The Stowaway

A Novel

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Pub Date 21 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 05 Oct 2021

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Description

From writer, producer, and actor best known as "Murr" on the hit television shows Impractical Jokers and The Misery Index, James S. Murray, and co-writer Darren Wearmouth, comes The Stowaway, a suspenseful masterpiece that leaves a cruise ship stranded at sea with a serial killer hiding aboard.

Two years ago, Maria Fontana, the head of the Psychology Department at Columbia University, sat on a jury for one of the most depraved cases ever to pass through the hallowed halls of City Hall. Wyatt Butler, an antique watch restorer and alleged serial killer, was portrayed in the courtroom as a brutal monster. But Maria had to make the tough choice. In good conscience, she couldn't convict him based purely on circumstantial evidence, and her deciding vote set Wyatt Butler free. The media soon outed her as the lone juror and her successful and quaint life was turned upside down. The victims of Wyatt's ritualistic killings never forgave her either.

Now, she and her family have decided to take a vacation to get away from everything: a two-week-long transatlantic cruise. Nothing, and nobody should be able to bother her there. With her two twins and her fiancé Steve, she is set to put the past behind her as soon as the ship leaves port. But when a passenger mysteriously disappears, Maria is left to wonder if maybe this was no coincidence. When another passenger is discovered brutally murdered in a similar way to Butler’s ritualistic MO, the ship goes on lockdown.

Maria, one of only twelve people in the world with intimate knowledge of the case, faces a perilous ticking clock. Is it a copycat? Or is she trapped on board with the bloodthirsty maniac she chose to set free?

From writer, producer, and actor best known as "Murr" on the hit television shows Impractical Jokers and The Misery Index, James S. Murray, and co-writer Darren Wearmouth, comes The Stowaway, a...


Advance Praise

“Murray and Wearmouth’s latest thriller The Stowaway is a riveting high-seas game of cat and mouse. It’s Agatha Christie crossed with James Patterson. If you're nervous about taking a cruise now, you’ll be terrified after this read. Pick up a copy and enjoy the thrill ride.” —James Rollins, #1 New York Times bestseller 

"Trapped on a cruise ship with a twisted murderer onboard. Intense horror. Frightening suspense. A true mystery. Lots of twists and turns. What more could you want? This is my kind of book!" —R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps and Fear Street

“Murray and Wearmouth’s latest thriller The Stowaway is a riveting high-seas game of cat and mouse. It’s Agatha Christie crossed with James Patterson. If you're nervous about taking a cruise now...


Available Editions

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ISBN 9781250263650
PRICE CA$37.99 (CAD)

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Average rating from 210 members


Featured Reviews

I was wrong! This is one of those books where I was rather smugly certain that I knew exactly who was doing what and why…and I was so very wrong! Even when I thought I knew everything, I loved the book. It’s incredibly suspenseful and simply horrifying. And when I found out how wrong I was, I loved it even more! Expect a fast moving, intense and, at times, graphic roller coaster ride of a thriller! This is a book I simply didn’t want to put down – and when it was over, I just wanted more. Excellent read! *ARC via Net Galley

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What a story for the beginning of a series.!! Really good story; strong characters; good bad guy. Will keep you on the edge of your seat too! You'll be looking for the next book before you're done with this! I have this author's book, AWAKENED, and will now start that!! this will be a quick read for you, not because the story is short, but the book is intense and the action goes by swiftly, making the reader read faster!

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Wow, what a wild ride this was! This crime adventure novel was well written with a premise cleverly constructed in a way that feels fresh and thrilling! I must admit this book is a bit gory and graphic in details and not for some of the delicate flowers out there. If you are like me and enjoyed Steve Cavanagh's TH1RT3EN, then you will most certainly enjoy this one. I hope to read more titles by this two-author team in the near future. Absolutely unputdownable! I'd like to thank the authors, NetGalley, and St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Stowaway for an honest review.

