PRAISE FOR A BREATH AFTER DROWNING:
The Wall Street Journal
"Terrifying... one of the most memorable genre villains since Hannibal Lecter."
"Blanchard excels at portraying a multilayered main character who’s damaged but strong, and at sending readers chasing after red herrings. The closing twist, a complete surprise, caps a tale that is as absorbing as it is emotional and thought provoking. This is one for readers of Patricia Cornwell’s Dr. Kay Scarpetta novels...each starring a woman in the field of medicine who cares deeply about her job and about getting justice for those who’ve been wronged."
"This riveting thriller from Blanchard ... offers three-dimensional, empathetic characters caught up in twisting events..."
The Crime Review
"Subtly paced and completely engrossing, this is a read that will keep you hooked to the end."
"An engrossing late-night read."
Lisa Lutz, New York Times bestselling author of The Passenger
"Alice Blanchard’s A BREATH AFTER DROWNING had me hooked from page one. A spectacular, gripping, psychological thriller not to be missed.”
Sherri Smith, bestselling author of Follow Me Down
“Dark, chilling and complex. Blanchard is a skilled writer who spins a tangled-web thriller that will keep you up at night.”
Jacquelyn Mitchard, bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean
“In her newest, A BREATH AFTER DROWNING, Alice Blanchard has you by the throat before you know it. This story of a child psychiatrist stalked by violence past and present kept me up all night, long after I stopped reading. Blanchard is a powerhouse, and keeps getting better.”
Nancy Allen, bestselling author of the Ozarks Mystery Series
"A smart read with a complex heroine and an ending you can't foresee with a crystal ball."
"A finely wrought psychological thriller."
"By the end of this book it took me a minute to realize that I had read the last twenty percent at a frantic pace, things were so intense and exciting I was racing to see what would happen next."
Linda's Book Bag
"Skilled, riveting and exciting. It’s a super read."
With Love For Books
"A BREATH AFTER DROWNING is a great compelling, sinister and shocking story. Advice: If you love dark gripping thrillers, A BREATH AFTER DROWNING would be a perfect choice."
Liz Barnsley, Liz Loves Books
"Brilliantly addictive, beautifully written psychological drama."
The Frumious Consortium
"One of the best evocations of paranoia I’ve experienced in a long time. I trusted no one."
Mathew Craig, Reader Dad
"This latest novel puts Alice Blanchard firmly on the must-watch list."
Divine World of Books
"I can definitely see this being my favorite book of the year."
"A BREATH AFTER DROWNING is one of those psychological thriller books that I’m still excited to read. It is both a mystery and a psychological thriller at the same time, and it’s not about husbands and wives and marriages gone wrong. And I love that! ... And I’d definitely read Alice Blanchard again!"
Books, Life and Everything
"I often see psychological thrillers described as 'gripping' and 'riveting' but it is not often that I actually completely agree that that is what they actually are!"
Not Another Book Blogger
"Dark and gripping and it will keep you guessing right up to the end."
Diario El Mañanero (Español Edition)
"This is a psychological thriller that will take your breath away."
Suenos Entre Paginas (Español Edition)
"It's a thriller that gets you from start to finish."
Crearte (Español Edition)
“Takes your breath away.”
“Alice Blanchard drags the readers into the darkness with A Breath After Drowning. This psychological thriller dives down into the characters’ psychology, their trauma, and the deep pits that therapy and grief can dig, in a story that is as close to perfect as it can be in the thriller genre… Blanchard chisels characters that darken with each layer.
Reminiscent of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, with the rawness of Stephen King’s suspense novels, this one’s highly recommended for anyone craving a thriller that will leave a scar.“
PRAISE FOR DARKNESS PEERING:
The New York Times Book Review (Notable Book Award)
“Tenderness – sweet, sad and heavy with regret – is not the customary feeling raised by a suspense thriller. But for all its dark artistry, Alice Blanchard’s deeply scary first novel, Darkness Peering, is not your off-the-rack genre thriller. Despite a plot that turns on a shocking suicide and some appalling murders, the emotional content of the story outweighs the horror of the events, inviting reflection on its rueful theme of needy people leading disconnected lives.”
