Fresh Meat: Nightwatcher by Wendy Corsi Staub

Nightwatcher by Wendy Corsi StaubNightwatcher by Wendy Corsi Staub is the first book in a new thriller trilogy (available August 28, 2012).

September 10, 2001:  As night falls upon an unsuspecting New York City, Allison Taylor’s most pressing concern is braving the rain—and the notorious cab drivers—to attend a Marc Jacobs fashion show at the Pier. A recent transplant to Manhattan, Allison is just beginning to make a name for herself in the industry. Little does she know that her reality is about to be dramatically altered—or that she will become the target of a sadistic killer.

Flash forward: The very next morning, Allison encounters a world on fire.  The city is paralyzed with fear and uncertainty in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack that has claimed countless innocent lives and brought down the Twin Towers in a moment of absolute horror that will live on forever. But another evil has struck even closer to home. Allison later discovers her upstairs neighbor, Kristina, slaughtered in her bed. Her murderer has escaped into darkness, and will take full advantage of the ensuing chaos to carry out a sinister plot—one that will bring vengeance straight to Allison’s door.

Wendy Corsi Staub has always excelled at exploring the potential for terror in everyday situations and among everyday people, and Nightwatcher affords her a real-life backdrop to work within—one in which an entire city’s vulnerabilities were exposed to a global audience. Readers, then, will be transported back to their own recollections of that fateful September morning, which both enhances the story’s potency and fosters a sense of intimacy. This might have posed a calculated risk for a lesser author, but Staub expertly offsets the horrors with humanity, showing reverence while skillfully eliciting a creepy and disturbing atmosphere.

Out on the street, carrying the flyers and a roll of masking tape, Allison takes a deep breath.

Her lungs fill with putrid air; air that reeks of smoke and metallic industrial fumes laced with the stench of burning rubber—like a spatula that’s melted against the dishwasher’s heating coil—and, perhaps, with burning flesh.

She doesn’t know what that smells like. But all those people who died yesterday disappeared into thin air . . . this air. The air Allison is breathing.

A gifted storyteller, Staub also possesses the ability to convincingly portray multiple viewpoints. This shifting of perspectives not only lends itself to a heightened sense of suspense throughout the narrative but also to rich character development, resulting in multi-faceted personalities, whether hero, victim, or villain. As one might expect, her female protagonist is realistically flawed but entirely likable. (Secondary characters are also well-drawn and allow for an examination of the true human drama of 9/11.) The antihero is equally compelling, however, as Staub not only delves into madness itself but into the makings of madness—and how catastrophe can often trigger one’s breaking point.

Typically, all it takes is a single life stressor to push one over the edge.  It can be any devastating event, really—a car accident, job loss, bankruptcy, a terminal diagnosis, a child’s drowning . . . Stressors like those can create considerable challenges for a mentally healthy person. But when fate inflicts that kind of pressure on someone who’s already dangerously unbalanced . . . well, that’s how killers are born.

Nightwatcher is everything that Staub fans have come to expect—and more.  The thrills are near constant, and, combined with the waking nightmare state of 9/11, result in a high-tension and deeply visceral tale that will leave readers in a crippling state of uncertainty.  The fear, the paranoia, the desperation—it leaps right off the page and gets under your skin . . .

To enter for a chance to win one of ten copies of Wendi Corsi Staub’s Nightwatcher, make sure you’re a registered member of the site, and then simply leave a comment below.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 or older. To enter, fill out entry at  beginning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) August 23, 2012. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 a.m. ET on August 30, 2012 (the “Promotion Period”). Void outside of the 50 US and DC and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules at Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010

TIP: Since only comments from registered users will be tabulated, if your user name appears in red above your comment—STOP—go log in, then try commenting again. If your user name appears in black above your comment, You’re In!

Check out all of our new releases coverage in our Fresh Meat series.

John Valeri writes the Hartford Books Examiner column for  He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Read other posts by John Valeri for Criminal Element.


  1. Anita Nowak

    I love Ms. Straub’s books, and would be thrilled to win this new one!

  2. Anita Nowak

    I love Ms. Straub’s books, and would be thrilled to win this new one!

