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Michelle Richmond
New York Times bestselling author of psychological thrillers & literary suspense
New York Times bestselling author of psychological thrillers & literary suspense

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On July 25, 2017, my new psychological thriller, THE MARRIAGE PACT, hits the shelves. Learn more at


How far is too far when it comes to protecting your marriage? Find out in this relentlessly paced novel of psychological suspense.

“Gripping, thought-provoking, and irresistible.”—Dean Koontz

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .

Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples.

And then one of them breaks the rules.

The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule.

For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

Read an excerpt here:

Advance Praise for The Marriage Pact

“Riveting psychological suspense! This book will keep you up all night, while making you second-guess everything you know and everyone you’ve ever loved.”—Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Right Behind Yo

“A truly chilling thriller . . . It ranks with The Stepford Wives and Gone Girl as a terrifying look at what it really means to say ‘I do.’”—Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Guilty Minds

“The Marriage Pact is a tense, twisting, quirky novel of growing dread—and a love story with a richly imagined relationship between a wife and husband. Michelle Richmond looks with a gimlet eye at our therapy-obsessed culture and wonders if the experts who claim to have all the cures might themselves need therapy.”—Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Corner

“Michelle Richmond is, simply put, a great storyteller. And The Marriage Pact, without gimmicks or tricks, is a twisting, suspenseful, keep-you-up-all-night thriller. But it’s more than that, too. It’s a deep, insightful, nearly voyeuristic view into modern marriage—what brings us together, what keeps us together, what tears us apart. A smart, engrossing, scary read!”—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of The Red Hunter

“A brilliant premise for a novel of psychological suspense, taut plotting, and deft writing, The Marriage Pact shows in gripping detail just what could go wrong when we try too hard to protect the love we cherish most.”—J. P. Delaney, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Before



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Best 21 Books for Summer, from +Good Housekeeping, including The Marriage Pact

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Three Great Summer Reads, from Space to Sweden, and a Zoo

We've had record-breaking temperatures in the Bay Area this week. This year is probably hot enough to make us reconsider that whole "we don't need an air conditioner because our climate is so mild" thing. Escapism is in the air! Here are three novels that have swept me away this summer:

The Unit, by Nina Holmqvist
If you've binge-watched The Handmaid's Tale, The Unit should be your next stop. In this quiet dystopian novel, men and women of a certain age are sent to The Unit, where they are well-cared for, every need attended to, as they await their "final donation." A beautifully written, chilling tale about a modern-day society that prioritizes usefulness above all else.

Spaceman of Bohemia, by Jaraslov Kalfar
The debut novel by Czech writer Jaroslav Kalfar is a magical narrative about solitude and longing, in which the unexpected and unexplained are beautifully intertwined. Yes, it is about space, but it is also about politics, love, dreams, and the imagination. Oh, and there's a spider in it. A very large and opinionated spider. Kalfar’s tale of a man alone–yet not alone–in space is wise, humorous, and intellectually playful. Kalfar’s memorable debut belongs on the shelf with all those great Czech novels you read in college and keep meaning to read again.

Fierce Kingdom, by Gin Phillips
Joan is leaving the zoo with her four-year-old son at closing time when a series of gunshots interrupts the quiet. For excruciating hours, she struggles to protect her restless child from the gunmen. A beautiful exploration of maternal love, as moving as it is suspenseful, on shelves July 25th.

So that's what I'm reading. What about you? Join the conversation about your favorite summer reads on Facebook.

Like this content? Subscribe to my newsletter to get reading recommendations, upcoming literary events, and more:

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Enter to win nine of the summer's hottest thrillers and suspense novels from +Penguin Random House -- new titles by Dean Koontz, Kathy Reichs, Lauri King, Jane Evanovich, Janelle Brown, Alan Drew, Susie Steiner, Tess Gerritsen, and me!

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Five Inspiring Author Interviews

John le Carre on the Merv Griffin Show, 1965

The writer who defined the spy novel with the iconic novels The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy discusses, among other things, why he goes by the name John le Carre, even though his real name is David Cornwall.

"In the secret service, we were encouraged to cultivate anonymity."

He also talks about how he came to write about the Berlin Wall in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.

"I wanted to use the bureaucratic experience I had and translate that to the spy world…I wanted to write the literature of involvement. I wanted people to feel, “I’m locked in. I can’t get out. This could be me.”