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Hard to go into much detail without giving away a lot of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Kept me reading past my usual bedtime. Excellent job with the denouement. I would recommend this book.

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Maria, the Chair of the Psychology Department at Columbia, was a juror on the case of a serial killer and, following the publication of a book about the case, publicly admitted to being the one hold out that led to a mistrial and the release of the perpetrator. It is now two years later and she, her fiancé and her young twins are on a cruise from New York to London. The cruise is not what one would expect. First a head is found on the bed in an unused cabin. Then a young boy is tossed overboard…and that’s only the start. I won’t go any further into the plot because of spoilers, but would highly recommend it to anyone who likes solving difficult puzzles! The ending lead me to hope there will be more. Thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC for an honest review.

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Maria was on the jury that failed to convict suspected serial killer Wyatt Butler. Now she is on a cruise ship half way to Europe, with a killer onboard. A killer who is very similar to Butler, and is now targeting Maria and her family. Murray and Wearmouth just keep getting better and better as authors. This is my favorite book yet. It was tightly plotted and full of action. I read it over the course of one day. I needed to find out who the killer was and how they would catch him. This is a 5 star book for me. I received a free ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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The Stowaway is an intense thriller of a book that will keep you turning page after page until the end. Loved the plot that kept twisting and turning and kept me guessing. Great start to a new series! Thank you to netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review!

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To be honest, I chose this book because of James Murray on Impractical Jokers was an author. I was curious. I loved it! It was suspenseful. It was creepy. It had me guessing and questioning that guess. I admit , I did figure out who the killer was, but I did not see the twist coming! Thank you NetGalley! Thank you, James and Darren! Do I see a series coming?

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This is a nail-biting thriller that pits Maria Fontana, single mother of twins and head of the Psychology Department at Colombia University, versus a depraved serial child murderer. Having been a member of the jury that acquitted this monster, Maria knows him better than anyone. Although not prepared to meet him while on a two-week transatlantic cruise, Maria realizes she is the only one who can take him down and save her children. This is a “can’t put it down thriller”. A definite 5-star read…perfect for the beach or pool! I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opinions expressed are my own. #TheStowaway #NetGalley

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This one kept me turning the pages! Marie Fontana, who is the head of the psychology department at Columbia University, sat on a jury in the case of Wyatt Butler, an alleged serial killer. The jury was unable to convict Butler due to the vote of one person, who just couldn’t vote yes purely on circumstantial evidence. Now nobody on that jury is exempt from harassment from the media, the public and the families of the victims. Marie, along with her fiance, Steve and her children, decide to take a two-week long transatlantic cruise to get away. Everyone should be safe on board a ship in the middle of the ocean. When a passenger disappears, it’s easy to put that down to happenstance, but when one turns up dead in a way similar to Butler’s MOS, the ship is put on lockdown. This is a fast-paced and riveting book.

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A good, gripping murder mystery with good action and suspense scenes. The story is well told and the characters truly are life like. This book will keep you reading till the end! Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Wow, I have to admit, I picked this book just because “Murr” wrote it. I loved his part in Impractical Jokers, one of my favorite TV shows. And I got exactly what I was looking for, a great read. His humor and demented thinking shown through over and over. Funny that as some of the most gruesome descriptions of mutilated bodies was being discussed, I could see him standing there laughing. There are a few parts in here that are not for the faint of heart, but I loved it all. The book grabbed me from the first page and never let go and I read this in basically one day. It has murders, mystery, love, humor, major twists and turns and the good creepy stuff. Really enjoyed it, high 5 stars!! I was so excited to receive an ARC of this book from St. Martin’s Press along with NetGalley for my unbiased review. I highly recommend and it comes in with 5 stars!!

