were speaking to
an auburn-haired girl who appeared to be fighting back tears. The
dean of students—Tom something—was there, too, head lowered
and listening intently to the girl.
Phoebe's first reaction was to just keep moving. There were
things she needed to do in Pennsylvania, but getting involved in
someone else's drama wasn't one of them.
She started to walk away and then stopped. She knew that
ten minutes later she'd regret not finding out what all the fuss was
about.
She edged back toward the crowd and sidled up next to two
young men on the fringe, who also looked like they'd just stopped
to check out the action.
"What's going on?" she asked the one closest to her. He glanced
at her and shrugged.
"No idea—I just got here," he said. He turned to the guy to his
right, whose blond hair was closely cropped. "Any idea what's up?"
he asked.
"Not sure," the other guy said, "but I think it has something to
do with this girl named Lily Mack. That's her roommate over there."
Phoebe took a moment to process the name. It wasn't someone
in either of the two classes she taught.
"Thanks," she said and snaked toward the front of the crowd,
hoping to score more info there. A second later she realized she
was now standing directly behind Val Porter, whose long, prematurely
gray hair gleamed, even in the dark. Val was a women's studies
professor with an office just down the hall from the one Phoebe
was squatting in this semester, and though on the surface Val was
courteous enough, Phoebe had detected a mild disdain ever since
their first encounter. Maybe, Phoebe had thought wryly, Val thinks
I set the women's movement back on its ass by my behavior.
Phoebe started to shift positions, not in the mood for a Val
moment tonight. But uncannily the woman seemed to sense her
presence, and she turned around. The movement stirred the scent
of patchouli from Val's skin.
"Hello, Phoebe," Val said. There was a slightly disapproving
tone to her voice, as if Phoebe had burst in late for an important
meeting.
"Hi, Val," she said pleasantly. Her MO at Lyle was to play nice,
not create any unnecessary ripples. She'd had enough of those in
her life this past year. "Is there some kind of problem?"
"A student is missing," Val said bluntly. "Lily Mack—a junior.
Her roommate reported it to the campus police a little while ago.
No one's seen her since last night."
"How awful," Phoebe said. The revelation caught her like the
nick from a razor, and she found herself grabbing a breath. "Well,
kids this age can be pretty irresponsible at times," she said, recovering.
"Is it possible she's just gone off with a new boyfriend?"
Val gave her a withering look, suggesting that Phoebe didn't
know a damn thing about "kids this age."
"Anything is possible, of course," Val said dryly. "But according
to Tom Stockton, she's not the type to just go AWOL."
"I take it someone's called Glenda?" Phoebe asked, referring to
Glenda Johns, the president of the college.
"Of course. This could get very, very messy."
"How do you mean?" Phoebe asked.
"This girl's boyfriend disappeared this past spring. He was a
senior here, and he took off without a trace."
"Do they—"
"Will you excuse me?" Val said abruptly. "I better check in with
Tom and see if there's anything he'd like me to do."
It was more than a dismissal. It implied that Phoebe's help
wouldn't be needed—ever.
"Good luck," Phoebe said, keeping her voice even. "Let me
know if I can do anything."
Val started to turn but then looked back, giving Phoebe's outfit
the once-over. That's rich, Phoebe thought. Val's fashion style
could only be described as high priestess meets seductress—lots of
crushed velvet, jangling bracelets, and deeply scooped necklines—
and yet she always eyed Phoebe's clothes as if her fairly classic
style didn't pass muster.
"Doing something fun tonight?" Val asked in a tone that
suggested she hoped the answer was no.
Phoebe was tempted to deliver a zinger, like, "Actually, I have a
hot date with the captain of the men's lacrosse team," but that was
precisely the kind of ripple-making she needed to avoid.
"Just grabbing a bite to eat," she said instead. " 'Night."
Phoebe turned away and continued down the path across the
quad, heading east once again. Lyle wasn't exactly a gorgeous
college. All the buildings were either nondescript red brick or
concrete, without an inch of ivy shooting up their sides. But there
were dozens of big maples on campus, planted when the school
was built in the 1950s, and at night, illuminated by moonlight and
streetlamps, they looked majestic and almost magical.
As Phoebe hurried along the path, she thought about the missing
girl. She also considered the impact the situation could have on
both the college and Glenda Johns, who was not only the president
but also Phoebe's friend. Two and a half years ago Glenda had
been recruited by Lyle College to boost its lackluster reputation
and flabby endowment, and though she'd been making progress,
it had been tough going. A second missing student in a year would
hardly help.
Outside East Gate, Phoebe waited for the traffic light to
change, crossed the street, and then walked three blocks down the
Bridge Street hill to Tony's, a small Italian restaurant she'd discovered
after she'd arrived in Lyle in late August. It was one of those
"land that time forgot" kind of restaurants, with an amateurish wall
mural of Venice, dust-coated plastic ferns, and platters of shrimp
scampi reeking of garlic, but Phoebe found the small, candlelit
rooms to be comforting.
