In the tradition of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins, The Substitute is a deliciously creepy psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page.
Warren Botts is a disillusioned Ph.D. taking a break from his lab to teach middle-school science. Gentle, soft-spoken, and introverted, Warren befriends thirteen-year-old Amanda, a lonely student looking for guidance.
One morning, Warren returns from a jog to find Amanda dead, hanging from a tree in his backyard. A police investigation follows, but Warren is unable — or unwilling — to answer the questions that swirl around him. Suspicions mount, and Warren’s peaceful neighbours quickly become hostile.
Meanwhile, an anonymous narrator who possesses a dangerous combination 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 memories, secrets, and lies.
About the author
Nicole grew up in Upper Gullies, Newfoundland, with her five siblings and parents, John and Nancy Lundrigan. She attended Queen Elizabeth Regional High School in nearby Foxtrap. During her final year at QERHS, she enjoyed a semester of school in Amiens, France where she lived with a Baron and Baroness in the Chateau de Prouzel.
After high school, Nicole moved to Fredericton, and earned a BSc from the University of New Brunswick. The summer after graduation, she resided in the small community of Morawhanna, Guyana, where she helped to rebuild a schoolhouse, volunteered with a doctor bringing healthcare to remote villages, and assisted in a sea turtle conservation program on Shell Beach. Upon returning to Canada, Nicole attended Saint Mary’s University (Halifax) and received a BA (honours) in anthropology. During her time in Halifax, she worked on an archaeological dig which involved the removal and analysis of skeletal remains beneath the Little Dutch Church. In 1996, she moved to Ontario, and completed an MSc from the University of Toronto with a focus on physical anthropology. Her main area of interest was understanding the conditions affecting the degradation of DNA in postmortem skeletal remains.
Shortly after graduation, she began freelance writing and her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Reader’s Digest, Mothering: The Natural Family Living Magazine, Law and Order: Police Management, and the Halifax Daily Herald. She is the author of four novels: Unraveling Arva, Thaw, The Seary Line, and Glass Boys. Her literary fiction has been selected as a top ten pick by Canada’s national newspaper the Globe and Mail, was long-listed for the Relit Award, and given honourable mention for the Sunburst Award.
She resides in Ontario with her husband and three children.