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Wow! This is one of the best mystery/thrillers I have read in a very long time, if not ever. Rarely does a book grab my attention in the first paragraph and not let go until the end. This book did just that. I read over 80% in one sitting and only stopped because I had to get up fairly early the next morning. However, I was tempted to read the entire book. This one is hard to put down, and I looked forward to picking it up again. I chose to read this book because I love cruising, and a novel that takes place on a cruise ship appeals to me. I had never read this author before, but I will certainly read him again. This book seems to the be first in a series, as evidenced by the epilogue which introduces a new string of serial murders. I will look forward to the next book; although, this one is a tough act to follow. The murders are gruesome, the characters are interesting, the setting appealing. The author takes the reader down the garden path at ~40%. I thought I had the killer figured out. This was done on purpose. I actually did not know whodunit. I had fallen into a clever and intriguing trap that encouraged me to read even more ravenously. I loved the twists and turns in the plot. This book was just the right length. The author included no superfluous filler. He did not fill pages with detail of what people were wear, eating, or how rooms were furnished. Nothing distracted from the plot's tension and excitement. I don't even know what the characters looked like, and I don't care. This book was very effectively written. Even without a lot of detailed descriptions, I could still envision every scene. Mystery/thriller lovers, you need to read this! Highly recommended. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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This book hooked me from the first page. Such a great fast paced thriller. I highly recommend this to everyone.

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Wow! The book started out a bit slow but soon picked up speed. What a roller coaster ride. The suspense builds and the final part of the book keeps you glued to it. I can't say Maria was my favorite character but I quickly became invested in the story. I really did enjoy it.

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“It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.”—Voltaire Or is it… Reasonable doubt. After hearing endless testimony and seeing horrifying pictures of the victims of alleged serial killer Wyatt Butler, it came down to just enough reasonable doubt for 1 of the 12 jurors to vote “Not Guilty” and set him free. Two years later, Maria Fontana just wants that part of her life to be over. Being endlessly hounded by the press, social media and the families of the victims, Maria is encouraged by her fiancé to take an extended vacation. Thinking a transatlantic cruise is just what the doctor ordered, Maria is ready to relax and enjoy time spent with family. But when a severed head is found in one of the cabins with a startling MO similar to that of the case against Wyatt Butler, Maria begins to fear that there could be a copy cat onboard…or perhaps Wyatt Butler wasn’t an innocent man…but in fact the killer… Readers, I devoured this gruesome tale of being trapped on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with a crazed killer on the loose! At first, I thought for sure I’d figured it all out…and then the author did a slight of hand with that ending!! Impossible to put down and guaranteed to give you chills! Loved and highly recommend! **I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. **

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I don't know if I've ever read a book so quickly! I could not put it down. Fast-paced, short chapters in a claustrophobic setting? Yes please. I loved everything about it. Highly recommend. Thank you for the ARC in exchange for honest feedback.

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I have not read such a fast paced novel like this one in a LONG time. I have NEVER said this before about a book, but I wish that it had been a little bit longer. I wanted more details. This was such a great book. I loved the cruise ship setting, the main character, the security officers....the killer. Kept me guessing till the end. I won't give away the spoilers but this was a hard book to put down. It was so fast paced and I needed to read just one more page.

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Talk about a suspenseful and thrilling novel! This book was quite graphic in certain parts especially of what the serial killer did to the children but couldn’t put the book down. Marie Fontana is on the jury to convict the serial child killer and she doesn’t feel like the evidence is enough to convict so the killer is set free. Then the jurors and Marie start getting threatening letters and basically harassed. Marie decided to hold a conference and say she is the juror that let the killer go free. Things really started happening then so Marie and her fiancé Steve decide to take a trip with Marie’s twins Chris and Chloe. Oh my gosh I thought it could get any scarier until this cruise and all the evil comes out. I was shocked because I really thought I had figured the killer out but I was so wrong! Great book and the title is perfect! I received this book from Netgalley for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily! Thank you so much Netgalley for this awesome book!

