Roxanne, Alice, and Del were schoolgirls and best friends together at Our Lady of the Hills School. They shared the silly secrets of girlhood, but also shared something less innocent: the destruction of the life and reputation of a handsome priest, Father Romero. They all but forget Romero until they grow to adulthood, leading their own complicated, often troubled, lives. Then a seductive stranger, Varick, enters their midst. Varick is a little too good to be true, and knows each of them a little too well. When he begins to manipulate their minds as well as their actions, the women’s lives spin out of control. They have no idea that the vengeful architect of their destruction has made a pact with the devil himself.
Inspired by Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye, and the The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde), Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts invites you into the darkest corners of the human soul.
“Don’t let the title fool you; though it sounds like a Cary Grant film, CALLING MR. LONELY HEARTS is extremely scary. Benedict has written a very suspenseful, tense and sinister second novel.” —Booklist
“Laura Benedict paints a vibrant picture of lives haunted by the past—where sins of the spirit meet sins of the flesh and no character is left unscathed.” —Jonathan Santlofer, bestselling author of The Murder Notebook
“CALLING MR. LONELY HEARTS is a lush, intelligent novel that elevates the typical horror novel into a fascinating and often diabolical character study that enthralls even as it terrifies. A beautiful, spine-tingling thriller of revenge, secrets and simmering childhood resentments with otherworldly surprises around every corner, this is one of the best books I’ve read in years.” —Amanda Stevens, author of The Devil’s Footprints
“Deliciously malevolent—Benedict’s writing is like a beautiful, poisonous flower.” —Alexandra Sokoloff, author of The Harrowing and The Price