  3. Maria Bakopolus

    I enjoy Staub’s tone, unsettling and eerie, like Halloween nights long past where you knew it was all pretend, but somewhere in the back of your mind lurked enough doubt to permeate the night with a mystery of what could be. Can’t wait to be so skillfully frightened again!

  4. Toni Davis

    Wendy Corsi Staub is one of my favorite authors. I would love to win this book.

  5. faith wafford

    I have read almost all of her books even under Wendy Makham. Excited to read this too.

  6. Ginger Pate

    I would love to have this book!

  7. Karen Arrowood

    I don’t believe I have ever read any of Wendy Corsi Straub’s books, but I would enjoy an opportunity to experience a new (to me) author.

  8. jill

    So excited to read this!

  9. Connie Schultz

    I like Mary Higgins Clark, so I think I would like it.

  10. Monica A. Mossey

    Wendy is a fantastic writer and a wonderfully warmhearted and compassionate person. I am blessed to know such a special person and be able to follow what is going on in her life. To date, I have read all her books and can’t wait to read a plethora more of her books. Keep up the fantastic work Wendy Corsi Staub !!

  11. Monica A. Mossey

    Wendy is a fantastic writer and a wonderfully warmhearted and compassionate person. I am blessed to know such a special person and be able to follow what is going on in her life. To date, I have read all her books and can’t wait to read a plethora more of her books. Keep up the fantastic work Wendy Corsi Staub !!

  12. Anne Joyce

    Wendy is a chilling writer and one who I would love to read again and again! I would very much like to win this book, thank you in advance

  13. Kristen Heyl

    I would love to win this book. Awesome writer!

  14. Micheal Shea

    I have never read a Staub before, sounds like a great place to start.

  15. Katherine Marion

    I have never read her books, but am more than willing to try one.

  16. Avonna Kershey

    I love all of Ms. Staub’s books and am looking forward to reading this one. The use of this time period makes it chilling from the start. I have always wondered what happened regarding crimes right before the tragedy, even though it is a work of fiction.

  17. jeanne sheats

    I haven’t read any of her books as yet but this was sounds like something I would enjoy very much. Thanks for the chance!


  18. Judy S

    Looking forward to reading this

  19. Rosemary Krejsa

    Wendy Corsi Staub is a very talented author. She has written the young adult series, Lily Dale, as well as many adult suspense novels. I especially enjoyed Dearly Beloved.

  20. barbara studer

    nothing better than a good mystery!

  21. gerry sheets

    this book sounds great !

  22. MaryC

    Looking forward to reading Wendy’s new trilogy!

  23. Barbara Bibel

    Sounds like a great book. I can’t wait to read it.

  24. JoAnn Hernandez

    Would Love to read it!..

  25. Amber

    I’d love to win – please enter me!

  26. Vivian T.

    Another great author and offer, hope I win!

  27. Elizabeth Swanson

    Sounds like an engaging thriller. I’d love to add it to my reading list!

  28. Susan Stehlik

    Been reading her books for years!

  29. Sherri Wellman

    I love her books and would love to receive this new one! 🙂

  30. Donna L

    I would love to win this book. It looks like a good read. Thanks for the chance.

  31. alyce poalillo

    [b]I really like Wendy Corsi Staub’s work[/b]


    I love reading scary stories and thrillers.

  33. Vicky Boackle

    i would love to read this.

  34. cheryl wong

    would love this

  35. Clayton Klein

    Thanks for the sweeps !

  36. Joe Hauser

    Very Cool!

  37. runner

    Sounds like an interesting read.

  38. Sheila Korman

    I would love to read this book—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

  39. Ellie Wright

    Wendi Corsi Staub is one of my favorite authors.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  40. Cheryl McCauley

    I bet this is a great read.

  41. Vikki Micco

    Great book

  42. Peter Tomaszewicz

    would Love this book

  43. debbi shaw

    my fears are spiders and not reading another good book!

  44. Susan Meek

    I have not read anything by Ms Staub, so this would be an excellent start.

