"Deeply drawn characters and masterful storytelling come together to create an addictive and riveting psychological thriller. Put this one at the very top of your 2021 reading list."—Liv Constantine, internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish
One college reunion.
One unsolved murder.
Ten years after graduation, Jessica Miller has planned her triumphant return to her southern, elite Duquette University, down to the envious whispers that are sure to follow in her wake. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see—confident, beautiful, indifferent. Not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather Shelby's murder fractured everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she'd been closest to since freshman year.
But not everyone is ready to move on. Not everyone left Duquette ten years ago, and not everyone can let Heather's murder go unsolved. Someone is determined to trap the real killer, to make the guilty pay. When the six friends are reunited, they will be forced to confront what happened that night—and the years' worth of secrets each of them would do anything to keep hidden.
Told in racing dual timelines, with a dark campus setting and a darker look at friendship, love, obsession, and ambition, IN MY DREAMS I HOLD A KNIFE is an addictive, propulsive read you won't be able to put down.
“Tense, twisty and packed with shocks, Ashley Winstead’s assured debut dares to ask how much we can trust those we know best—including ourselves. A terrific read!”
—Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of Home Before Dark
“Nostalgic and sinister...Twisty and compulsively readable, In My Dreams I Hold A Knife will have you turning pages late into the night, not just to figure out who murdered beloved Heather Shelby, but to see whether friendships forged under fire can ever be resurrected again.”
—Julie Clark, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Flight
“Deeply drawn characters and masterful storytelling come together to create an addictive and riveting psychological thriller. Put this one at the very top of your 2021 reading list.”
—Liv Constantine, internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish
"Beautiful writing, juicy secrets, complex female characters, and drumbeat suspense—what more could you want from a debut thriller? I'm Ashley Winstead's new biggest fan. If you liked Marisha Pessl's Neverworld Wake or Laurie Elizabeth Flynn's The Girls Are All So Nice Here, trust me—you will love this."
—Andrea Bartz, bestselling author of The Lost Night and The Herd
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 90 members
An amazingly complicated and well thought out plot line that follows a group of college friends through their four years of college. They were the “in-crowd” and popular. Then, one of their group was savagely murdered and a member of the group was accused, but then let go for lack of evidence. Flash forward to Homecoming 10 years after graduation. Who really did kill Heather? It could have been any of them. The story is told in flashbacks with so many twist and turns! Just when you think you know who the murderer is, another layer is revealed. I started reading this book one morning and finished it before bedtime. You have GOT to read this book!
This is such a great book. I would say it’s definitely combining drama and a thriller. There are also sections that are hard to read because of assault. However I couldn’t put this book down. It’s extremely important subject matter and handled really well.
Ashley Winstead's work is always crammed full of my favorite things: lush prose, twisty plots, and really complicated, nuanced characterization that holds a lantern up to the darkest and brightest spaces within us. I am real excited to report that this book is not an exception. IN MY DREAMS I HOLD A KNIFE starts in a microcosm: a woman, flush with achievement and saturated in desire, on the verge of attending a college reunion. Jess is arresting, both in her clear, lyrical voice and the way she wants the same things so many of us want, even if we're afraid to admit it to ourselves. Quickly, though, the book grabs you in its undertow and spirals out of control. The plot twists and turns, murder suspects revealing and discarding themselves one by one in an angst-filled series of recollections. I read, breath held, as each layer of obfuscation was peeled off, revealing the struggles and machinations of each member of the group as they surged toward their deepest desires: to get away from loss; to prove integrity; to grab at power, status, and respect. I can honestly say this book combines the witty lyrical cynicism of HEATHERS with the Machiavellian yearning of CRUEL INTENTIONS, and if that isn't a compliment, I don't know what is. Despite how large and complex the plot is, it's airtight and reads like an oiled machine. I started this book at 6:30 p.m. one evening, read until I passed out, woke up at 5 a.m. the next morning, and swam right along to the intellectually and emotionally satisfying conclusion. This was a shock to me; after years and years and years of reading and watching mysteries, I can usually spot the ending a mile and a half off. Not this time. This time, I was pulled along, page by page, inch by inch, each reveal flipping my assumptions and conclusions on their heads. I just cannot recommend this book highly enough. It's definitely cemented Ashley Winstead's place on my auto-buy list forever. "And I knew, with all my heart and soul, that I'd loved him, and he'd been good and wicked, and in the dark, secret part of me, we were so much the same."
This is one of those books I left up on my Kindle while I was cooking. And when I had to sit and eat, I asked everyone at the table it if was okay for me to read. (Thankfully, I live with a bunch of readers.) Winstead plunks us right in the story, and quickly takes us back to familiar college days and feelings of inadequacy, fear, and failure. She follows that up with a back and forth narrative (now and then) to reveal the main characters, a group of friends known as the East House 7. In the "now," they're back at college, celebrating Homecoming ten years after graduation--or so they think. In the "then," they're showing the reader the complexity of their relationships and the events that lead up to the murder of one of their own. Winstead keeps the reader guessing until the very end. I'm looking forward to reading more from her!
Read this WAY past my bedtime. I just had to know what happened. Excellent prose, complex, but easy to follow plot. Will be purchasing for library collection.
What a ride! A murder on campus. Six college friends. A ten year reunion. And no one is leaving this party until the case is solved. This is an absolute must read! I love how the author takes a dive into the psyche of each character, pulling out the devious and manipulative tendencies that lie within all of them. There was never a dull moment. The writing was propulsive and engaging, and I couldn't stop flipping the pages through all the twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Just when you think you've got it figured out...you don't. Ashley Winstead has a new fan!! I can't wait to see what's up next!