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In this "racing, twisty crime novel," two estranged twin sisters hunt down their elusive mother—and face down the darkness they tried to escape. (Chelsea Bieker)Jane Pool likes her safe, suburban existence just fine. She has a house, a family, (an infuriating mother-in-law,) and a quiet-if-unfulfilling administrative job at the local college. Everything is wonderfully, numbingly normal. Yet Jane remains haunted by her past: her mercurial, absent mother, her parents’ secrets, and the act of violence that transformed her life.
When her estranged twin, Lila, makes contact, claiming to know where their mother is and why she left all those years ago, Jane agrees to join her, desperate for answers and the chance to reconnect with the only person who really knew her true self. Yet as the hunt becomes treacherous, and pulls the two women to the earth’s distant corners, they find themselves up against their mother’s subterfuge and the darkness that always stalked their family. Now Jane stands to lose the life she’s made for the one that has been impossible to escape.
Set in both the Pool family’s past and their present, and melding elements of a chase novel, an espionage thriller, and domestic suspense, Hard Girls is an utterly distinctive pastiche—propulsive, mysterious, cracked, intelligent, and unexpected at every turn.
"We build our world from the materials available, those given and allowed us. In Hard Girls, J. Robert Lennon has a brilliant, seemingly effortless way of sorting through the lumber, bent nails, staples, glue, and salvage that make up our lives."James Sallis, author of DRIVE and SARAH JANE
"Hard Girls is a rollicking read, an immersive, funny, consequential family story that is also a thriller. Lennon is a master of plot and suspense, but he's also wonderful at creating indelible characters, particularly the wild twins at the heart of this story. Hard Girls deftly evokes complex family dynamics: the tense innocence and precocity of adolescence as well as the poignant, hard reckoning of parenthood."Dana Spiotta, author of WAYWARD
"J. Robert Lennon’s Hard Girls is a mother-daughter thriller unlike any I’ve ever read. It’s a simple-enough premise—two sisters set off to track down their long-lost mother—but the narrative twists and turns are as distinctive and surprising as the relationships that propel them. Each and every character is exquisitely rendered here, and sisters Jane and Lila Pool are nothing less than utterly captivating: they are at once brilliant and vulnerable, tender and vicious. I fell head over heels in love with them both—and I know readers will too."Elizabeth Little, author of DEAR DAUGHTER and PRETTY AS A PICTURE
"HARD GIRLS excels as a racing, twisty crime novel about the things we do to survive and how the people we love most surprise us, challenge us, and sometimes, if we're lucky, save us. Jane’s desire to be the mother her mother never was will pull at your heartstrings and the inventive plot will keep you glued to the page. Lennon reminds us there's no escaping the past until we look it square in the eye. A bold and adventurous novel."Chelsea Bieker, author of GODSHOT and HEARTBROKE
"J. Robert Lennon is one of the great genre-hoppers and I can’t wait to see what he gets up to in the crime sphere. We’ve got estranged twins reconnecting to find their mother, globe-hopping adventure, family secrets, and the pace of a great thriller? Plus, things are often quite a bit stranger than what the jacket copy says in a Lennon novel, so I’m excited to see how this goes. And it’s apparently the first in a series!"Literary Hub
"Lennon's writing is crisp and svelte, the dialogue punchy and witty. He excels at creating three-dimensional characters and parses out information incrementally to expertly heighten the tension. A mix of a coming-of-age tale, family drama, buddy road trip, and spy story, this yarn satisfies on all levels."Bill Kelly, Booklist
"An original, multilayered and quite engrossing thriller."Bruce Tierney, BookPage
- On Sale
- Feb 20, 2024
- Page Count
- 320 pages
- Mulholland Books