By: Samantha M. Bailey
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 03/02/20
My Rating: 5 Stars
Top Books of 2020
Author Q&A Mar 3
A moment on the subway platform changes two women’s lives forever—a debut thriller that will take your breath away.
A total stranger on the subway platform whispers, “Take my baby.”
She places her child in your arms. She says your name.
Then she jumps...
In a split second, Morgan Kincaid’s life changes forever. She’s on her way home from work when a mother begs her to take her baby, then places the infant in her arms. Before Morgan can stop her, the distraught mother jumps in front of an oncoming train.
Morgan has never seen this woman before, and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life. She also can’t understand how this woman knew her name.
The police take Morgan in for questioning. She soon learns that the woman who jumped was Nicole Markham, prominent CEO of the athletic brand Breathe. She also learns that no witness can corroborate her version of events, which means she’s just become a murder suspect.
To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically retraces the last days of Nicole’s life. Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia or was she in danger? When strange things start happening to Morgan, she suddenly realizes she might be in danger, too.
Woman on the Edge is a pulse-pounding, propulsive thriller about the lengths to which a woman will go to protect her baby—even if that means sacrificing her own life.
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Q&A with the Author
March 3, 2020
Praise for Woman on the Edge
A debut that’s tough to resist.
— TORONTO STAR
A remarkable thriller.
— MORNING LIVE
“Bailey has talent and I, dear reader, am looking forward to her next novel.”
— GLOBE AND MAIL
“[A] nail-biting debut. . . . The tension becomes unrelenting . . . Fans of psychological suspense are in for a treat.”
— PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY (Starred review)
“One woman’s struggles with motherhood and another’s desperate desire to be a mother collide in this explosive debut. Woman on the Edge is a white-knuckle read that welcomes a bright new talent to the world of psychological suspense.”
— MARY KUBICA, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl
“The debut novel from Toronto writer Samantha M. Bailey mines maternal anxiety, marital secrets, female friendship, and C-suite power grabs—not to mention public transit horror—for a satisfyingly twisty psychological thriller.”
— TORONTO LIFE
“Woman on the Edge races towards its final destination with breakneck speed.”
“Woman on the Edge begins with a shocking, tragic event and doesn’t stop there. Samantha M. Bailey has written an impressive debut that will keep you reading until the final twist.”
— SAMANTHA DOWNING, USA Today bestselling author of My Lovely Wife
“A fast-paced, twisty roller coaster ride in which a desperate widow, a guilt-ridden new mother, and the secrets of the past collide—with a baby’s life hanging in the balance. . . . I couldn’t race to the end quickly enough! An exciting, binge-worthy debut.”
— KRISTIN HARMEL, bestselling author of The Winemaker’s Wife and The Room on Rue Amelie
“From its first chapter—its first line!—Woman on the Edge will grip you like so few novels manage to do. From the moment two women’s lives collide on a subway platform to the shocking finale, you’ll be dizzied by the twists and turns the story takes. Some writers toil their entire career trying to master this kind of adept plotting, but Samantha M. Bailey nails it in her first effort. Woman on the Edge stayed with me for days after I turned its final pages. A truly thrilling debut.”
— AMY STUART, bestselling author of Still Mine and Still Water
“A shocking premise and two intriguingly damaged characters whose storylines hurtle toward each other, colliding in a powerful, moving climax. A propulsive read! Samantha M. Bailey is a writer to watch in the thriller genre.”
— ROBYN HARDING, bestselling author of The Party and The Arrangement
“WOMAN ON THE EDGE begins with a bang and takes the reader on a tense, emotional journey of love, betrayal, loss and straight into the heart of a mother willing to do anything to protect her child. Infused with riveting, hold-your-breath suspense, this masterful debut needs to be your next binge-read. A knockout page turner.”
—Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE and BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND
“A tale so tightly-told that you won’t swallow or exhale for the entire duration. Dark, riveting, utterly gripping…. Bailey is a new name to watch in the genre!”
—Roz Nay, bestselling author of OUR LITTLE SECRET
“Samantha M. Bailey’s highly anticipated debut grips you from its first line. Quick-paced with roller coaster-like twists and turns, Woman on The Edge is a thrilling story of two women whose lives, in one brief moment, are forever changed. You’ll be breathless as you tear through the final pages. Loved it!”
—Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, bestselling authors of THE TWO LILA BENNETTS
“Exhilarating and evocative…. Woman on the Edge had me gripped. This book effortlessly ticks all the boxes: wonderful world building, realistic characters and a gripping plot that made me keep flipping the pages. It’s about obsession and madness, motherhood and trauma. This is a debut you’ll want to slip straight to the top of your to-read pile.”
—Christina McDonald, author of THE NIGHT OLIVIA FELL
“With the narrative acceleration of a runaway train, Woman on the Edge kept me at the edge of my seat for its entire zigzagging ride; I had to remind myself to breathe. Bailey’s confident prose and dark satire (‘Namaste’ indeed!) enrich the ingenious plot, and her authentic characters—whether damaged, yearning, or downright diabolical—make this compulsory reading for fans of suspense. An exceptional debut!”
—Sonja Yoerg, Washington Post bestselling author of TRUE PLACES
“Readers, clear yourself a block of time for this one, because once you pick up Woman on the Edge, you won’t want to set it down. From its breathless first chapter to its startling conclusion, Bailey is in control, delivering a gripping plot, palpable tension, and characters pushed ever closer to the brink in this unmissable debut.”
