R. K. Jackson is a former CNN journalist who now works at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. He lives with his family in the Los Padres National Forest and is at work on a second Martha Covington thriller, Kiss of the Sun.
The Girl in the Maze: A Thrillerby R.K. Jackson
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USA TODAY BESTSELLER • Perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Tana French, R. K. Jackson’s lyrical, twisty psychological thriller debut follows an aspiring journalist as she uncovers dark truths in a seaswept Southern town—aided by a mysterious outcast and pursued by a ruthless killer.
When Martha Covington moves to Amberleen, Georgia, after her release from a psychiatric ward, she thinks her breakdown is behind her. A small town with a rich history, Amberleen feels like a fresh start. Taking a summer internship with the local historical society, Martha is tasked with gathering the stories of the Geechee residents of nearby Shell Heap Island, the descendants of slaves who have lived by their own traditions for the last three hundred years.
As Martha delves into her work, the voices she thought she left behind start whispering again, and she begins to doubt her recovery. When a grisly murder occurs, Martha finds herself at the center of a perfect storm—and she’s the perfect suspect. Without a soul to vouch for her innocence or her sanity, Martha disappears into the wilderness, battling the pull of madness and struggling to piece together a supernatural puzzle of age-old resentments, broken promises, and cold-blooded murder. She finds an unexpected ally in a handsome young man fighting his own battles. With his help, Martha journeys through a terrifying labyrinth—to find the truth and clear her name, if she can survive to tell the tale.
Praise for The Girl in the Maze
“A Southern Gothic thriller with a twisty plot and echoes of Tana French.”—Dianne Emley, bestselling author of Killing Secrets
“The Girl in the Maze has suspense, action, memorable characters and even a perfect storm.”—Savannah Morning News
“One of the best books I’ve read [this year] . . . The Girl in the Maze is a genre-crushing story that’s part mystery, part thriller, with elements of horror. The result is a terribly entertaining novel.”—Cemetery Dance
“I’m very familiar with coastal Georgia, including Savannah and the islands. Somehow, Jackson has captured the mysterious beauty and sense of impending danger one always feels there. The setting itself becomes both a mirror and a character in this intriguing and suspenseful story.”—Barbara Lebow, Guggenheim Fellow, author of A Shayna Maidel
“The Girl in the Maze is as mysterious and suspenseful as it is intriguing—much like Georgia’s coastal marshland, where the tale is set.”—Santa Barbara News-Press
“This scared the hell out of me.”—Laura Otis, MacArthur Fellow, author of Müller’s Lab
“A suspenseful book, well written, and with a beautiful setting rich in history. I thoroughly enjoyed this supernatural thriller, and recommend it to all fans of the genre.”—I Heart Reading
“A fast-paced psychological thriller that keeps you engaged from beginning to end.”—Reading Femme
“Enthralling . . . a psycho-thriller of dark secrets in a small historic Georgian coastal town.”—Judith D. Collins Must Read Books
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Another novel with "The Girl----", which turned out to be such a good book!
A real page turner! I loved it all the way through and wanted to read more when i realized i had reached the last page. Can't wait to read the next martha covington novel. It had me on the edge of my seat.
This is a wonderful trip into the mind and world of a person who hears voices in her head. The story is a mystery thriller, where the reader knows too much and fears for the characters. From a slow beginning, the tension and suspense ramps up to a most dramatic ending. The key to everything lies in a story from the past. As good guys drop from actions of the bad guys, the reader begins to despair. As the story ends, some despair may be justified. Greed, ambition, and man's inhumanity to man are powerful forces. Not as powerful as a hurricane, but much more deadly.
Book was a fast read from the beginning and easy to get into. I read this book fairly quickly, definitely a page turner. The psychological aspects were particularly interesting, since I have dealt with many similar issues in my family. Lots of twists and turns that kept me interested. I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys thrillers with a gothic twist. I cannot wait for the sequel!
This is a new author with a debut book advertised as a psychological thriller. Seeing as how it was compared to readers who like Gillian Flynn (which I do) my expectations were rather high. I'm sorry to say I was disappointed. Martha Covington is a young woman who has just been released from a mental institution. As long as she takes her medications, the voices in her head disappear. While Martha is a somewhat sympathetic character, I will give her kudos for trying to be strong enough to function in a normal world. Other than Martha, most all of the other characters weren't fully put together and it was difficult to understand their relationships to each other and to the story. One young man involved seems to have no connection to Martha whatsoever. Martha is given a job at the Historical Society of a small town and almost immediately she finds secrets that not everyone in town wants known. The mystery isn't as much suspenseful as it is a puzzle. And Martha's voices come back to haunt her again. Is she really seeing and hearing things ..or has her mental illness reared its ugly head again? There were things that I liked. I loved the descriptive powers of the author who brought to life this community. I think the premise of the story was good ... just not quite enough to keep me fully engaged. I gave it 3.5 stars. My thanks to the author / NetGalley / Random House Publishing Group - Alibi who furnished a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Engrossing and atmospheric! This debut novel has so much to enjoy—not only the sensitively wrought characters, the intricate plot, and the naturalistic dialogue, but also the evocative portrait of its setting. The Georgia coast, so memorably depicted in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, is offered from another viewpoint, conjured here with particular skill and artistry. A thread of the paranormal woven through the plot seems quite at home in this tale, given the mysterious ambiance of its locale. I am frankly eager to read it again and recommend it to those whom I believe will enjoy it. Some of the more literal-mided might take issue with the story's few fanciful elements, but most others should find this spooky thriller to be a charming and absorbing read.
I have just finished reading The Girl in the Maze by R.K. Jackson. Martha Covington has schizophrenia. She has gotten out of the asylum, on stable medications, and finished counseling. She has accepted a position as a summer intern at the Amberleen Historical Society in Amberleen, Georgia. She will be recording and transcribing the history of the Geechees (direct descendants of slaves who were freed after the end of the Civil War) on Shell Heap Island (they live isolated from the rest of society). The residents believe in the paranormal (ghosts, spirits, and magic). Developers wants to take Shell Heap Island and build on it (condos, golf course, etc.). Martha’s boss is Lydia Dussault. Lydia is very active in stopping the development of the island. Lydia wants to find a way to connect the commissioners (who are crooked as windy road) to the investment group. She asks Martha to look into it. Unfortunately for Lydia, Martha looks into it and confides in the wrong person. Shortly after arriving Martha begins hearing and seeing unusual things. She does not know if it is from her schizophrenia or is she having visions. Jarrell Humphries has trying to get proof of the developers unscrupulous methods without success. After Martha is thrown out of her boarding house (for creating disturbances), she stays the night with Lydia. The next morning Martha finds Lydia dead. Guess who they are blaming for the murder? Martha is on the run, but, thankfully, Jarrell gives her a helping hand. They have to prove who really killed Lydia and try to stop the developers from taking over Shell Heap Island (while on the run and Martha is without her medications). I did not enjoy reading The Girl in the Maze. I found it to be a strange book that moves along at a snail’s pace. It is obvious who is behind all the corruption from the very beginning (so it is really no mystery). Nor did I find this book to be a thriller or a book of suspense (like I said-strange). It has a sort of paranormal element in it (at the very end). I give The Girl in the Maze 2 out of 5 stars (I am being generous). Please be aware that there is graphic violence in the book. I received a complimentary copy of The Girl in the Maze from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are strictly my own.