I Killed Zoe Spanos meets The Cheerleaders in this “atmospheric and multi-layered mystery” (Kara Thomas, author of The Cheerleaders) about an island town with a history of unsolved deaths—and a girl desperate to uncover the mystery behind it all.
Luca Laine Thomas lives on a cursed island. To the outside world, Parris is an exclusive, idyllic escape accessible only to the one percent. There’s nothing idyllic about its history, though, scattered with the unsolved deaths of young women—deaths Parris society happily ignores to maintain its polished veneer. But Luca can’t ignore them. Not when the curse that took them killed her best friend, Polly, three years ago. Not when she feels the curse lingering nearby, ready to take her next.
When Luca comes home to police cars outside her house, she knows the curse has visited once again. Except this time, it came for Whitney, her sister. Luca decides to take the investigation of Whitney’s death into her own hands. But as a shocking betrayal rocks Luca’s world, the identity of Whitney’s killer isn’t the only truth Luca seeks. And by the time she finds what she’s looking for, Luca will come face to face with the curse she’s been running from her whole life.
Rebecca Barrow is the critically acclaimed author of Interview with the Vixen, This Is What It Feels Like, You Don’t Know Me But I Know You, and Bad Things Happen Here. She is a lover of sunshine, Old Hollywood icons, and all things high femme. She lives and writes in England. Visit her at Rebecca-Barrow.com.
Why We Love It
“Rebecca Barrow’s darkly lyrical voice perfectly captures the chilling atmosphere of this summer murder mystery while deftly exploring the insidious systems at work in today’s society.”
—Kate P, Editor, on Bad Things Happen Here
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (June 28, 2022)
“An atmospheric and multi-layered mystery that surprises until the haunting end.”
– Kara Thomas, author of The Cheerleaders and That Weekend
“Compelling and compulsive. Barrow expertly crafts a dark tale of sun-drenched dread that lays bare both the long-reaching impact of trauma and loss as well as the ways in which tragedy can so easily be disguised as destiny.”
– Stephanie Kuehn, Morris Award-winning author of Charm & Strange
“Beyond pristine beaches and the sparkling curtain of privilege lies a chilling mystery and a story of girlhood stolen too soon. Bad Things Happen Here will stay with you long after the final page.”
– Kit Frick, author of Very Bad People and I Killed Zoe Spanos
* "With short chapters and a sparse, present-tense narrative, this contemporary novel fuses elements of mystery and romance as Luca’s beautifully told coming-of-age story unfolds against a dark backdrop of death. Luca’s grief, trauma, and mental illness are deftly explored and, juxtaposed with her strong sense of identity as a fat, Black, mixed-race, queer girl, provide a rich, empowering voice that carries this haunting story to a satisfying conclusion....Not a word wasted."
"With effortless, atmospheric prose, Barrow buries us in a world that is as foreign as it is familiar--where Black teenage girls are ignored and vilified, where grief settles on shoulders like rain, and where bad things happen in a beautiful place. I wish I could read this book for the first time again and again.”
– Ashley Woodfolk, Acclaimed author of Nothing Burns As Bright As You