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What Waits in the Woods: A Chilling Novel of Suspense with a Shocking Twist (Hardcover)

What Waits in the Woods: A Chilling Novel of Suspense with a Shocking Twist By Terri Parlato Cover Image
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Her ballet career derailed by injury, a once-promising young dancer returns to her hometown only to face a grisly discovery – and the increasingly alarming realization that nothing from her past is quite what she believed – in this electrifyingly twisty suburban thriller for fans of Stacy Willingham, Greer Hendricks, and Megan Miranda.

“A moody, atmospheric thriller perfectly crafted.” —Charlie Donlea, USA Today bestselling author of Twenty Years Later on All the Dark Places

When Esmé Foster left the Boston suburbs to become a professional ballerina, the future shimmered with promise. Eleven years later, her career has been derailed by an injury, and Esme knows it’s time to come back to Graybridge to help her brother care for their ailing father. But her return coincides with an unthinkable crime. Kara Cunningham, one of Esme’s high school friends, is found dead in the woods behind the Fosters’ house.

Esmé is shocked and grieving, but also uneasy. In her dreams, she still sees the man who showed up at the scene of the car accident that killed her mother—and told Esmé he was going to kill her too. Family and friends insisted the figure was a product of Esmé’s imagination, that she was concussed after the crash. But she and Kara looked alike, sharing the same petite build, the same hair color. Could Kara’s murder have been a case of mistaken identity? 

Detective Rita Myers is familiar with close-knit communities like Graybridge, where, beneath the friendliness, there are whispers and secrets. The town has seen other tragedies too, including the long-ago drowning of a young girl in a pond, deep in the woods. Even within the once-close circle of friends that included Kara and Esmé, Rita discerns a ripple of mistrust.

Day by day, Esmé discovers more about the place she left behind—and the friends and family she thought she knew. Soon, shining a light into the darkness to learn what really happened the night Kara died is the only way she can bring the nightmare to an end . . .

"A must read...I loved this book.” —Lisa Jackson, # 1 New York Times bestselling author on All the Dark Places

“Hooks you immediately.  Sharp characters and a plot full of twists kept the pages turning to the last.  Fantastic read!” —Mary Burton, New York Times bestselling author on All the Dark Places

About the Author

Terri Parlato is the acclaimed author of domestic suspense, including All the Dark Places and What Waits in the Woods. Born and raised in upstate New York. She currently lives in a small north Georgia town with her husband and dog, Lucy. For more information, visit her online at

Praise For…

Praise for What Waits in the Woods

“A failed ballerina’s return home is turned upside down by the appearance of a dead body in her family’s yard…Parlato piles on the rumors, menace, and revelations.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Parlato’s multidimensional characters and effective use of red herrings will keep readers invested right up to the gasp-worthy conclusion.” —Publishers Weekly

Praise for All the Dark Places

“A creepy debut most notable for the nightmares it finds beneath apparently untroubled surfaces.” —Kirkus Reviews

“An inexplicable murder kicks off Parlato’s gripping debut…Assured pacing matches accomplished characterizations. Parlato is off to a strong start.” —Publishers Weekly

“Part police procedural, part domestic suspense, All the Dark Places provides mystery fans with the reading experience they crave.” —Brian Kenney, First Clue

“This debut novel is well crafted and hooked me in the first chapter…The plot is deeply involved with several twists to the story to keep readers captivated to its dramatic conclusion.” —Mystery & Suspense Magazine
"Terri Parlato's debut All the Dark Places checks all the right boxes for domestic suspense fans. This chilling whodunnit hooked me on the first page and kept me guessing to the last." —Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times bestselling author
All the Dark Places by Terri Parlato is a must read for anyone who loves a good mystery!  The suspense was spine-tingling and the characters were interesting but believable.  I loved this book and had to force myself to lay it aside at night.  Seriously, a must read!” —Lisa Jackson, # 1 New York Times bestselling author
“A moody, atmospheric thriller perfectly crafted with just enough clues dropped along the way to keep the reader guessing and hopelessly addicted. I know I was.” —Charlie Donlea, USA Today bestselling author of Twenty Years Later
“Hooks you immediately.  Sharp characters and a plot full of twists kept the pages turning to the last.  Fantastic read!” —Mary Burton, New York Times bestselling author
“From the first pages to the stunning conclusion, All the Dark Places hums with tension.  With meticulous plotting and a tenacious detective, Parlato peels back the layers of Molly and Jay’s seemingly ordinary life to reveal that dark secrets rarely stay hidden.” —Tessa Wegert, author of Dead Wind
“If you are a fan of thrillers that will keep you up at night, whispering "one more chapter" to your alarm clock, Parlato's murder mystery is the book for you. Two women—one with a traumatic past, the other a police detective—come together after a savage killing at a 40th birthday party rocks a tight-knight Massachusetts community. You know what they say about small towns: They often have big secrets.” Enews (

Product Details
ISBN: 9781496738592
ISBN-10: 1496738594
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: December 26th, 2023
Pages: 352
Language: English