The Girl with a Clock for a Heart

The Girl with a Clock for a Heart

by Peter Swanson


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Already optioned for film, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart is Peter Swanson’s electrifying tale of romantic noir, with shades of Hitchcock and reminiscent of the classic movie Body Heat. It is the story of a man swept into a vortex of irresistible passion and murder when an old love mysteriously reappears.

On an ordinary Friday evening at his favorite Boston tavern, George Foss’s comfortable, predictable life is shattered when a beautiful woman sits down at the bar, a woman who vanished without a trace twenty years ago.

Liana Dector isn’t just an ex-girlfriend, the first love George couldn’t quite forget. She’s also a dangerous enigma and quite possibly a cold-blooded killer wanted by the police. Suddenly, she’s back—and she needs George’s help. Ruthless men believe she stole some money . . . and they will do whatever it takes to get it back.

George knows Liana is trouble. But he can’t say no—he never could—so he makes a choice that will plunge him into a terrifying whirlpool of lies, secrets, betrayal, and murder from which there is no sure escape.

Bold and masterful, full of malicious foreboding and subtle surprises, The Girl with a Clock for a Heart is an addictive, nonstop thriller—an ever-tightening coil of suspense that grips you right up to its electrifying end.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062267498
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/04/2014
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Peter Swanson is the author of three novels: The Girl With a Clock For a Heart, an LA Times Book Award finalist; The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; and his most recent, Her Every Fear. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science FictionThe Atlantic MonthlyMeasureThe GuardianThe Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife.

