The Photographer

A Novel

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Pub Date 25 May 2021 | Archive Date 12 Sep 2022
St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books

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Mary Dixie Carter's The Photographer is a slyly observed, suspenseful story of envy and obsession, told in the mesmerizing, irresistible voice of a character who will make you doubt that seeing is ever believing.

"A breathless psychological thriller about epic mind games."—PEOPLE
A Publishers Weekly Best Mystery/Thriller of 2021!


As a photographer, Delta Dawn observes the seemingly perfect lives of New York City’s elite: snapping photos of their children’s birthday parties, transforming images of stiff hugs and tearstained faces into visions of pure joy, and creating moments these parents long for.


But when Delta is hired for Natalie Straub’s eleventh birthday, she finds herself wishing she wasn’t behind the lens but a part of the scene—in the Straub family’s gorgeous home and elegant life.


That’s when Delta puts her plan in place, by babysitting for Natalie; befriending her mother, Amelia; finding chances to listen to her father, Fritz. Soon she’s bathing in the master bathtub, drinking their expensive wine, and eyeing the beautifully finished garden apartment in their townhouse. It seems she can never get close enough, until she discovers that photos aren’t all she can manipulate.

Mary Dixie Carter's The Photographer is a slyly observed, suspenseful story of envy and obsession, told in the mesmerizing, irresistible voice of a character who will make you doubt that seeing is ...

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ISBN 9781250790330
PRICE CA$37.99 (CAD)

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Featured Reviews

Hooooooly cow. This is an addictive domestic suspense novel surrounding the theme of letting someone into your home who isn't what they seem... Our narrator is clever, observant, obsessive - even bordering on sociopathic at times. And even with all of that, I couldn't put this book down. I felt myself getting chills when she described photography, especially with regards to some of the more nefarious deeds she performs. If you're looking for a stalkeresque suspense novel, this may be the one for you.

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What a debut novel! Such a disturbing read that I seriously couldn't put it down.

As a compulsive thriller reader, I really appreciated the obsession and young family tropes in this book. It was perfectly creepy, intimate and entertaining, making it a sure 5-star read for me.

The title character in The Photographer, Delta Dawn, is a taken family photographer in New York City. She loves her job and the job loves her, but then... she is hired to photograph an 1--year-old Natalie's birthday party. That is when she realizes that she wishes she could become part of this family. First she becomes Natalie's babysitter, then becomes closer with the mom, and her last step is to become the surrogate mother for the family's second child. It becomes a dark obsession Dawn will do anything to succeed with.

The plot pulled me in immediately, but I stayed for Delta's narration, which is dark, obsessive and unreliable. She definitely reminded me of Jane Doe and Joe Goldberg. Delusional and unpredictable, this was definitely a huge hit.

*Thank you to the Publisher for a free advance copies of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I love this diabolical thriller. If you’re interested in twisty psychological thrillers this is definitely a cup of tea. Fast paced client will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page.

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The Photographer
“A twisted, dark, psychological thriller...”

Wow! That Delta chick is.....Crazy crazy crazy! I can’t get over it!!!

First off, thank you to @stmartinspress and @netgalley for this advanced reader copy to read and review. I loved this book! I was NOT expecting Delta to be so unhinged and I loved it!

This book follows Delta, a very experienced and an expert photographer. She mainly takes pictures of children. You learn very early on in the book that something is a bit “off” about Delta. She has very good skills in editing pictures to look the way she wants which if you get my gist, can open a whole world for her. I can’t go too much into detail because I don’t want to spoil anything. Delta gets asked to photograph Natalie’s birthday party and feels an unhealthy connection/obsession with the Straub family. She finds a way to weasel herself into their life and make them need her. She will stop at nothing and go to extreme lengths to stay a part of that family.

After reading this and understanding how easily pictures can be manipulated I may think twice about who I higher for important events haha

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