Seventeen-year-old Anna has a space in her memory of a night her brain won’t let her remember, a night that devastated her life and forced her to drop out of high school. Her grandmother, Evelyn, is slowly losing her memories to Alzheimer’s. When the family moves into a forgotten house on the outskirts of Evelyn’s home town, it's supposed to be a fresh start and a quieter life for all of them.
But when Evelyn starts behaving strangely in her lost moments, it’s Anna who witnesses it. It’s Anna who helps her. And as she’s drawn into life in the town and learns some of its recent gruesome history, she can’t help but begin to wonder if the dead are trying to talk through Evelyn’s empty spaces. And if so, what is it they’re trying to tell her?
Praise for THEY SAY A GIRL DIED HERE ONCE:
"A fine narrative, one whose blend of the familial and the strange recalls the best work of Graham Joyce."
“For the past 11 years, Paul Miller has given the gift that keeps on frightening; not once has he chosen a story, or author, that has disappointed. This is a ghost story that is as much a psychological thriller and a mystery as it is a horror novel. Pinborough’s deft hand in creating atmosphere as a character is on display here, along with the individual characters who drag the reader into the depths of her nightmarish visions. With this author, and Earthling as the publisher, this novel is very much recommended. The only downside is the limited print run, so pick it up quickly.”
“The early word on Behind Her Eyes, coming from Flatiron, MacMillan in January 2017, is that it’s an unrelenting Hitchcockian thriller that will be her breakout book. That may prove to be true, but for me, They Say a Girl Died Here Once is her true arrival. Pinborough wrings stark, creepy atmosphere from settings and situations alike. Along the way she plants enough believable red herrings to keep things interesting until her final gut-wrenching reveal, a thunderclap of a final twist that I’ll admit completely blindsided me. This, friends, is what it feels like when an author is hitting on all cylinders. Sarah Pinborough is poised to stake her claim at the top of the horror heap, and They Say a Girl Died Here Once is the start of her victory lap.”
—Cemetery Dance Online
“Spellbinding. A novel full of emotion, death, mystery, suspense.”
—Horror After Dark
"I love a long fuse, and Sarah Pinborough’s THEY SAY A GIRL DIED HERE ONCE makes the most of letting tension and unease simmer and accumulate within the details of what seems a normal, low-key existence until the plot boils over and revelations and transformations come spilling out. And I have to say: perfect title, beautiful and resonant. I believe I am jealous."
"Laced with a creeping dread that doesn't let up until the gut-wrenching ending, THEY SAY A GIRL DIED HERE ONCE is a searing, smart, and scary exploration of family, trauma, and the poisonous power of secrets. Another brilliant, blistering read from Pinborough."
―Sarah Lotz, author of THE THREE
"Part Gothic tragedy, part ghost story, and part murder mystery, THEY SAY A GIRL DIED HERE ONCE is a smoldering story of madness and dread. Utilizing the viewpoints of three generations, this mesmerizing and claustrophobic tale sports some of the most sparkling dialogue to be found in or outside the genre. A bona fide winner."
—Peter Crowther, author of BY WIZARD OAK and SONGS OF LEAVING
"Moving and totally involving. Pinborough writes with vividness and emotional resonance. I couldn't put it down."
—Stephen King on THE DEATH HOUSE
"Pinborough’s writing is flawless. Brilliant work, truly top-notch."
—The Horror Fiction Review on THE DEATH HOUSE
"Pinborough’s fiction moves at a breakneck pace. More importantly, her stories have resonance. She understands how people tick.
I always trust the ride, because I know I’ll wind up someplace good."
—Sarah Langan on THE FORGOTTEN GODS TRILOGY