—Paula Treick DeBoard, critically acclaimed author of HERE WE LIE and THE DROWNING GIRLS
“A glowing debut that starts with a bang and never lets up, Woman on the Edge weaves the stories of two women, both on the edge, who find themselves at different times the protector of a baby girl. Unrelenting suspense and a taut, propulsive plot add up to a first-rate, heart-pounding mystery. I loved this one!”
—Emily Carpenter, bestselling author of BURYING THE HONEYSUCKLE GIRLS
“Woman on the Edge opens with an ingenious setup: a woman on the subway hands her baby to a total stranger, then jumps in front of an oncoming train. But were they really strangers, and did she really jump? Suspicions swirl in this propulsive debut, and the truth is revealed in twisty, page-turning increments that culminate in a whopper of an ending. A clever and addictive read from a bright new talent.”
—Kimberly Belle, USA Today bestselling author of DEAR WIFE
Engrossing, Heart-Pounding, Compelling, Explosive!
Samantha M. Bailey delivers a spellbinding debut that captures you from the first page and never lets you go until the satisfying conclusion.
WOMAN ON THE EDGE is assured to keep you “on the edge-of-your-seat.” A complex emotional, psychological suspense thriller from a talented new voice.
Three words: “Take my baby.” Can you imagine someone handing you their baby? You may think, does the mother need an extra pair of hands to get something out of her purse, a bottle, or what?
Set in busy Chicago at the subway platform, mother Nichole Markham approaches another woman, Morgan Kinkaid, who is a social worker.
There is no time to think. It is a jerk reaction. When someone asks you to take their baby, you try and help, right?
However, something dreadful happens. The woman jumps right in front of her after she hands her the baby. Shocked, Morgan cannot believe what is happening. She cries out for help. Why did the woman jump? Why would she hand her the baby?
Horrified, she replays this tragedy. The woman called her by name? Who is this woman? She said, “Love her for me, Morgan. Don’t let anyone hurt her.” How could this be happening? What was the woman running from?
From this point on, the author masterfully guides us through the time of before (Nicole) and present (Morgan).
We learn Morgan’s husband recently committed suicide (Ryan) after being convicted of embezzlement. She was the wife of a thief and a suicidal coward. She always wanted to be a mother. And she is a mother handing her baby to her and ending her own life?
Later Morgan notices a post-it-note with the name Amanda on it.
The author carefully unravels the life of Nicole. Nicole was a successful businesswoman and CEO of Breathe. She was also married, had a best friend, a brother, and a co-worker.
Nichole had a troubled past. An incident with a baby that was under her care when she was a nanny years earlier. Was that mother after her? Is that why she was running, or could it be her husband? What about her brother or her friend? Did Ryan have a connection with this family?
Morgan is determined to find out what drove a desperate woman to drastic measures. Her life depends on it. She cannot stop thinking about the baby. Of course, she will not be allowed to keep the baby and not understanding why its mother thought she could keep it safe.
Now Morgan is in trouble, and everyone thinks she pushed her. However, things are not as they seem in the Markham household. Who can be trusted?
There are many suspects and red herrings, and the tensions are running high. When the will is read, there is another shocker! Then, Detective, Karina Martinez, who investigated Ryan’s suicide, is now involved in this case. Morgan must keep sleuthing to clear her name and find out whoever was scaring Nicole, plus they may be coming after her and baby, Quinn.
Readers will be turning these pages, racing to determine the mysterious connection between these two women! You will think twice the next time you are on the subway platform and your morning commute.
Cleverly written, the author draws you into the complex world of both these women and gives them a sympathetic voice. What a great book with more twists than you can imagine! Very thought-provoking and would make an ideal selection for book clubs and further discussions.
Readers will be rooting for Morgan and little Quinn to the very end. From the striking front cover to the well-written plot and cast of well- developed characters, this is a 5 STAR debut and cannot wait to see what comes next!
I devoured WOMAN ON THE EDGE! I started it and could not put it down. The audio went with me in the car because I did not want to miss a thing. Fans of Mary Kubica, Christina McDonald, and Heather Gudenkauf will find a lot to like here!
Hard to believe this is a debut; however, if you read Samantha’s bio and praise, Impressive! you can see why this novel reads like an award-winning author (that she is – a gifted writer). No wonder she writes with such grace and finesse. Move this author and the book to the top of your list. Highly recommend!
I loved every minute of reading this riveting debut and thank you, Samantha, for a satisfying read and wonderful addition to a weekend. Top Books of 2020!
PS I loved reading the acknowledgments, and that the book took over six years to write. Congrats, Samantha, a hit! You were meant to write this book. You should be proud. Much gratitude—I am honored and humbled to be included and recognized in your list of bloggers and readers.
A special thank you to Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review. I also purchased the audiobook by Simon & Schuster Audio, The narrator, Katherine Fenton, delivered an award-winning performance!
About the Author
Photo Credit: Dahlia Katz Photography
Hair/Makeup Artist: Megan Fraser
Samantha M. Bailey is a Toronto-based novelist, journalist, and freelance editor. Her work has appeared in Now Magazine, The Village Post, and Oxford University Press, among other publications. She was a writer-in-residence for Kobo Writing Life at Book Expo America 2013 and is the co-founder of BookBuzz, a promotional and interactive author-reader event held in New York City and Toronto.
Her #1 bestselling debut psychological thriller, WOMAN ON THE EDGE, is published in North America with Simon and Schuster Canada, and the UK with Headline. It will also be translated in seven countries world-wide, including with Garzanti in Italy, Roca Editorial in Spain, Heyne in Germany, General Press in Hungary, Euromedia in the Czech Republic, Ikar in Slovakia, and Znak in Poland.
Samantha loves reading as much as she loves writing so if she’s not tapping away at her computer, she’s probably curled up on her couch with a book. Read More