  45. Andrew Kuligowski

    I’ve heard of Ms. Staub – all good (if that’s the right word for writings of her ilk). BUT have not had the opportunity to read anything by her as yet. (Even averaging over 2 books a week, you can’t get to everyone right away!) This sounds like a good introduction to her world and her mind …

    P.S. My biggest fear is non-traditional; it would be ending up at Judgement Day, and finding out there was something I was supposed to do / someone I was supposed to help on this earth, and I totally missed the boat on it.

  46. Shana Skaletsky

    I love Wendy Corsi Staub’s work–I’d love to win a copy! I’d like to think I’m a tough New Yorker, but I’m still deathly afraid of bedbugs and cockroaches. 🙂

  47. Erika Kehlet

    This book sounds great – I would love to win a copy!

  48. Peter W. Horton Jr.

    I need “Nightwatcher” since I am a night reader!

  49. peg nittskoff

    Unusual noises in the house at night, or seeing something out of the corner of my eye that is a fleeting shadow scares the beejeesus right out of me! Also reading any good mystery like yours makes it harder to fall asleep without your eyes open–lol.

  50. Tara Woods

    I’m a huge fan and would love a chance to win a copy of Nightwatcher.

  51. Anna Mills

    I have recurring nightmares about losing someone – the person changes in every dream – and frantically looking for them. Then sometimes I lose my dog and/or purse. And I have an overwhelming need to find them. Hey, maybe I need to read more. Hmmm….

  52. Joanne Mielczarski

    I am scared out of my wits whenever someone sneaks up on me – my son thinks it’s hysterical! I love reading thrillers despite my fears, so this book would be right up my alley!

  53. Karen Barnett

    I’ve never read any of her books although most of them have been on my wishlist since they were published!

  54. Allison Moyer

    What makes me jumpy are dark shadows across the window at night.

  55. Melissa Keith

    Bugs and thunder make me jumpy. I really enjoy Wendy’s books. She knows how to kick up some serious suspense. She has a cool community I’m a part of. Visit her site, sign up for her newsletter, and join her community. It’s a blast!

  56. alicia marie

    Clowns are what scare me the most. *shudders* This sounds like a great book I’d love to read : )

  57. Erika Loiacono

    A dark basement makes me jumpy. I would love to win this book.

  58. iris sachs

    I have enjoyed Wendy Staub’s earlier books, and this one sounds good.

  59. D.A. Whittemore

    My fear is that there are more Kardashians out there to have reality show spin-offs! Scary!

  60. Jackie Wisherd

    One of the things that makes me jumpy is seeing a snake. I avoid the Snake House when I visit our world famous San Diego zoo.
    I love to read thriller books and would enjoy this one I’m sure.

  61. Connie Saunders

    I can tolerate snakes, spiders, birds and other creepy, crawly things BUT rats terrify me!!

  62. Cindi Hoppes

    When I was a young girl, our neighborhood had at least 3 peeping
    toms… We kids would be out late, playing games, like Hide and
    Seek, Black Panther, etc. Then, we would stumble upon the
    Peepers in the dark! That was creepy…Many thanks, Cindi

  63. Susanne Troop

    Bugs and snakes!

  64. gvrdr

    Sounds like a great book–I’d love to win it!

  65. Michelle Fidler

    One thing that scares me is a mouse in the house, even a dead one. Last week I saw one that one of the cats killed and I screamed because I wasn’t expecting to see it.

    I haven’t read any of Wendy’s books, although I’ve seen them around.

  66. Cecilia Huddleston

    This sounds so lame…but thunder really freaks me out but at the same time I love it! I also have a bad feeling walking past a darkened basement at night. This stems from watching “The Howling” years ago and thinking what if there were werewolves ready to grab my ankle as I walked by my dark basement. Yep…stupid but true…not the werewolf in the basement…but the irrational jumpy, creepy fear I had.

    I would like to win and read this book. Thanks!

  67. Karen Cherubino

    I’m not usually scared of many things, however there are times when I’m alone in the house at night and noises outside my bedroom window will get the nerves going. I live in what some people would call the country and only have one neighbor and I know it isn’t them!

    Nightwatcher sounds very intriguing – love reading these kind of books!