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The Girl with a Clock for a Heart 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
'The Girl With a Clock for a Heart' is a gripping noir thriller that will have readers guessing until the end while holding on to the edge of their seats. It follows main character George Foss - an average man with an average job and life. He has spent years searching for his freshman college love, a girl from Florida who supposedly committed suicide over Christmas break their freshman year. George was heartbroken over the loss and has sworn he's seen her in the years since her "death." His instincts are proven right when she appears one night at a local bar and asks George for help. He knows that she's had a shady past and has been caught up in some bad things. Now she's back from the dead (or hiding) and asking George for a favor that only he can provide. I found this novel to be right up my alley since one of my favorite genres is thriller fiction. The author creates a detailed and intricate story line comprised of both the present and the past, from the backstory of the two characters and their complicated histories. I loved learning the details of the story and piecing them together to attempt to figure out what was really happening. The book took a little while to get going, but after the action and intrigue picked up, it didn't stop until the very end. I found every aspect of the novel to be well written - from the characters and setting to the twists and turns of the plot and the smaller details of the story line. Definitely recommended for fans of mysteries and thrillers and those who wish to step outside their comfort zone into a great noir suspense. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful page turner by new author Peter Swanson. This book gripped me from the first sentence and I devoured it. Peter's writing reminds me of DeMille and Christie - It is so nice to have a new suspense writer on the scene. I anxiously await novel # 2 from this exciting new writer!
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
While at Mather’s College, George meets the girl of his dreams.  They quickly become inseparable, until Christmas break.  George got a call telling him that she committed suicide while visiting her parents.  He decides to head to Florida to visit her parents and pay his respects, possibly finding closure.  When he notices a picture on the mantel, he realizes that the girl these parents are grieving for is not the same girl that he knew from college.  Eventually he did know the true identity of his college sweetheart, but then she disappears. Twenty years later she has returned and needs George’s help. My Review: I have never met a more complex character in a book; Liana Decter has so many personas that my head spun at all her changes.   Each person she became was more manipulative and double-faced.  I was sympathetic to her wishes to go to college knowing that it is a real issue that kids want to go but cannot afford them.  That is where the sympathy ends.   From the minute she leaves her dad and takes on a different identity she became someone that could not be trusted.   Knowing that love can make people want to see the best in those they love made me understand why George wanted to believe her, why he tried to believe her.  I felt bad for George, he finally had the woman he wanted to love, the woman he wanted to be with, and then she double crossed him at every turn.  I wanted him to open his eyes, to realize that he had to walk away from EVERYTHING that involves Liana or one of her other identities.   I believe that if he had never met her his life would be so incredibly different, but probably not nearly as interesting. I have to recommend this to all my friends.   The Girl with a Clock for a Heart is a book I could not put down.   It was a book that kept me reading late into the night.  Here is a quote that caught my attention while reading this amazing book.  Liana has met up with George after her finds out that she is not the person who committed suicide.   I think this quote is the closest she ever came to telling George the whole truth, the truth about who she had been, who she was now, and who she thought she was going to be.  “Being Audrey was temporary.  I had become this different person, this person I’d rather have been-you know, in school, doing well, with a boyfriend like you-but it was like a I had a secret disease, or there was this clock inside of me, ticking like a heart, and at any moment an alarm would go off and Audrey Beck would no longer exist.  She’d die and I’d have to go back to being Liana Decter.”
SherryF More than 1 year ago
The creepy cover makes me think something bad is heading my way and the title makes me think it’s HER. The Girl With a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson is a noir romance, detective mystery that kept me on my toes as I traveled a roller coaster of a ride with George. This book has been optioned for a movie. I can’t help but think of Humphrey Bogart. Too bad he’s not around, because I kept seeing his face the whole time I was reading the novel. The story takes place in an area I am familiar with, Boston and Cape Cod, and that makes me want to read it even more. When they talk about Kowloon’s and the Scorpion Bowl, I know exactly what they are talking about. I, too, have drunk the scorpion nectar. George went to his usual hangout, Jack Crow’s. He is the business manager of a fading magazine, The Globe. He felt life had passed him by, until…Liana? He would recognize her anywhere. What is she doing here? He had known her in college. She had not only broken his heart, she had murdered at least one person, most likely two. He had left college, believing she had committed suicide. Should he approach her? At first, he chose not too, but he couldn’t help himself. Liana wanted a favor. He had met her in college and it was love at first sight for him. But had she ever loved him or just used him? She was a fugitive, so what did she want from him. He will go down that road, because for the first time in a long time, he felt alive. The bigger question is, ‘will he stay that way’? She had been his first love and made all other relationships fall short. Do you remember your first love? This reads like a noir detective novel – the private dick and the femme fatale. I know this will be a bumpy ride for George, but I don’t know where it will end. Men, I swear, you guys are so easy to play and manipulate. I would think he learned his lesson the first time around, but we all know men’s ways. LOL As I read, I could “see” her game of seduction being played on George. I loved his SAAB 900 Special Performance Group option sports car. A car is almost like a character, whether it’s a beautiful sports car or a ratty, falling apart mass of steel, it is a must for the noir private detective and the cars catch my attention, especially the hot, fast cars. The chapters go back and forth between past and present, the mystery and anticipation alive in both. I neared the end and kept thinking, it isn’t over yet, just like on TV. He’s down, no he’s back up. Hit him again and again. Make sure he’s down and can’t get back up. Are you really sure he’s dead? I had a great time reading this novel and the twists and turns, lies and betrayals, con woman extraordinaire and loveable detective kept me on my feet wondering what would pop up next. As I reached the last page, I thought, is this really over? I would highly recommend The Girl With A Clock For A Heart by Peter Swanson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book but will be very happy if he continues this as a series, otherwise the ending leaves too many questions. Sign me up for #2!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this author's other book "The Kind Worth Killing" and thought that was thrilling. This book ranks right up there also. I read this book in two days, I could not put it down. I am anxiously awaiting the third book by this author. Very suspenseful