What I love about this interview is how non-literary it is. Griffin asks, in no uncertain terms, how much money he’s making and how many copies he’s sold. In true sixties fashion, le Carre smokes throughout the interview.

Follow the link to watch the interview and see four others, from Marilyn Robinson to Jorge Luis Borges.


This week, I was interviewed by a grad student in Brooklyn who is doing a dissertation on how writing affects one’s mood, and vice versa. As I was answering her questions, it became clear to me that, while the business of writing is filled with highs and lows, periods of joy and hope punctuated by periods of anxiousness and self-doubt, the writing itself keeps me on an even keel. To be writing is simply my normal state of being, an act that brings me comfort and contentment and a sense of purpose in the world.

But beyond the writing itself is the support system. During the past thirteen years, through the gravy days and the lean ones, the years when I’m publishing and the years when I’m not, there have been two constants. The first is my husband, who reads all of my work, gives me ideas, edits my sentences down to their most essential parts, and makes playlists for every one of my novels. The second is my agent, who believes in my books and goes to bat for me even during those times when I begin to doubt myself. In the big, chaotic world of publishing, it’s a gift to be with an agency where I don’t get lost in the shuffle.

This time last week, I’d just heard news from my agent that she’d sold the rights to my forthcoming novel to a publisher in Israel. Having never been published in Hebrew before, I was elated. By the end of the week, she had received several offers from various countries. When she arrived in London early this week for the London Book Fair, she had already laid the groundwork to get this novel off to a strong start.

While most books are written in private, just a writer alone with the page, you need a team to build a solid writing career. In addition to a hardworking agent who always has your back, you need a talented editor who will guide you toward the best version of the book you want to write and be your ally in-house. I have had the good fortune of working with two tireless editors at Bantam.

You need a publisher who will invest the time, resources, and good faith that’s necessary to get your book in front of readers, and a publicist who will work to get you and your book in front of audiences. There are artists, copy editors, proofreaders, editorial assistants. When it comes to foreign rights, there are subagents who pitch your book abroad, editors who acquire you for their imprint and champion you in-house, translators who live more closely with your novel than anyone else, and the foreign publishers who each give their version of the book a distinct personality. There is the actor who reads your book for audio. There are the reviewers who tell the world that your book exists, and the booksellers who display your book on the shelves and put it in the hands of readers.

Just a few weeks ago, I was worried about what would happen to this book, whether anyone would read it. But thanks to several unexpected developments over the last two weeks, the future of the book seems, if not certain (for nothing is certain in publishing), quite promising.

The writing life is full of ups and downs. Some books are hits, and some are not. There are months when it seems that nothing is happening, and weeks when it seems that everything is happening. But no matter how your work is being received on any given day, there are school lunches to make. There are words to get on the page. There is family, there are friends, and there is the writing itself — those beautiful hours in the chair, when you’re lost inside the story. These things remain, no matter how the world is receiving (or not receiving) your work at any given moment.

I have no idea what’s going to happen over the next few weeks, the next few months. By the time the novel comes out, my son will have moved on from elementary school to middle school. I’ll be a year older, and so will my husband. My little nephew, who has only recently learned to talk, will be heading off to preschool. Life moves quickly, things change so rapidly. I wish the best for this book, as I wish the best for all of my books. After the last few days, I have the feeling that this novel may reach more readers than I’ve ever reached before. But how can I be sure? I can’t. I can only be grateful, enjoy the moment for as long as it lasts, enjoy my family, and keep writing.

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My new novel comes out next summer with Bantam. In the lead-up to the London Book Fair, my amazing agent is getting the word out to foreign sub-agents and publishers.

Our first foreign sale of the new novel went to Yedioth in Israel, in a pre-empt. We'll be publishing with Books in the Attic, an independent publishing house that partners with Yedioth. Books in the Attic has been publishing translations for twenty years. Recent titles include Emma Donohue's ROOM and J.K. Rowling's THE CASUAL VACANCY.

I'm delighted to join the Books in the Attic family, and so excited for my very first Hebrew translation.

Much is happening on the foreign rights front, and I'll have more to report soon. To me, foreign rights are one of the most exciting parts of being a writer. I love seeing the different covers, and seeing my story translated in languages I don't speak. It feels like such a privilege to know that people in other countries are reading my books. Even though I usually don't meet the translators, I feel that they probably know each book better than anyone, because the relationship between the original text and the act of translating is so intimate.

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