In this haunting psychological thriller of mortality and seduction, acclaimed author
Vivian Schilling raises provocative questions about fate, survival, and what lies beyond.
On a stormy winter night a small plane bound for Boston goes down in the treacherous White Mountains of New Hampshire. Noted interior designer Kylie O’Rourke and her husband, Jack, are among the survivors. But it is just the beginning of the nightmare for Kylie. Through a haze of morphine, she awakens in the hospital to confused and harrowing memories of the crash. Though trapped within the wreckage, she recalls wandering the icy mountainside and speaking to one of the other passengers, only to find that he had died on impact. As the bizarre aftermath becomes sharper in her mind, it appears more ominous, along with the unshakeable feeling that she and the other survivors had somehow cheated death.
Reassured by her doctor that her disturbing memories had been induced by her sedation, Kylie returns to her life in Boston, but the aftermath of the tragedy proves unbearable. As her husband slips away from her into his own world of survivor‘s guilt and deceit, Kylie is seized by a growing paranoia that someone is stalking her every move. In her nightmares, the predator is a specter crossing over from the mountaintop to reclaim her. An old man eyes her in the subway, while a dark figure stalks her through Beacon Hill. Then a sudden and freakish tragedy sends Kylie's world toppling. While those around her fear she is losing her mind, she finds herself caught up in a chain of events she cannot escape.
In this deeply thought-provoking and chilling novel, Schilling questions the very nature of survival and death. She paints bold and unforgettable characters, while resurrecting disturbing and powerful apocrypha that has been all but buried under contemporary religious doctrine. With spellbinding intrigue, Quietus takes the reader to the brink of reason, to the edge where spiritual and physical meet, building with frenetic momentum to its shocking and haunting climax.
“QUIETUS is a great gothic raven perched somewhere between Anne Rice and Iris Murdoch. It’s a spooky, sweeping book of death, dreams and psychosexual intrigue. Schilling herself–in her deft melding of mythic animus and modern anxiety–seems like the bastard daughter of Carl Jung and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.” —James Ireland Baker, Time Out New York
“A profoundly insightful and engaging thriller.” —The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Beautifully written … this is a tale of suspense and introspection.”
—Amy Rosenﬁeld, Joseph-Beth Booksellers
“A haunting and stunning foray…Quietus is an intelligent and gothic masterpiece, examining issues that most thrillers dare not face…This is not your run-of-the-mill suspense novel, but a mind-bending exploration into the afterlife that challenges our societal views and treatment of death. It is true Literary Suspense spoken from the deepest part of the author’s own experience.” —West Coast Literary Review
“A tense, involving, complex, deftly written and highly recommended saga about unraveling the defenses of the human mind one by one….Haunting to the very end.” —Midwest Book Review
“Powerful … Based on an actual near-death experience, the result is an enlightening and thought-provoking look at what lies beyond our mortal lives.” —Arizona Daily Sun