Wall Street Journal
“Ms. Blanchard writes uncommonly well. She has written a first-rate shocker that deserves the noun ‘novel’ much more than most crime fictions that claim it… It is an impressive and highly effective debut thriller.”
“The terrifying plot thickens faster than a Penobscot Bay fog in this arresting first novel by short-story writer Alice Blanchard. But what makes the mystery truly haunting are Blanchard’s deft portrait of a town, her blighted, dead-on characters, and the evocative style. Bottom Line: Heartrending suspense debut."
“An impressive debut with a knockout finale.”
“Switching genres with ease, short story writer Blanchard, who won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for her collection The Stuntman’s Daughter, offers an accomplished suspense novel. Blanchard’s prose is swift and cinematic as she accelerates the suspense, and the tightly wrought ending offers a gut-wrenching, ironic twist.”
Kirkus Review (starred review)
“A solid first performance: the work of a versatile writer whose easy mastery of the suspense genre suggests she’s quite capable of continuing to surprise and entertain.”
“Moving from writing short stories to a novel is more than a test of endurance – it involves a daunting feat of courage as well as working a whole new set of muscles. Luckily, Alice Blanchard has courage and muscles to spare… Blanchard has a heaven-sent gift for summing characters up in a phrase… Who could ask for anything more – except a sequel?”
Barnes & Noble
“… A riveting, heartfelt human drama – a genuine police-procedural gem from this first-time novelist.”
Los Angeles Times
"Mesmerizing. An engrossing, seamless mixture of psychological thriller, whodunit and police procedural.”
"Blanchard's superior writing and observations will resonate with the reader long after the covers have closed."
"Sexy, sensual... gives you a serious sense of the shivers."
The Denver Post
“Darkness Peering is a finely plotted mystery-thriller with a final twist that hits like a punch in the gut. Gives Thomas Harris a run for his money.”
“Blanchard makes a satisfying debut with this dark tale… clever and suspenseful. A worthy first effort.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Blanchard brings her considerable literary talents to this exceptionally strong debut novel. Her crystalline prose is as chilling as the wintry Maine woods.”
AudioFile (Earphones Award Winner)
"A chilling thriller."
The Orlando Sentinel
“Blanchard makes her mystery debut with a veteran’s aplomb.”
Tangled Web UK
“This is a riveting story… told with skill and a beautiful eye for detail. Treat your first editions of Darkness Peering with care… and keep them safe.”
“Wow. Blanchard’s polished and powerful debut pushes the serial killer novel to new heights. This one is up there with Silence of the Lambs.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Taut, compelling, remarkably assured and often horrifying, Darkness Peering is written with grace and style; tough where it needs to be, erotic and sexually candid.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Blanchard may have literary roots, but Darkness Peering proves she can hold her own with the plot-wielding, bestselling big boys. The last six pages serve up a kick that feels like it was delivered by a .44 Magnum.”
Maine Sunday Telegram
“Spine-chilling. It will make you jump out of bed in the middle of the night to check if all the doors are locked.”
“… An intricately plotted mystery… Highly recommended.”
“A spectacularly chilling debut by a hot new voice in dark suspense. Ms. Blanchard weaves an unrelentingly twisted and haunted tale of treachery and murder.”
Author Jonathan Kellerman
“Darkness Peering is a novel of uncommon complexity, grace and power. A very impressive debut.”
Author Michael Palmer
“A frightening premise, fully developed characters, excellent pacing. Alice Blanchard takes her place among the best suspense writers at work today.”
Author Phillip Margolin
“Darkness Peering is a creepy and intense thriller. Its superb twists shocked me more than once.”
Author Cath Staincliffe
“Darkness Peering is a harrowing suspense debut with turbulent depths and revelations that continue to surprise until the very last page.”
Partners & Crime Review
“Startlingly fresh and intense... the tightly plotted clues keep you guessing until the end. Blanchard's 1996 short story collection won the prestigious Katherine Anne Porter Prize and little wonder, given her prodigious talent.”