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My thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for this excellent read to what I hope is the beginning of a series. Maria Fontana is the head of the Psychology Department at Columbia. She was on a trial of a child serial killer and she voted not guilty. Her, her children, and fiancee go on a cruise and find the killer is on board and out to get Maria and her family. All is not what it seems. I loved this book! Quick easy read that made you keep turning the pages. The end of it seemed like this will be a series which I will definitely read.

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Crazy good story!!! I loved everything about this book! The courtroom, the ship, the twists and turns that I never saw coming!! This is my first read involving a serial killer and I must say I couldn't put it down! Just when I thought I had something figured out...BAM!! Another plot twist! The writing is exceptional, the characters are richly developed and the mind of the serial killer is dark and twisted!! I couldn't put this book down! Read it in one sitting, up until 3:00 am!!

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This book kept my interest from the start. It was suspenseful and kept me guessing right to the end. A worthwhile read.

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The Stowaway is a thriller, a bit gruesome in parts, but with so many interesting twists and turns I kept reading to see who the killer was. The main character, Maria, was on the jury who failed to convict a serial killer. She, her twins, and her fiancé are on a cruise and as is the killer. It was a fast read because you want to see who the killer is. Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin's Press for my ARC of this book, all opinions are my own.

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A grisly crime thriller that will have you at the edge of your seat, The Stowaway, aims to keep you guessing without shying away from shock value. Gruesome murders are discovered aboard a cruise ship on a two-week transatlantic journey. Aboard is Maria Fontana, The head of Columbia’s Psychology Department, and juror on the a high profile case of acquitted child murderer, Wyatt Butler. With evidence mounting that the murders may be the work of the serial killer, the ships security, Jake Reese, and Maria work together to prevent the killer from claiming anymore more lives. A great read. The ending is a shocker!

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Such a great read! I started The Stowaway and only meant to read the few first pages, but ended up finishing it in one sitting. It is that good! A real page-turner, I literally (and yes I mean literally :) ) couldn't put my reader down until I knew what happened to whom and why. If you like mystery and thrillers, you will not be disappointed in this book. I can't say much except read it, because I feel any detail could be a spoiler. I highly recommend it! *** I received an e-ARC of this book from the authors and the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, James S. Murray, Darren Wearmouth, & St Martin's Press. ***

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The Stowaway grabbed me from the very beginning and never let go. Can the way you vote on a jury change your life? From deliberations in the trial of a serial killer to a high seas mystery, The Stowaway addresses that very question. The characters are relatable and well developed. A fast paced writing style full of twists and turns not only keeps the readers interest but makes this book impossible to put down. I highly recommend The Stowaway to all mystery lovers.

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I received this book as an ARC and this is my review. I absolutely loved this book! The story is creepy and loaded with twists. The characters are filled with interesting flaws. The authors tossed in confusion and red herrings designed to make the book impossible to put down. The pace is unrelenting and the outcome is surprising. I totally recommend this book to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers with a sadistic killer on the rampage.

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This is a fast pace suspenseful thriller. The characters where really developed, and I loved the suspense and twists in this book. Most of this book takes place on a cruise ship. I loved the cruise ship setting. This is not a book that builds up the scary suspense through the book, but this book you know their is something going on. The book is all about solving who is causing everything that is going on. The ending was so great in this book. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (St. Martin's Press) or author (James E. Murray and Darren Wearmouth) via NetGalley, so I can give an honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that. This book is schedule to be release on September 21-2021.

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Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for this arc. I had no idea what to expect from this book and it drew me in from the beginning. It really kept me guessing! I loved the story, and that it was on a cruise ship. Maria was a great character, smart and feisty.

