Warren Botts is a disillusioned Ph.D., taking a break from his lab to teach middle-school science. Gentle, soft-spoken, and lonely, he innocently befriends Amanda, one of his students. But one morning, Amanda is found dead in his backyard, and Warren, shocked, flees the scene.
As the small community slowly turns against him, an anonymous narrator, a person of extreme intelligence and emotional detachment, offers insight into events past and present. As the tension builds, we gain an intimate understanding of the power of secrets, illusions, and memories.
Nicole Lundrigan uses her prodigious talent to deliciously creepy effect, producing a finely crafted page-turner and a chilling look into the mind of a psychopath.
Nicole Lundrigan is the author of six critically acclaimed novels, including Glass Boys and The Widow Tree. Her most recent novel, The Substitute, was published in 2017. Her work has appeared on best of the year selections of the Globe and Mail and NOW Magazine and she has been longlisted for the ReLit Award. Born in Ottawa and raised in Newfoundland, she now lives in Toronto.
Praise for Nicole Lundrigan and The Substitute:
“Sly and clever . . . this book will keep readers guessing and . . . they’ll be surprised by how it all plays out.” — Publishers Weekly
“Lundrigan’s novel is a spine-chiller for readers who appreciate language and refined, well-crafted plots — and who aren’t afraid to delve, for a time, into the mind of a psychopath.” — Quill & Quire
“Lundrigan’s skillfully balanced blend of psychological thriller and haunting coming-of-age story is infused with creepy, small-town atmospheric suspense. . . . Lundrigan’s writing is both elegant and darkly humorous, delivering bare-knuckle social commentary that will appeal to fans of Gillian Flynn, Karin Fossum, and Laura Lippman” — Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
“Irresistibly clever! This creepy tale had me hooked right from the start.” — Melanie Raabe, author of The Trap
“[A] chilling psychological thriller” — CBC Books
“A feast for fans who miss Patricia Highsmith's and Margaret Millar's haunting anatomies of people as nice as pie except for their murders.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A captivating psychological thriller that balances secrets and lies with identity and family . . . the final twist, revealing all, is as satisfying as everything else about The Substitute.” — Mystery Scene Magazine
“Hard to put down. Nicole Lundrigan is a[n] author to keep an eye for if you love a good mystery novel, or psychological thriller!” — Red Deer Advocate
“[A] creepy thriller.” — Toronto Star
“[Lundrigan] puts the reader on edge from the outset . . . this psychological thriller will resonate with readers long after the last page is read.” — Maple Tree Literary Supplement
“Equal parts disturbing, suspenseful, and raw, The Substitute will have you holding your breath until the very last page.” — Ian Hamilton, award-winning author of the Ava Lee series