“Blanchard has the ability to mine the human heart for all its resilience, evil and goodness... she delivers a breathlessly paced plot... with a final heart-wrenching ironic twist that no one could foresee."
Ed's Internet Book Review
"The ending is unexpected and heartwrenching... you won't want to put it down."
PRAISE FOR THE BREATHTAKER:
Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of the bestselling novel “The Deep End of the Ocean”
“A heart-tingling, heart-squeezing mystery… filled with poignancy… eerie and deliciously scary.”
Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
“Nothing could have prepared us for the howling horrors of this gale-force thriller… Blanchard’s artistry whips up excitement… She writes so well that she rattles the rafters.”
“A heart-pounding, highly literary novel full of stunning art and science. Blanchard's descriptions of what it feels and looks like to be inside a tornado at its full power are riveting and addictive.”
New York Daily News
“Brilliant… a dark and stormy novel and a particularly thrilling one.”
Daily Express UK
The Flint Journal
"Blanchard may be the most criminally overlooked writer in current suspense fiction. This is popular writing at its finest, and her absence from the bestseller list - and the lack of a huge campaign to promote her - is a mystery to me."
Independent on Sunday UK
"A brilliant study of violence and grief, powerful as the tornado itself."
Denver Rocky Mountain News
“What makes The Breathtaker so exceptional is that it works on so many levels… A real twister of a tale.”
San Jose Mercury News
“Blanchard delivers a knockout blow. She dips us into the odd little world of storm chasers, both the professionals and the hobbyists. It's a terrific thriller that does not insult the intelligent reader and just gets harder to put down as the pages turn."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Fantastic… Blanchard has concocted one hell of a whirlwind ride… A tension-filled thriller that will leave readers spinning.”
“Blanchard’s gripping second thriller follows a small town police chief’s pursuit of a serial killer who strikes only during tornadoes, but the “Debris Killer” is only one of the highlights of this fast-moving shocker, which also features the keen characterizations and fine atmospherics of the author’s first thriller, Darkness Peering… As tornado season comes on, more victims are discovered, and Charlie begins to suspect someone very close to him, before the murderer leads him on a final terrifying chase that will have readers gasping… Gale force sales are predicted.”
Library Journal (starred review)
“Blanchard (Darkness Peering) has laced together a breathtaking vortex of a story about love, death, murder and ordinary people living chaotic lives in Promise, OK, and its surroundings--known, notoriously, as tornado alley. Well paced, well plotted, and beautifully written, Breathtaker succeeds as a gripping thriller and a well-told tale. John Wells Productions (White Oleander) has bought the film rights. Highly recommended for all popular collections.”
Romantic Times: Top Pick, ****1/2 GOLD
“In a word--wow! Blanchard has outdone herself in this unique and mesmerizing thriller. With both an angry Mother Nature and a deranged serial killer on the loose, THE BREATHTAKER grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go. An astonishing ride!”
Reviewing the Evidence
"This story kept me reading past my bedtime."
Audiofile (Audie Award Finalist)
"If you liked the movie Twister, here it is on steroids, with better research."
Mostly Fiction Review
"It's hard for the reader to know what they should fear more...the killer, or the fury of nature."
PRAISE FOR LIFE SENTENCES:
“Could be Blanchard’s breakout… her characters are exceptionally strong and her plotting is sure-footed.”
“Blanchard again proves how research enriches detective fiction in this engrossing novel… Blanchard contrasts snowy New England memories with sunny California landscapes, intimate tenderness and violent obsession, lucid descriptions, compelling takes on the challenges and heartaches of degenerative disease, schizophrenia and abuse… action-packed drama and believable, believably conflicted characters.”
“Are genes destiny? This is the dark and troubling question that hangs over this creepy and intense thriller. With each new book, the extraordinary Blanchard continues to make her mark on the suspense genre.”
Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
“Alice Blanchard has a special gift for exploiting our fear of disease… she applies her skilled hand to schizophrenia; bipolar disorder; sexual deviance… The hunt for Anna is a classic cliffhanger with the lives of well-drawn characters at stake.”
