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“A heartbreaking story of female friendship, first love, and betrayal, Rebecca McKanna explodes onto the thriller scene. Absolutely phenomenal!” –New York Times bestselling author Julie Clark
We never remember the dead girls. We never forget the killers.
Twelve years ago, 18-year-old University of Iowa freshman Abby Hartmann disappeared. Now, Jon Allan Blue, the serial killer suspected of her murder, is about to be executed. Abby’s best friends, Bree and Chelsea, watch as Abby’s memory is unearthed and overshadowed by Blue and his flashier crimes. The friends, estranged in the wake of Abby’s disappearance, and suffering from years of unvoiced resentments, must reunite when a high-profile podcast dedicates its next season to Blue’s murders.
Tense and introspective, for readers of Megan Goldin and Heather Gudenkauf, Don’t Forget the Girl is an astonishing debut thriller that mines the complexities of friendship and the secrets between us that we may take to the grave.
“IT’S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE” JON ALLAN BLUE EXECUTION TEE
Celebrate justice being served by buying one of these screen-printed, 100% cotton unisex tees designed to commemorate Jon Allan Blue’s execution. Soft, comfy, and available in multiple colors. We also do child sizes!
To my agent, Rebecca Gradinger, who believed in me when this novel was just a rambling story collection. Her care and attention made this book. I was beyond lucky she found it a home with Shana Drehs, fellow Iowa native and wonderful editor. Thank you to the whole Sourcebooks family, especially Jessica Thelander, Anna Venckus, and Cristina Arreola, for their hard work and thoughtfulness.
Thank you to Carolina Beltran and Hilary Zaitz Michael at William Morris Endeavor for taking care of the book’s film rights. Thanks also to Kelly Karczewski and everyone at Fletcher & Co.
Julie Henson, Natalie Lund, Kelsey Ronan, and Cassandra Sanborn read so many iterations of this novel and supported Abby, Bree, Chelsea, and me at our roughest. N read chapters as I wrote them, giving me momentum to finish that first draft. Kelsey held my hand through querying, going on submission, and throughout the publication process. J, what can I say? Thank you for being my boat, my home, my heart. Deep gratitude also to Lindsey Alexander, Tim Bascom, Bethany Leach, Katie McClendon, and Emily Skaja, who provided thoughtful feedback on my writing over the years and have been wonderful friends.
Bree’s class about Ana Mendieta owes everything to two excellent articles I couldn’t stop thinking about: Jenna Sauers’s Village Voice piece “Portrait of the Artist, Ana Mendieta, Iowa City, 1973” and Sarah Weinman’s Guardian article “In Death, an Artist and a Young Woman Meet.” Descriptions of Alayna’s photos are inspired by Lauren Greenfield’s exhibition Girl Culture.
To Greg Bouljon, my eighth-grade language arts teacher, who told me I would be a writer someday. To Rodger Wilming, my high school English teacher. At the University of Iowa, thanks to Bonnie Rough, Meenakshi “Gigi” Durham, Steve Berry, Lyle Muller, and Leslie Jamison.
Purdue University’s MFA program gave me time to study and write. Thank you to Porter Shreve, Bich Minh “Beth” Nguyen, Chinelo Okparanta, Sharon Solwitz, and Patricia Henley, as well as to my thesis committee: Roxane Gay, Brian Leung, and Don Platt. Carrie Frye’s Book Beast course nurtured this novel when I was about to give up.
To my colleagues at the University of Indianapolis, especially Colleen Wynn, Liz Ziff, Lacey Davidson, Molly Martin, Jen Camden, Kevin McKelvey, and Barney Haney. An extra special thanks to my work wife, Leah Milne.
Dr. Beth Fineberg, you changed my life. Thanks also to Adrienne Golota and Dr. Benjamin May.
In writing a book about female friendship, I was blessed to have such long and deep ones to draw upon. Thank you to Molly Erickson, Traci Finch, Elspeth Petersen, Danielle Sparks, and Allison “AJ” Vickers.
My parents encouraged me to love books and art my whole life. Mom, thanks for reading to me growing up and all the visits to the library and Waldenbooks (RIP) when I was a kid. Dad, thank you for all the indie movies you brought home and for helping with that first short story in high school. Your love and belief in me made this book possible.
Finally, and most importantly: to Chad Martin, who spent countless hours listening to me untangle plot threads and character motivations and provided me with pep talks and episodes of Love Island when I needed cheering up. Chad, you believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself. I will never know why I was lucky enough to find you, but I will never stop being grateful.
- On Sale
- Jun 20, 2023
- Page Count
- 368 pages
- Hachette Book Group