Red Leaves: A Novel

Red Leaves: A Novel

by Paullina Simons


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In the tradition of Ira Levin’s A Kiss Before Dying and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History comes a suspenseful thriller from the international bestselling author of The Bronze Horseman—an utterly captivating story about four Ivy League students whose bizarre friendship leads to a twisted maze of secrets, lies, betrayal, and murder.

As the star player of Dartmouth College’s women’s basketball team, Kristina Kim is beautiful, intelligent, and fearless. But though she’s just 21, Kristina has already had her share of heartache, loss, and dark secrets that haunt her. She’s best friends with Conni, Albert, and Jim, but the only one who seems to really know her is Albert. With long dark hair, tattoos, and a rebellious streak, Albert doesn’t fit in with the rest of the clean-cut Ivy Leaguers. Like Kristina, he has his share of secrets—secrets that are beginning to unravel this intimate circle of friends.

One wintry Thanksgiving weekend tragedy strikes...

When Detective Spencer O’Malley goes to investigate something suspicious at the foot of a steep hill on Dartmouth’s campus, he doesn’t expect that the frozen, naked body found in deep snow would belong to Kristina Kim—the remarkable young woman he met recently who entranced him. Now Spencer will never know if the chemistry he had with her was real. All he can do is find her killer.

Spencer is pulled into the strange, complex web of the surviving friends. Many important questions about Kristina’s murder cannot be answered, such as: why did none of them report her missing for nine days before her body was discovered? The more Spencer digs, the more clear it becomes that each of the three has a motive for killing Kristina. And as Spencer, seeking justice for a dead girl, is led down a labyrinth of deceit, every new revelation proves more shocking than the last….and more dangerous.

“Simons handles her characters and setting with a certain skill, creating mystery from the ordinary, protected lives of these Ivy League kids, slowly peeling away their deceptions to reveal denial, cowardice, and chilling indifference…an engrossing story.”—Publishers Weekly



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062444318
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/11/2017
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 735,594
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Paullina Simons is the author of Tully and The Bronze Horseman, as well as ten other beloved novels, a memoir, a cookbook, and two children’s books. Born in Leningrad, Russia, Paullina immigrated to the United States when she was ten, and now lives in New York with her husband and an alarming number of her once-independent children.

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Red Leaves 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing! I guarantee you will not see the twist in this book coming! I couldn't put this book down. The suspense just grabs you and won't let go. Must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so engrossing and has so may loops and turns that it is difficult to put down! I highly recommend it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you've read Tully and liked it, then you will definitely cherish this lovely book by Paullina Simons. I like the way she gets her readers so emotionally involved with the characters. These youngsters in Red Leaves, Kristina, Constance, Albert and Jim felt like my family, or they could have been my children for that matter. I felt especially close to Kristina, the main character as I felt her cold lonliness and her pain. With a cleverly crafted detective storyline, it has the capacity to keep you up all night long until you've turned the last page. After you've turned that last page, you can't get those characters out of your head. If you haven't bought it so for it's worth every penny. Thanks Ms. Simons.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book takes about 100 pages to get going. At that point it finally starts to get interesting. The plot twist was not all that surprising, as you can tell pretty easily what is likely coming. I was a little bit surprised by the very end though. If you can make it through the first 100 pages, you will likely enjoy reading the final 200.
welshy72 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A college girl has been found dead in snow near a New England college campus.Why have none of her friends reported her missing? What are they holding back from Detective Spencer O¿Malley who is assigned to the case? He delves into their secrets, their lies and the mystery of the complex relationships between them all, Jim, Conni, Albert and Kristina.I couldn¿t wait to start this book as my reading hasn¿t been very `on the edge¿ lately and needed something to sink my teeth into and this book didn¿t disappoint. A rapid start to the book but the pace slowed down until the dialogue between certain characters got a bit tedious, however it wasn¿t until later in the book I could see that character communication was essential to the story. I thought the story was slightly predictable in places in a `whodunnit¿ kind of way. There¿s always a character who¿s not quite telling the truth or some evidence has been overlooked. It didn¿t deflect from the story though, it was interesting how the story unfolded with a few surprises along the way.The characters Jim, Kristina, Connie and Albert all had traits which annoyed me slightly, I loved Spencer O¿Malley though, a tough guy who¿s been through tradegy himself, a character who I found intruiging and who I felt comfortable reading about.Highly recommended.
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Red Leaves by Paullina Simons starts out seemingly as the story of four university students who are very close friends with each other but you quickly realize that in actual fact, this is more than a story about friendships going awry, and more than a story about couples whose relationships are going steadily downhill. Something is off about these four, and when a murder occurs, the story changes to the detective¿s point of view and his focus on the murder and the secrets behind it.I was so looking forward to this book, and indeed, the story did capture me and I found it hard to put down as I had to know what actually was going on with these people. The downside of the book was that I thought that the characters¿ actions didn¿t ring true. The detective, who was the main character for the last half of the book, particularly drove me crazy with his ways. And I found the four students didn¿t act very much like university students living in dorms. So, mixed feelings about this book. It could have been so much more than just the average mystery story that it turned out to be.
lecari on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Again, a great book. Paullina Simons is one of my favourite authors anyway; I originally picked up `Tully¿ by chance in a bookshop and fell in love. It¿s one of the few books I can read again and again. Later I got a copy of one of her other books, `Eleven Hours,¿ which again, was amazing. This book did not disappoint me in the slightest.`Red Leaves¿ is in two parts; it first follows a college student, Kristina, and her life. Her three best friends, Jim, Albert and Conni, her basketball and her visits to a house for pregnant teenagers called Red Leaves, as well as her college and marriage. She seems to have it all, but there are things answered. She randomly bumps into Spencer Patrick O¿Malley, a detective, and they get a coffee and later arrange dinner. The second part then switches to Spencer¿ as he investigates her murder. The three friends all seem to know something but won¿t tell what it is, and Spencer struggles to figure it out.I found it a little difficult to get into at first, I felt like I¿d missed a few things ¿ but this is deliberate, as you soon find out that lots of her life is like that; no one seems to know that much about her (for example, her supposed best friends didn¿t even know she was married). It¿s full of twists that kept me interested and I loved all the characters. It all felt very real, and Paullina Simons is an amazing writer; she really makes you feel as though you are there. I could imagine it all very clearly. Writers this good don¿t come along often! I couldn¿t put it down.
mwcgrad97 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It started off pretty good, but it started to drag when I realized the murder wasn't going to happen soon. I liked getting into characters' heads, but some of the characters still were one-dimensional and became annoying. The cop, for instance, always got mad. He had no other way of dealing with uncomfortable situations. The three friends had interesting secrets, but that's all they had. There was nothing else to their lives. I didn't like not seeing any other college students on campus. I mean, Dartmouth is small but not that small. The dorm life seemed unrealistic, and while I can suspend belief to a large extent, I just found myself reading faster just to find out who the killer was and not because I was really engaged in the story anymore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took awhile for the plot to get moving. It was a good read with unexpected plot twist, but left a few unanswered questions. I still love her Bronze Horseman series the most.