I loved doing this interview with Rick Koster of the New London Day.
One of the first clues that Old Lyme author Luanne Rice has perhaps entered new territory is right there on the cover of her latest young adult novel, "Pretend She's Here." It's an enthusiastic blurb from superstar thriller writer Harlan Coben.
The folks who market books by Rice — a New York Times bestselling author of over 30 titles usually filed in the "family," "women's fiction" or YA sections — typically wouldn't seek endorsements from thriller authors. But "Pretend She's Here" is indeed different — a genuine psychological suspense story with plenty of Coben-esque plot spins, truly dark villainy and, yes, because this IS Rice we're talking about, a sweet but pivotal romantic thread and desperate allegiance to family.
When 15-year-old Emily Lonergan loses her best friend Lizzie Porter to cancer, she's devastated. Not surprisingly, so are Lizzie's parents, who've moved out of state to deal with their grief. After Emily loses consciousness while accompanying the Porters to Lizzie's grave on the first anniversary of her death, she wakes up in Maine, far from her Connecticut home — and discovers she's a prisoner in a replica of Lizzie's old bedroom. Her hair has been dyed to match her deceased friend's, and she's dressed in Lizzie's clothes.
With dawning horror, Emily realizes she's been kidnapped for the lunatic purpose of BEING Lizzie. She gradually learns .. click to continue reading here.