  68. Diane Pollock


  69. Megan Mariner

    No one would ever guess this from the scream queen but hanging my hand off the side of the bed at night FREAKS ME OUT! That old urban legend of the lady putting her hand off the bed so her dog can lick it for reassurance then finding out it was the serial killer licking it still creeps me out! lol Hoping to win this one for a new set of the creeps! 😉

  70. Daniel Morrell

    sounds like a good read!

  71. Bob Alexander

    The only thing that creeps me out these days is that old guy who mimics me when I’m shaving. But I do like a good story.

  72. Andrew Beck

    I can’t deal with guns on stage or in some films. The suspense created by worrying whether or not one will go off (and eliminate one of my favorite characters) is just too much to bear. I guess the combination of the sound, plus not knowing WHEN the sound will occur, is unnerving. On the page, I somewhat worry about guns, but whenever I reach a suspenseful portion of a novel, I will use my hand to cover up the next page or the end of the chaper so I can avoid reading it. I’ll bet I’d do that a lot in Ms. Straub’ novel.

  73. Wendi Morris

    I have not read any of Wendy Staub’s books yet, but I’m ready to become a fan.
    Wendi Morris

  74. Taylor Duncan


  75. Lisa Garrett

    I love Staub’s books!
    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  76. Mildred Mayo

    I fear heights and being locked out.

  77. Debbie Miller

    Anything to do with a person jumping out at you with a knife!

  78. Marie-Louise Molloy

    [color=rgb(64, 224, 208)]RATS & SNAKES! YIKES!! [/color]

  79. Kathy Chiocca

    I have a fear of snakes. Thankfully so do a lot of my favorite authors, so much so that they don’t write about them.

  80. L L

    Congrats on the book! It sounds good.

  81. Yvonne Bressani

    The book sounds great!

  82. Linda Rodriguez

    The premise for this book sounds so intriguing! I love Wendy Corsi Straub’s books!

  83. Cheryl English

    I’m ready to read this amazing read. Thank You for the chance.

  84. Laura McLendon

    Anytype of Creep Crawler makes me Jumpy!! I just don’t like them!!

  85. Cheryl U.

    I would love to win a copy. Thanks for the opportunity!

  86. Vernon Luckert

    I would love to win and read this book!

  87. John Maline

    I have never read her books before, but would like to start with this one!

  88. Andrea Wickman

    I want this book so utterly bad!!!!


    STRAUB’S books are AWESOME.


  90. kathy pease

    Thank you for the great giveaway please count me in 🙂

  91. Ed Nemmers

    Well, I heart the work of Mary Higgins Clark…

  92. Valeen Nielson

    Ooh, I love a great mystery! Thanks for a great contest!

  93. Susan Smith

    Sounds like a great book

    s2s2 at comcast dot net

  94. trish mckee

    Thank you for this giveaway! It sounds like a great read!

  95. Sand Lopez

    This sounds like a great book!

  96. Molly Capel

    Sounds like a great book!

  97. Susan Smoaks

    i love to read and this one is right up my alley!

  98. Buddy Garrett

    It sounds like a great book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  99. Phoenix

    This sounds like a fascinating book.

  100. Brenda Elsner

    Sounds like my kind of book!! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  101. Daniel Vice

    This book looks great




    I love a good mystery and this looks like a good one.

  104. Susan Marks

    sounds good!

  105. Irene Menge

    I have read a few of Ms. Staub’s books and enjoyed (?) them. I am eager to read more. I’m not afraid of much. I was a horse farmer for 30 years and I’ve had to deal with all manner of critters, large and small. I’m not afraid of guns because my father instructed me in their use and I used to shoot on the high school rifle team. I’m not afraid of things I can see because there is the possibility that I can deal with it. The one thing that really terrifies me is sharks. I used to love to swim in the ocean, but after I saw a victim of a shark attack I was wary and after I saw Jaws nothing on Earth could get me into water where I could not see the bottom. I am terrified of being attacked and eaten by something I cannot see. I might just take up scuba diving.

  106. Mary Ann Brady

    Would love to read this. Sounds really good.

  107. Pam Howell

    I like Wendy’s work! would LOVE 2 win!!!

  108. Andrea Wickman


  109. Patricia

    READ ALL THE SCARY BOOKS! *pumps fist in the air*

Comments are closed.

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