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Extended Audio Sample The String Diaries, by Stephen Lloyd Jones Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen Lloyd Jones Narrator: Gemma Whelan Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A family is hunted by a centuries-old monster: a man with a relentless obsession who can take on any identity.

The String Diaries opens with Hannah frantically driving through the night—her daughter asleep in the back, her husband bleeding out in the seat beside her. In the trunk of the car rests a cache of diaries dating back two hundred years, tied and retied with strings through generations. The diaries carry the rules for survival that have been handed down from mother to daughter since the nineteenth century. But how can Hannah escape an enemy with the ability to look and sound like the people she loves?

Stephen Lloyd Jones’ debut novel is a sweeping thriller that extends from the present day to Oxford in the 1970s to Hungary at the turn of the nineteenth century, all tracing back to a man from an ancient royal family with a consuming passion—a boy who can change his shape, insert himself into the intimate lives of his victims, and destroy them.

If Hannah fails to end the chase now, her daughter is next in line. Only Hannah can decide how much she is willing to sacrifice to finally put a centuries-old curse to rest.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “At once chilling and soulful, this hauntingly powerful tale weaves together the best elements of the psychological thriller, fantasy horror, and historical fiction. Stephen Lloyd Jones has penned a deeply inventive, dazzling debut novel.”

    Eliot Pattison, Edgar Award–winning author of The Skull Mantra

  • The String Diaries is an engrossing, mind-bending supernatural tale, and Stephen Lloyd Jones is as exciting a new voice as I’ve come across in some time, a writer who understands what makes the pulse race.”

    Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Jones doles out his narrative revelations with patience, turning over his cards deliberately like a well-trained casino dealer.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • The String Diaries is terrifying, and deliciously so…A sophisticated horror story that induces elemental terror. It’s perfect for the beach, particularly since you don’t want to be alone with it in the dark.”

    New York Daily News

  • “This is a book of authorial wizardry, as Jones hopscotches among three time periods and locales (late 1800s Hungary, 1970s France and England, and present-day Snowdonia in northern Wales) with grace, wit, and dexterity.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • "[A] globe-trotting, time-traveling page-turner…An elegant and exotic neo-Gothic horror story…may bring to mind Elizabeth Kostova’s [book] The Historian….Jones’ descriptions [are] fabulous…Like the best Gothic storytellers, Jones’ characters feel things deeply and dramatically…An exciting ride.”

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • “A scary and exciting horror novel that keeps us off-kilter, as we try to figure out what’s going on until we’re so involved in the story that we couldn’t look away even if we tried…This is Jones’ first novel, and you don’t see many debuts more ambitious and memorable than this one.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “If there’s anything the frightened characters in Jones’ first novel learn, it’s not to trust anyone unless they can tell you what you got for your last birthday or what size shoes you wear…Give credit to Jones for coming up with a supernatural tale that’s so ambitious and off the beaten path and for portraying Hannah and her brood so affectingly.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Reading The String Diaries made me feel, in the best sense, like a child again. Nothing was more important than the fate of Stephen Lloyd Jones’ courageous and very human heroine Hannah Wilde. Meals went uncooked, bills went unpaid, as I waited to find out if she would win freedom for herself and her daughter against the forces of darkness. I was scared, enthralled, and amazed by this stunning debut.”

    Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

  • “I have never read a book with such frenzied impatience. The String Diaries is unputdownable. Stephen Lloyd Jones has written a debut novel as frightening and layered as Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian and as clever and riveting as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.”

    Benjamin Percy, author of Red Moon

  • “With The String Diaries, Stephen Lloyd Jones has created a new mythology of the monstrous to rival Stoker’s or Shelley’s. Grounded in the real world and populated by characters we believe in, this is a book of magic for the doubtful, a fantastic tale for skeptics, at once transporting and convincing.”

    Andrew Pyper, author of The Demonologist

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