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The Stowaway By James S. Murray; Darren Wearmouth Thanks to James S. Murray; Darren Wearmouth and St Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for the Advance Reader Copy! You have heard not to judge a book by its cover, well in this case I asked for the novel BECAUSE of the cover and I am glad I did! This is a very cool Adventure Mystery story set on the ocean! It is a whodunit, the blurb says Agatha Christie, but I thought it was more like Steve Cavanaugh style. And bonus recommendation, read Steve Cavanaugh’s Eddie Flynn series also! While we are recommending books, we might as well throw TJ Newman’s Falling in there also, because Stowaway is very much a page turner in the same way Falling is! Look at me, got a little off track, I mean lost at sea, what I am trying to say is The Stowaway is an intense page turning mystery where you really feel you are trapped with a killer out on the ocean! Very cool. Plus, you got two other recommendations! Thanks for reading! #TheStowaway #NetGalley

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This was my first time reading something from these two authors! I can tell you it was an exhilarating and creepy ride! Because the story started in a courtroom awaiting to hear a verdict, I thought for sure it would be a legal thriller (and I'm not a fan of that genre). What happens when one juror votes not guilty among the rest of the guilty verdicts pretty much sets an eerie tone. The juror is faced with backlash from community members, so much so, that she and her boyfriend decide to go away on a cruise. Once they get aboard, strange things begin to happen and they find themselves on the "cruise from hell." This was definitely a pulse-pounding thriller! Too many suspects, a lot of suspicion, and many chills and screams! Thank you #NetGalley for providing me with AC! I will definitely be reading more of Murray and Wearmouth.

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This was an interesting and fun to read mystery. The author kept the reader turning the pages. This is a book I would recommend to others. I will be looking to the next book from the author.

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I started this and was immediately drawn in I could not and did not want to put it down !! It is about a psychologist who ends up on a jury for a potential real psychopathic serial killer … I won’t give any spoilers but is is a real who done it and what the heck?!? It is very well written and such a great read ! There is a bit of “gore” with detailed body destruction and blood talk but I think it is done appropriately! I highly recommend you order this now !!!

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This was a very enjoyable and exciting book. It had a great story, with great pacing. And characters that you cared about. Highly recommend. Definitely felt like a movie. #TheStowaway #NetGalley

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It's been a while since I've read a mystery so intense that I couldn't stop reading. The Stowaway had me from the first chapter and I finished it in under 24 hours. It was fast-paced, gripping, thrilling, and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. While reading it, it brought me back to the day of reading R.L. Stine and his Fear Street series (which I devoured by the way) and I felt like I couldn't get enough. I'm truly excited that this is the first for the series because I'm already wanting more! What's more terrifying than a serial killer on a cruise ship? I mean, you truly have nowhere to run. If you love a fast-paced psychological murder mystery, read this. I promise you won't be disappointed.

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This book is reason #254 why I’ll never go on a cruise ship 🙅🏻‍♀️ Such a quick-paced and intense read, I couldn’t put it down. Maria was one of twelve jurors on one of the most gruesome and notorious serial killers of our time. After walking free with hung jury, the jurors are relentlessly harassed by the public who demand revenge for the one who voted ‘not-guilty’. Now, trying to recover and move past the traumatizing civic duty, Maria and her family embark on a 12 day cruise to London. Their family vacay bliss is cut short when bodies start turning up with the same MO as the killer, is he really on board and can Maria help catch him? I thought I had this one figured out early on but it was such a great red herring! Readers beware this book does describe the bodies in pretty graphic detail, definitely not for the weak tummies. I highly recommend picking this up on September 21st, if you are headed on one last summer vacation, except maybe pass if going on a cruise ship though

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What a terrific cruise this book was. Original and imaginative, I couldn't stop turning pages. And a great cover, one of the best I've seen.

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I was excited to read this as I’ve been a long-time viewer of James Murry aka Murr on Impractical Jokers. This was the furthest away from any comedy sketches! I am also an avid cruiser so I had to get this one under my belt. At times quite gruesome, this book was an adventure that kept me on the edge of my seat.

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If you love thriller that grabs you from the beginning then you'll love this book. The clever twists and turns leave you guessing. You will be cheering for Maria, the main character, but wondering at the same time.... Read this fast paced thrill ride that has your stomach in knots!

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