“Life Sentences takes dozens of swift twists before a completely unexpected and satisfying resolution.”
“Blanchard ratchets up the level of suspense… truly three-dimensional characters… genuinely insightful musings on the human condition… holds one final plot twist that will surprise most readers. Life Sentences is a satisfying, well-paced thriller that will serve as one last, thoughtful beach read as the final weeks of summer come to an end.”
ET Life magazine
“A ripping read.”
Time Out magazine
“Life Sentences is both gripping and satisfying.”
The Irish Examiner
“In the contrasting landscapes of Boston and L.A., Blanchard sketches a strong sense of place, and the main characters are drawn with equal conviction and skill… a compelling read.”
“Occasionally a thriller can be so well written the plot seems an afterthought. But Blanchard also manages to weave in a brilliant, timely story about Daisy Hubbard.”
The Guardian Unlimited
“A good thriller should send shivers of unease down one’s back; this one left me needing a massage to straighten out my spine… you’ll just love Detective Jack Makowski who weeps when he hears Roy Orbison sing Pretty Woman.”
Star News Online
Mystery Scene magazine
“… a gripping novel of psychological suspense.”
“Blanchard writes her characters with a gifted pen. Descriptions are explicit, from freckles, red hair and greasy fibers to genetic predisposition, mannerisms and crime scene panoramas. Her artful use of simile makes for realistic pictures… Blanchard imprints indelible word paintings in the reader’s mind. Life Sentences is entertaining and keeps the reader’s attention through one plot twist or turn after another. Alice Blanchard becomes a unique addition to a new group of medical thriller writers.”
Monsters and Critics
“This well-constructed tale kept my interest throughout with some unexpected plot twists, fast action and enough science to make it all plausible. The author uses turns of phrase that are amusing as well as true to life. The reader begins getting drawn into Daisy’s life from the very first page, making it easy to identify with her trials and exasperations. Depth is added with detailed but not cumbersome interaction between the sisters, complete with their own private language. Detective Jack is a likable, flawed character…”
“Once again in Life Sentences, Blanchard does a masterful job of crafting a compelling, engrossing thriller that I highly recommend to mystery fans.”
“Alice Blanchard is a terrific writer.”
The Tucson Citizen
“Alice Blanchard provides several plots twists and a slam bang ending that this critic didn’t see coming.”
“Life Sentences was quite the page-turner and you did not know from one page to the next where it would lead you or whether Anna was really dead or alive. The characters were wonderfully written and you could feel their anguish and pain. I look forward to reading more books by Alice Blanchard.”
“Life Sentences by Alice Blanchard is an utterly engrossing thriller… Blanchard brings her extensive research into gene therapy for mental disorders into a plot rich with compelling characters and narrative description that evokes the California and New England settings.”
The Derby Evening Telegraph
“A thought-provoking and intriguing book.”
PRAISE FOR THE STUNTMAN'S DAUGHTER:
Rick DeMarinis, judge of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction (UNT Press)
“Blanchard takes risks. She walks the tightrope between sentiment and sentimentality, and never loses her balance. And by doing so, she tests the humanity of her characters and thus the humanity of her readers.”
“Here is a collection of short fiction that can renew a jaded reader’s faith in the future of the genre. Blanchard has created 11 tiny, jewel-like universes in her stories.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review/books of unusual interest and merit)
“It’s easy to see why judge Rick DeMarinis awarded this breathtaking collection of stories the Katherine Anne Porter prize. The prose is confiding, the dialogue familiar, which gives Blanchard’s stories an intimate everyday-ness that makes her family narratives disturbing and affecting.”
“The darker side of American Graffiti in 11 spare, vividly written stories... Blanchard adroitly fashions crisp vignettes seasoned with wry, sardonic dialogue in these arresting tales.”
Peter LaSalle, Winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction
“The territory of Blanchard’s stories is a hauntingly real America inhabited by everyday people with big sadnesses, and hope, often living smack on the edge. Couple that with careful structuring and a language that in its rich detail almost paints rather than writes, and one couldn’t ask for a finer fictional debut.”