June 2009 Indie Next List
“Suz Pierce, brilliant and cruel, is dead. Ten years later, Henry and Tess, her friends, are still in orbit around her, haunted by remorse and guilt, their relationship slowing fracturing. Eight-year-old Emma desperately wants to keep her parents together, and, unwittingly, she sets off a series of events that nearly destroy them all. McMahon is a beautifully atmospheric writer, evocative of Daphne du Maurier.”
— Jennie Turner-Collins, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH
When Henry, Tess, Winnie, and Suz form the Compassionate Dismantlers in college, the first rule of their manifesto is, "To understand the nature of a thing, it must be taken apart." But their penchant for acts of meaningful vandalism and elaborate, often dangerous pranks results in Suz's death in the woods of Vermont—a tragedy the surviving Dismantlers decide to cover up.
Nearly a decade later, Henry and Tess are desperate to forget, but their guilt isn't ready to let them go. When a mysterious Dismantler-style postcard drives a past prank victim to suicide, it sets off a chain of terrifying events that threatens to tear apart their world and engulf their inquisitive nine-year-old daughter, Emma. Is there someone who wants to reveal their secrets? Or is it possible Suz has found a way to enact revenge?
Full of white-knuckle tension with deeply human characters caught in circumstances beyond their control, Jennifer McMahon's enthralling story proves that she is a master at weaving the fear of the supernatural with the stark realities of life.
About the Author
Jennifer McMahon is the author of Dismantled, the New York Times bestseller Island of Lost Girls, and the breakout debut novel Promise Not to Tell. She lives in Vermont with her partner, Drea, and their daughter, Zella.
“Outstanding...By alternating the present-day lives with the origins of the Dismantlers, McMahon allows the inexorable sense of dread to build incrementally. Perhaps most memorable are not the young artists but Emma, a child whose intense imagination only adds fuel to the slow-burning fire.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A failed marriage. A long-buried secret. A lonely child’s imaginary friend. From these simple ingredients, Jennifer McMahon has constructed a fun, twisty thriller. Expect DISMANTLED to earn comparisons to THE SECRET HISTORY.”
-Stewart O’Nan, author of SONGS FOR THE MISSING
“One of the brightest new stars of literary suspense.”
-Los Angeles Times (online)
“In her third, elegantly spooky mystery revolving around the vulnerability of a young girl and a haunting past, McMahon fashions a fresh and entrancing ghost-in-the-woods tale replete with startling psychoses, delectable Hitchcockian motifs, and dangerous attractions.”
“McMahon’s gift is the deliciously twisty way she subverts all your expectations, keeping you guessing with wry wit and feverish chills.”