She'd already eaten at Tony's earlier this week and hadn't planned
to go back so soon, but a psychology professor named Duncan Shaw
had more or less forced her hand. The two of them had ended up
on an impromptu committee together, and she'd sensed his interest
in her from the start. Several days ago, to her dismay, he'd asked if
she'd like to join him and a few friends Friday night for dinner. He
was attractive, a little mysterious-looking, even, with his dark beard
and mustache. Engaging, too—affable without giving too much of
himself away—with a wry sense of humor. But she was on a self-
imposed sabbatical from anything romantic, so she wasn't going to
be stupid and bite. She'd told him sorry, she had plans tonight, but
thank you, and prayed he'd taken the hint.
She'd originally planned to eat at the bar of a new restaurant at
the edge of town, where the food and ambience were surprisingly
upscale, but now she couldn't take the chance of bumping into
Duncan there. After her last class she'd picked up the ingredients
for a salad with the intention of staying in. But then, feeling too
restless to face a night alone in the tiny house she was renting,
she decided she'd sneak off to Tony's. She figured it was the last
place in the world Duncan and his pals would be welcoming the
weekend.
When she reached the restaurant, she paused for a moment
outside, trying to shake the twinge of melancholy she felt. Metallic
chips in the old sidewalk caught the moonlight and sparkled
like crazy. From a few blocks farther downhill, she could pick up
the smell of the Winamac River—muddy, fishy, but rousing in a
strange, earthy way. Sometimes from outside Tony's she could hear
music wafting up from the taverns along River Street, but it was
too early right now. Hopefully, she thought, Lily Mack had hooked
up with a guy last night and spent the day in bed with him, oblivious
to anything but the wild sex she was having.
As Phoebe entered the restaurant, the short, pudgy Tony
greeted her with a bear hug, once again declaring her his favorite
blonde. After her first dinner there, someone had apparently
divulged to him that she was a famous writer from New York City.
Obviously, Phoebe thought, the person had failed to reveal the rest
of the story, or Tony would be far less jolly about seeing her.
He led her to her usual table at the back of the main dining
room, which ran adjacent to the bar area. She slipped off her
trench coat and glanced around the restaurant. It was about three
quarters full, and most of tonight's patrons were well into their
meals. She'd come to learn that people ate insanely early in small
town Pennsylvania. At moments like these she felt like Alice after
she'd slipped down the rabbit hole: everything around her was not
only disturbingly unfamiliar, but it made no sense. Seven months
earlier she'd been living in Manhattan with her partner Alec, just
off the tour for her latest book—Hollywood's Badass Girls. She'd
bought herself a beautiful pair of diamond studs to celebrate the
book's sixth week on the New York Times list. Things couldn't have
been sweeter. And then it all came crashing down.
It had started with Alec. One night after dinner, when she
began to clear away the dishes, he'd held up a hand from his seat
at the table and asked her to please wait.
"What's up?" she asked, sitting back down again, predicting
what was coming. He was probably miffed at how distracted—and
absent—she'd been during the last leg of her book tour.
"We need to talk," he said slowly.
"O-kay," she replied, slightly disconcerted now.
"I care about you, Phoebe," he said soberly, "and we've had five
great years together."
My God, she thought, is he about to dump me as we sit here
with a platter of chicken bones between us? "What's the matter?"
she demanded, unable to keep the edge out of her voice.
"I've always known you didn't want to get married. And I
accepted that."
"Well Alec, if I remember correctly, you've never wanted to
either," she said.
"I guess. I mean, sure. But . . . I don't know, lately I've
wondered if I may have been wrong thinking that."
The comment stunned her but at the same time eased the
twinge of anxiety she'd begun to feel. "Are you saying you want to
get married?" she asked, smiling a little. But then she saw from the
panic flashing in his eyes that she had it wrong.
"It's not just marriage," he said quickly. "I think I'd like kids,
too. And I know that's a deal breaker for you."
"Well, it's a deal breaker now, certainly. I'm forty-two, and
there's not much chance of me getting pregnant. But let's at least
talk this over. If you're feeling different about certain things, I'm
happy to listen."
But his decision wasn't open to discussion. He'd made up his
mind to move on and move out, to try something new in life. No,
there wasn't another woman, he said. Phoebe had just sat there at
the table, reeling from the shock. She knew things weren't perfect
with them, that their relationship was less than passionate these
days, but she cared about Alec and had never seen this coming.
"I actually thought you might be relieved," he said after a few
minutes.
"What's that supposed to mean?" she asked angrily.
Alec had shrugged. "You haven't seemed quite . . . I don't know,
in the throes of the relationship lately. Even with all your crusading,
you used to still save some energy for me, but not anymore."
Six weeks later he called Phoebe, wanting to let her know—
"out of fairness"—that he was seeing a thirty-one-year-old woman
at his law firm. No, he swore, nothing had happened while he was
still living with Phoebe, but "to be perfectly honest," he realized
in hindsight there'd been a certain attraction from the beginning.
Phoebe had set the phone down feeling stung and humbled. So
this must be karma, Hollywood style, she had thought. Is this what
I get for calling Jennifer Aniston a Needy Nellie on Entertainment
Tonight?

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Sixes Copyright © 2011 by Kate White. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)