the wizard of warp, the queen of the corkscrew twist, rachel the writer
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Abby Peralta wasn’t supposed to be home—she was supposed to have left for lunch with her friends—but when a nagging feeling brings her back to the house, she sees the basement door is open. Before she has a chance to close it, she screams at the sight of a dead woman’s body at the bottom of the stairs, and with her husband, the well-known, well-liked, and well-off Dr. Jasper Peralta, nowhere to be found, Abby comes face-to-face with questions that are no longer rhetorical.
Have her suspicions her husband has been sleeping with one of her closest friends been right all along? Did she fall in love with the man she married or his money? Which bothers her most, cheater or murderer, and what does the answer say about her character?
Despite her best efforts, Abby knows reason doesn’t live where wrath does, and she begins to search for answers, considers calling the police, but when she checks the basement again, the body is gone. Then, her husband walks through the front door, acting ordinary as ever, and Abby is left alone, questioning everyone and everything.
The women’s reckoning you’ve been waiting for, the cutters & the salters is not your mother’s domestic suspense novel, as it pushes the boundaries of everything from race and sexuality to social status and loyalty in relationships, and I invite you to ask yourself: when you’ve got secrets of your own to keep, how far would you be willing to go to find the truth?
Suspicion, meet obsession.
When a car accident left Paul Whitlock an orphan at ten years old, he still felt safe, because he believed his grandmother would take care of him, and he’d taken her advice to heart during their first Christmas together as a broken family, when she’d warned him about people who kept secrets so well they were hidden in plain sight. People like that didn’t stuff skeletons into their closets for anybody to uncover, she’d told him. Instead, they used skulls as soup bowls and thigh bones for table legs, because when the skeletons became part of the house, no one would ever be able to find them.
Thirty years later and thanks to his grandmother’s voice in his head telling him to trust his instincts, Paul is one of the best homicide detectives in his department. He has his own family now, too, but when his teenaged son Ben begins acting strangely and Paul suspects him of committing two murders, he isn’t sure if his instincts are doing him any justice. But maybe that’s because he’s distracted by any one of his handful of bogeymen. Take your pick: a seemingly angrier than normal neighbor to the left, a charming neighbor to the right, and his wife’s incessant drinking and crippling infatuation with his youngest daughter, the same daughter who has a disability doctors haven’t been able to entirely explain. Or perhaps he’s simply unable to get past his own demons, because of course Paul has those, too.
Skeletons for Furniture serves up both sizzle and steak, weaving an insidious tale of paranoia wrapped in fear and resentment, of what happens when hysteria guides good intentions straight into the gutter, as three neighboring families wage wars with themselves and each other.
Head’s up: Ben isn’t the only one to worry about.
Rachel Ann Taylor DuBrueler has been spellbound by the macabre since birth, and her wonderfully unconventional parents indulged her with as many age-inappropriate scary movies as she could get her hands on, fueling a permanent fascination with all things creepy, namely the storytelling she loves today. In her youth, Rachel proudly earned four degrees from West Virginia University, her home state’s flagship institution (Go Mountaineers!), and she considers herself a perpetual student even though she stopped paying her Mensa dues years ago.
Currently, Rachel lives just outside of Richmond, VA with her husband, twin stepsons, and adopted Doberman Pinschers, and while her days are spent in corporate strategy and finance, her late nights and weekends are spoken for by the twisty psychological thrillers she can’t keep herself from writing. When she isn’t at her laptop, you’ll find her exhausting friends and family with a lively debate about science, economics, politics, and current events or shouting at the TV as she watches the Pittsburgh Steelers.
in the press
The suspense of [pursuing publishing] is nothing compared to reading the book. There's more than one twist in this tale.
By Kathryn Ghion
WTRF 7 News