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The American Girl: A Novel Audiobook, by Kate Horsley Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Kate Horsley Narrator: Julia Whelan, Nan McNamara Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2016 ISBN: 9780062566119
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From a bright new talent comes a riveting psychological thriller about an American exchange student in France involved in a suspicious accident, and the journalist determined to break the story and uncover the dark secrets a small town is hiding.

On a quiet summer morning, seventeen-year-old American exchange student Quinn Perkins stumbles out of the woods near the small French town of St. Roch. Barefoot, bloodied, and unable to say what has happened to her, Quinn’s appearance creates quite a stir, especially since the Blavettes—the French family with whom she’s been staying—have mysteriously disappeared. Now the media, and everyone in the idyllic village, are wondering if the American girl had anything to do with her host family’s disappearance.

Though she is cynical about the media circus that suddenly forms around the girl, Boston journalist Molly Swift cannot deny she is also drawn to the mystery and travels to St. Roch. She is prepared to do anything to learn the truth, including lying so she can get close to Quinn. But when a shocking discovery turns the town against Quinn and she is arrested for the murders of the Blavette family, she finds an unlikely ally in Molly.

As a trial by media ensues, Molly must unravel the disturbing secrets of the town’s past in an effort to clear Quinn’s name, but even she is forced to admit that the American Girl makes a very compelling murder suspect. Is Quinn truly innocent and as much a victim as the Blavettes—or is she a cunning, diabolical killer intent on getting away with murder…?

Told from the alternating perspectives of Molly, as she’s drawn inexorably closer to the truth, and Quinn’s blog entries tracing the events that led to her accident, The American Girl is a deliciously creepy, contemporary, twisting mystery leading to a shocking conclusion.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Kate Horsley’s taut writing and whip-smart plotting make for an exceptional mystery…hypnotic.”

    Hilary Davidson, Anthony Award-winning author

  • “Beguiles from its first fevered pages. We creep tantalizingly closer to the secrets at the heart of the novel—secrets that both shock us and speak volumes about our preconceptions about teenage girls…A rich, captivating novel.”

    Megan Abbott, Edgar Award–winning author

  • “A modern-day gothic tale that will have readers holding their breath until the last page.”

    Lori Rader-Day, award–winning author

  • “[A] spooky psychological thriller.”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • “An excellent novel, very cinematic in approach, something that Alfred Hitchcock would have snatched up…crafting excitement the old-fashioned way—with gripping dialog and interpersonal relationships bludgeoned under layers of mystery.”

    Criminal Element

  • “Horsley’s compelling novel explores the motivations of all the principal characters—each one has a different agenda. Deciphering the good from the bad becomes a challenge as the novel progresses, since all is not as it seems. The atmosphere of the French countryside adds texture to the psychological drama. Each character plays off another until the final challenging confrontation.”

    RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

  • “This fierce, convoluted tale offers one surprise after another.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Eeriness sets the tone for this compelling psychological thriller. There is much Poe-like dread and David Lynch–like surrealism in the story.”


  • “Throughout her novel’s shifts in narration and chronology, Horsley plays the reader as cleverly as she does the characters.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Having two narrators makes it easy for the listener to switch points of view while listening to this story…Sometimes a story that jumps back and forth in time is difficult to keep up with in audio format, but not this one. Both Julia Whelan and Nan McNamara use their vocal skills to smoothly shift to whatever character, time, or emotion they are portraying. Even their ‘teen in a snit’ voices, rather than repelling the listener, serve to enhance the story.”


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About the Author

Kate Horsley completed her BA in English literature at Oxford and her PhD in English literature at Harvard before returning to the UK, where she gained a Distinction in the Lancaster Creative Writing MA. Her first novel, The Monster’s Wife, was shortlisted for the Scottish First Book of the Year Award. Her poems and short fiction have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. She coedits, a site dedicated to crime fiction and film. She lives in Manchester, England.

About the Narrators

Julia Whelan, winner of numerous Earphones Awards, won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Romance Narration in 2013 and has also been a finalist for an Audie Award in other years. She was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voices of 2010, and two of her audio narrations were shortlisted for the American Library Association’s notable recordings of 2010. Her narration of Jandy Nelson’s The Sky Is Everywhere earned a place in the first round of 2011 Grammy nominations for Best Spoken Word Album. She is a former child actor who has appeared in multiple films and television shows, most notably ABC’s Once and Again. After receiving her college degree, she returned to the film industry and is also a writer.

Nan McNamara has performed on stage, television, film, and behind the microphone in voice-overs for over twenty years. Her passion is to tell good stories—no matter what the medium. Originally from St. Paul, Nan received a BA cum laude in theater.