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What Happened to Emily Peal

A Novel by Kara Q. Rea

Kara is seeking representation for her 72,000 word psychological thriller, WHAT HAPPENED TO EMILY PEAL.

Julia Aldrich is not crazy.


She has never been crazy, but try telling that to her overprotective husband Nick, and the literary community that abandoned her when she stopped pumping out prize-winning poetry and short stories. The hospitalization in high school, the suicide attempt—those were just an unfortunate series of misunderstandings. So when Nick makes the decision to further insulate Julia by moving their family out of Boston to an old farmhouse in the creepy colonial town of Harlow, MA, she is understandably pissed. She doesn’t need a change of scenery—she needs a way to prove to everyone that she can be taken seriously.


At least Harlow has a few interesting things going for it. It is, after all, the hometown of Julia’s favorite author, the infamous 1960s horror writer Emily Peal. It’s also where her lover Joanna was found brutally murdered, and the last place Emily was ever seen, alive or otherwise.


When local legend Clifton Penn Parker offers to help Julia get back into writing again, she’s slightly intimidated to have the famous author for her critique partner. But there’s no way she's going to pass on the opportunity to read Cliff’s work-in-progress. Everything about his writing is compelling—especially the oddly specific descriptions of kidnapping and murder that set off alarm bells in Julia’s head. Does this quiet old man hold the answers to a mystery that has haunted the world for over fifty years?


Determined to unravel the truth, Julia picks at the threads of small town secrets and grisly memories better left forgotten. She knows if she goes too far she could find herself back in the psych ward–alone this time, Nick and the rich life they’ve built together gone for good. But if Cliff’s story is true, that means he knows who killed Joanna. He knows what happened to Emily Peal. And if Julia can manage to outsmart him, she could be the one to finally find Emily and bring her home, all these years later–alive.


If that doesn’t prove to everyone that she’s far from crazy, nothing will.


WHAT HAPPENED TO EMILY PEAL is an adult psychological thriller complete at 72K words, perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover’s VERITY and Megan Collins’ BEHIND THE RED DOOR.


To request pages, please complete the form below and Kara will contact you shortly. 


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