RealArmyofMomsMD More than 1 year ago
What if the one who got away came back? And what if you knew they were bad news but you couldn't help yourself? George Foss, the main character in this novel, has exactly that problem. The story winds though his first experience with the one who got away and this experience. Shifting back and forth past and present. You follow the thoughts George has as he wrestles unsuccessfully with himself and his conscience. finally following this woman to the brink of breaking his own cardinal rules. Irene the on again off again girlfriend of 15 years, George and his 20 year obsession with Liana Decter, Detective Roberta Jenkins, and of course Jane Byrne are all deeply fascinating and contagious characters that grab hold of the reader and make her read well into the wee hours of the night. The mystery of the past a present twists and turns until you and George are both unsure which way is up as you drown in good intentions that yield bad unintended consequences...even MURDER. Finally you ask yourself "Can you ever really know someone in the present from your past?" "Did you ever really know them in the past?" This is surly going on my best books of 2015 list. I couldn't stop reading it and it never stopped surprising me. this is what a Thriller/Mystery should be.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Peter Swanson in his new book, “The Girl with a Clock for a Heart” published by William Morrow introduces us to George Foss. From the back cover: George Foss has passed the age when he thinks he might fall madly in love or have anything truly remarkable happen to him. He spends evenings at his local tavern talking about the Red Sox and obsessing over a lost love from his college days who vanished twenty years earlier. Until she reappears. George has both dreamed of and dreaded seeing Liana Decter again. She’s an enigma and quite possibly someone who was involved in a murder years ago. But she’s back—and needs his help. She says that some men are after her and that they believe she’s stolen their money. And now they will do whatever it takes to get it back. George can’t say no—he never could—and soon his life is gone as he is pulled into a terrifying whirlpool of lies and betrayal, from which there is no sure escape. Honestly I wasn’t sure if this book was going to be a winner when I first started it. I mean really, George Foss is a wimp failure that life is passing by. That is until Liana re-enters his life after a twenty year absence. Now, all of a sudden, his life takes off as he enters her dark world and risks his life trying to help her. Get ready for a thriller that moves along at a brisk rate that has plenty of action, romance and loads of atmosphere. “The Girl with a Clock for a Heart” is loaded with twists and turns and red herrings that will leave you guessing all the while you are flipping pages to find out what happens next. Mr. Swanson has provided us with a very clever exciting book. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Partners In Crime. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Buecherwurm161 More than 1 year ago
An intense Read.  I was a First Read Winner of this book and it kept me at the edge of my seat all the way through.  This was a character driven thriller, with interesting and complex characters, that started out kinda slow but then layer by layer the plot was a laid out, however it kept me guessing all the way through. Just when I thought I had figured it out, it proofed me wrong.  I think this book would make a great movie, and I know it will stay with me for a long time.  The bonds we form in school can be pretty strong.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this story. I would have liked to read it in full novel form with enhanced details and a more complex arc, but for a novella it was compelling and very well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to put it down- very good book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book. It is fast reading. I started it one night when I couldnt sleep and darn neer read till daylight ! !
Anonymous 11 months ago
Good read. Ending wasn't my favorite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Everything this author writes is so good. Martha B.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Characters and plot were original and keep me reading. Enjoyed the twist in the end. Sorry I didn’t guess the ending. I will look for more fiction
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the characters a little overly complicated, and the plot good, but not as riveting as expected or hoped
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy this author's writing style but the plot was a little convoluted; I was confused by the introduction of a couple new characters near the end of the book. The ending was abrupt; if this were a sequel it would make more sense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An ok story, but not realistic at all and there's no real ending. Wasn't worth the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
George is leading a boring life when he happens to run into his first serious girlfriend from college. He keeps falling into her trap because he still loves her and wants to believe her story. Is she still in love with George or is she using him? George isn't sure but is willing to take the risk. The answers may end up costing too much. The plot is mysterious and suspenseful. Best book I've read in a long time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whar i said
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVE this author and his writing is so very gripping. Cannot wait for his next book due out in January 2017!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This guy can write. Also read his "The Kind Worth Killing" which is even better than this little treasure. ~*~LEB~*~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book. Great story. Until the end.