Peter Swanson is the author of several standalone psychological thriller novels. He is a recent author with the first book out in 2014 titled The Girl with a Clock for a Heart. Since then he has been releasing around a book every year.
Here is the Peter Swanson book list for his standalone novels. Since they are standalones, the books can be read in any order you choose.
New Peter Swanson Book
Peter Swanson Books
- The Girl with a Clock for a Heart, 2014
- The Kind Worth Killing, 2015
- Her Every Fear, 2017
- All the Beautiful Lies, 2018
- Before She Knew Him, 2019
Peter Swanson Books Synopsis
The Girl with a Clock for a Heart
George Foss and Liana Decter have been an item back in college. But something happened that made him lose her for good. Or so he thought. Ever since he’s been alone, spending his boring life going through the motions and wasting his evenings at the local tavern drinking and talking about Red Sox. But when one night she appears once again 20 years later, his surprise is even bigger when she turns to him for help saying that he’s the only one who can help her.
Even though he is in his 40s already, now George has a purpose in life once again. He is no longer the wuss that life happens to him. He now has once again control. He initially knew the girl as Audrey Beck, but back in the day when Audrey committed suicide and he saw her photo in parents’ house, he realized she was not Audrey. Then he discovered that she was, in fact, Liana Decker. And Liana now is desperate. But is now Liana a dangerous black widow who sheds her skin every time it suits her or is she really a misunderstood damsel in distress?
The Kind Worth Killing
The second Peter Swanson book is a reimagined tale of Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. Ted Severson is on a flight from London to Boston when he meets Lily Kintner, a rather intoxicating mysterious woman. As they get to know each other over one too many Martinis, they start playing a game of truth where they are compelled to reveal secret things about themselves to the other. Ted is at the part where he talks to her about his marriage to Miranda, a wife he no longer loves (did he ever?), especially when he has cheated on him Brad Daggett, a guy he has been paying to build his dream house.
Ted even mentions that if he could kill her to get her out of his life, he would. Lily, not missing a beat, she reveals, “I’d like to help.” Once back in Boston, Ted and Lily continue to know each other better and plot to kill Miranda. But while Ted has been pouring his heart out to Lily, she, in return, has kept some serious things from him, including the fact that she is no stranger to killings.
Her Every Fear
Kate Priddy has been having a serious case of PTDS, anxiety, and panic attacks ever since her ex-boyfriend once kidnapped her and almost killed her. So when her cousin from Boston, Corbin Dell, asks her to switch apartments for six months, Kate, who is in London and wants nothing more than to forget her past, readily accepts. But once she gets to Boston, he learns that the woman in the neighboring apartment has been murdered.
Cops being to investigate, and soon all fingers point to Corbin as her killer. Could be that that’s why Corbin wanted the apartment switch, and is he really in London? Kate starts to investigate as well and the more people she meets who knew Corbin (like Alan, the murdered girl’s father, and Henry), the crazier things get. Told from several points of view, the story becomes more and more convoluted, and the suspense and intrigue builds up with every layer of the onion Kate begins to reveal.
All the Beautiful Lies
Harry Ackerson is in college but has to return home after his stepmother, Alice, notifies him that his father committed suicide. He goes home to attend the funeral, and while he always had a young-boy crush on Alice, he now starts to feel weird when Alice herself gives hints of wanting more from him than just helping her through the horrible time. And when a young woman, Grace McGowan, also comes into his life, he begins to suspect some foul play.
Did his father actually kill himself or was something more sinister at play here? The book has several flashbacks showing bits and pieces of Alice’s prior life as a young girl and all the events that made her who she is now. The more Harry investigates, the deeper he finds himself sinking into the cruel web of deceit.
Before She Knew Him
Henrietta is bipolar, so she needs peace and quiet to live a balanced life. She finds this in her suburban life with Lloyd, both living just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, in a new house. She works as an illustrator, and she seems to have finally found her peace and quiet that she so craved. Until she meets Matthew and his wife, her neighbors, at a block party. One day as the couples are dining in Matthew’s apartment, Hen (as she calls herself) notices a fencing trophy that seems somehow familiar to her.
Hen was very absorbed in the case of a brutal murder of a man a fwe years ago, and this trophy she’s just seen seems identical to the one that was belonging to that murder victim. That old case has never been solved, and now Hen strongly suspects that Matthew did not only kill that man but he might also be preparing to commit a new crime. But what if all is a lie and nothing more than Hen’s delusions, just like she used to have them back in the day? After all, she is no bipolar for nothing. Still, Hen is more and more convinced that she lives right nextdoor to a murderer…
Peter Swanson Biography
Peter Swanson was born in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1968. He grew up on a chicken farm. He graduated from Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, and then he worked as a bookseller, a teacher of special education kids, and at the odd time, also a bartender, and a blogger.
He had his debut novel, The Girl With a Clock For a Heart, published in 2014, which became an LA Times Book Award finalist. His next book, The Kind Worth Killing, received the New England Society Book Award, and it was also a finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger.
Peter Swanson began thinking of writing books while he was in his mid-thirties, but back then he would only write short stories and poems. Eventually, he did complete a novel which was never published, and that gave him the push to go for more. He got his first publishing deal when he was in his forties after a long list of rejections. When an agent contacted him and mentioned that if the author could turn one of his short online stories into a whole book, it could be sold. Thus the first Peter Swanson book was born, and it sold, indeed.
His books have been so far translated into over 30 languages. When Peter Swanson is working on his books, he aims to write around 1000 words every day in the morning, which leaves his afternoon for other activities like doing promotion for his book, walking, and reading. Part of the author’s research process is him going to the locations of the settings of his various books. An interesting tidbit the author mentioned in an interview is that often the way he finds his characters surnames is by him walking in the cemetery and reading the names on the headstones. Quite ingenious.
Currently, the author Peter Swanson lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his family, where he is working on his next book.
Praise for Peter Swanson Books
Filled with double-timers and double-crossers, cold-eyed stalkers and cold-blooded murderers, The Kind Worth Killing paints a riveting, disturbing picture of marriage gone horribly awry, with no shortage of startling surprises. If you’re engaged to get married, by all means read something else. (Chris Pavone)
Gripping, elegantly and stylishly written, and extremely hard to put down! (Sophie Hanna on The Kind Worth Killing)
“In Peter Swanson’s expert hands, one woman’s discerning observation at a quiet suburban dinner party unfolds into a gripping, twisty, psychologically complex thriller. I could not put it down. (Alafair Burke)
The book has pace to burn. It feels like a throwback to Ross MacDonald’s flawed but relentless work . . . glimmers with bright and original moments. (USA Today on The Girl With a Clock For a Heart)
An explosive mix of seductions, obsessions, and dark secrets. (New York Journal of Books on All the Beautiful Lies)