Take Me Apart
My favorite debut crime novel of 2020. --Sarah Weinman, The Crime Lady
A West Coast art-world satire, an erotic romance and a descent into madness [with a] gratifying conclusion. --Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal
Dark and poetic . . . an outstanding debut that will satisfy fans of crime novels, thrillers, and mysteries. --Gabino Iglesias, Criminal Element
When the famed photographer Miranda Brand died mysteriously at the height of her career, it sent shock waves through Callinas, California. Decades later, old wounds are reopened when her son Theo hires the ex-journalist Kate Aitken to archive his mother's work and personal effects.
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About the Author
An Indie Next Pick for May 2020"Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2020" --CrimeReads
"10 Most Anticipated Horror/Thrillers of 2020" --Bustle
"24 Most Anticipated Mysteries / Thrillers of 2020" --GoodReads
"Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half of 2020 Preview" --The Millions
"20 Most Anticipated Debuts of Early 2020" --Electric Lit
"Most Anticipated Books of 2020" --LitHub
"21 Debut Authors to Discover Now" --GoodReads
Alma's Favorite Books for Spring 2020 --Hey Alma
2020 Titles to Watch --Library Journal My favorite debut crime novel of 2020 . . . just spot on about transforming life into art and who gets sacrificed -- particularly women -- as a result.
--Sarah Weinman, The Crime Lady A juicy thriller.
--Entertainment Weekly By turns, a West Coast art-world satire, an erotic romance and a descent into madness [with a] gratifying conclusion.
--Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal Art! Archives! Big houses! Brooding, handsome millionaires! This book has everything.
--Molly Odintz, CrimeReads At the center of this dark drama is mental illness . . . Reading it is painful. Yet, these are some of the novel's strongest pages . . . A reading experience like peeling an onion layer by layer . . . You can put this book down, just not for long.
--Don Oldenberg, USA Today
A dark, thoughtful thriller.
--Bethanne Patrick, The Washington Post Kate and Miranda are vividly rendered, and an entire novel could easily be crafted out of Miranda's fascinating diary, letters, and other ephemera, snippets of which are sprinkled liberally throughout. Sligar delivers an intriguing mystery while tackling big themes, especially sexism and the societal restraints placed on women's bodies and minds. The results are spellbinding. A raw and sophisticated debut.
--Kirkus, starred review A thriller so raw and gripping, you won't be able to put it down . . . The mystery will captivate you while the writing makes everything that much better.
--debutiful Take Me Apart is an ambitious, intelligent, and ridiculously readable literary thriller that takes on art, sexism, violence, and mental illness--all set against an evocatively rendered Northern Californian landscape. I've lived in the Bay Area for a decade, and though I was quite certain the book's California town was made up, I still googled Callinas, just in case. That's how good Sara Sligar is.
--Rachel Khong, author of Goodbye Vitamin A haunting story about grappling with demons and a hunt for the truth . . . Sligar has masterfully crafted a story that spans a lifetime and generations all while intertwining them in incredibly tangible ways . . . With all of the nuance and slow burns, Take Me Apart definitely feels like a thriller but a subdued one that creeps in, page after page. Sligar takes the best of thriller, mystery, and romance to create a story bursting with life.
--Rachel Gonzalez, Paperback Paris "What a clever, visceral thriller. A raw, unfiltered twist on gaslighting that challenges how society treats women. It made me sad, angry, and fired up."
--Araminta Hall, author of Our Kind of Cruelty Sligar masterfully alternates between Kate's perspective . . . and the documents Kate is finding in the disorganized piles . . . Take Me Apart is an incisive look at women in art, domestic violence, and the complexities of legacy.
--Emily Burack, Hey Alma A perceptive debut . . . Alternating between chapters focusing on Kate and epistolary documents by the tormented Miranda, Sligar reveals Miranda's unraveling throughout her brilliant career as she labors with parenthood and life with a manipulative husband . . . Sligar shows off a keen ear for dialogue . . . With a cool style and fast pace, Sligar achieves a propulsive exploration of these ambitious women's inner turbulence in response to an abusive man in each of their lives."
--Publishers Weekly Take Me Apart is a stunning debut. In gorgeous prose, Sara Sligar creates a haunting and decidedly feminist literary thriller that explores mental illness, violence, and the nature of obsession. I loved this novel so much that I blew off all my responsibilities, turned off my phone, and blistered through the whole thing in one sitting. Unforgettable and thought-provoking, Take Me Apart has my highest recommendation.
--Angie Kim, author of Miracle Creek A study of two damaged and sympathetic women . . . Love story, hate story, mystery--all in one.
--Library Journal Sligar handles her intricately structured story's threads with delicacy in this impressive, suspenseful debut.
--Annie Bostrom, Booklist
"Take Me Apart is such a delicious novel: perfectly plotted, atmospheric, disturbing, sad--even sexy. Sara Sligar brings both the northern California coast and the personal history of a brilliant artist to vivid life. I couldn't put it down."
--Lydia Kiesling, author of The Golden State "A smart, post-modern book that takes on the complexities of gendered mental illness and trauma at an engrossing clip. With a complicated visual artist at its narrative center, Take Me Apart teases out the tensions of visibility and fame versus the hidden, unseen wounds of home and interiority, and asks the hard questions of what it means to create as a woman--create art, create life, and create yourself."
--Caite Dolan-Leach, author of Dead Letters Sara Sligar's obsession-worthy debut combines the penetrating insight of the best art criticism with the seductive menace of a modern Gothic romance. Take Me Apart is my favorite kind of thriller: masterfully paced and psychologically precise, with subtle twists that reveal themselves like a developing photograph.
--Layne Fargo, author of Temper