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The Girl with a Clock for a Heart

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  8,981 Ratings  ·  1,264 Reviews
What if the girl of your dreams, your college sweetheart, faked her suicide in order to disappear?

Twenty years later you notice a girl sitting at a bar.

You don’t even know her real name, but it’s her, and she’s back to tell you that you are the only person who can help.

In his electrifying debut, Peter Swanson evokes the spirit of Body Heat and Double Indemnity, in a thrill
Paperback, 292 pages
Published February 6th 2014 by Faber & Faber
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Nicki No,i would say that book is a hell of a lot better than Gone Girl.I honestly struggled to finish Gone Girl because i lost interest in the story and…moreNo,i would say that book is a hell of a lot better than Gone Girl.I honestly struggled to finish Gone Girl because i lost interest in the story and kept putting it away and the re-starting it again,where-as this book,i found was really gripping and full of twists that keep you guessing,plus it is not rammed full of the f-word,so if i had to choose,i would pick The Girl With The Clock For A Heart over Gone Girl every time.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardboiled
”I always knew it was temporary. Being Audrey was temporary. I had become this different person, this person I’d rather have been--you know, in school, doing well, with a boyfriend, a boyfriend like you--but it was like I had a secret disease, or there was this clock inside of me, ticking like a heart, and at any moment an alarm would go off and Audrey Beck would no longer exist. She’d die and I’d have to go back to being Liana Decter. God, it’s like a dream now….”

 photo the-girl-with-the-long-green_zps0577ccb9.jpg
With this book title Peter Swa
Will Byrnes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]
Peter Swanson is one of my favorite psychological suspense/thriller writers working today. Two of his books have been optioned for film, including this one. His newest book All the Beautiful Lies is due out April 3, 2018. I have the galley sitting on my Kindle and cannot wait to dive in! Before I start that one, I wanted to go back and read the only Swanson I've missed: THE GIRL WITH A CLOCK FOR A HEART, his first novel.

Swanson tends to write very strong female characters into his tig
Debbie "DJ"
I'm sure fans of mysteries will really like this one. I think I'm getting an education on mysteries vs. psychological thrillers. I've discovered I prefer the latter, so for me, I was happy to finish this one. I will say the plot was a good one, and the characters were well drawn out. Overall, though, it felt too drawn out, as characters were described right down to the clothes they wore. Also, the story was told to me, instead of giving clues for me to figure out. I suppose that is what a myster ...more
Aug 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-authors
Peter Swanson's The Girl with a Clock for a Heart grabbed me right away because of the cool title and the fascinating blurb. When it came up for a group read in one of my Goodreads groups, I happily jumped it ahead of 1000 others on my to-read list.

It took me a few chapters to get into the book, as I wasn't initially connecting with the protagonist, George. He seemed rather phlegmatic and downright boring. I guess that was because that is how George felt until things started to click. It soon b
If you are thinking about reading this book, please, please, don't read any of the summaries floating around, because they give away important plot twists.
That said, I would recommend The Girl with a Clock for a Heart to anyone who enjoys thrillers with a bit of action, romance, and atmosphere. This debut novel does all these things adequately, but, given the high praise it has received from writers like Wiley Cash and Dennis Lehane, as well as being described as having "shades of Hitchcock,"
Terri Wino
A decent story, but no where near as awesome as his book The Kind Worth Killing.
This story switches back and forth in time periods, and while I didn't have any problem with that, I found that I really didn't like the characters in either time period. Nevertheless, it was a good enough story that it kept me reading.
This book was okay, but I can't help feeling a little let down because The Kind Worth Killing was just so good. I'm glad I read it first because if I had read this one first I don't
Ehhh - while on the surface, this is an interesting and fast-paced thriller, it ultimately falls a bit flat. The initial premise - a man reconnects with his college sweetheart after twenty years have passed - intrigues at first. The woman - Liana/Audrey/Jane - clearly has a curious and dangerous history and her current situation embroils George Foss, the milktoast narrator, into her affairs right away. But George’s status as the book’s hero never feels convincing. While he is perfect for the sit ...more
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really adore Peter Swanson. Unfortunately for me when I tend to love an author I dig up all their previous novels and devour them. This can prove to be a let down. Authors grow and develop their style through years and years of writing. I need to remind myself just because they wrote something absolutely thrilling and could-not-put-down-for-the-life-of-me...doesn't mean their earlier works will do the same. I found this out with The Girl With a Clock For a Heart. It was kind of a let down for ...more
I'm new to Peter Swanson's books and have read them in backwards order this year starting with his latest, Her Every Fear, then The Kind Worth Killing and finally this one, his first. I've enjoyed all three--obviously I've been hooked by his suspenseful style or I wouldn't have bothered to read them all, right?

Something about the eponymous girl, Liana Decter, has haunted George Foss for twenty years. He met her on his first day of college and soon they were inseparable. But after Christmas brea
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Oh what a tangled web we weave...
Not my favorite Swanson novel, but still very entertaining.

Full review to come
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, top-author
An enjoyable thriller / mystery. I have liked The Kind Worth Killing by this author and this is a similar style.

(Sorry for the rubbish review - this is not a reflection of the book but of my own tiredness...It's always best to go into thrillers blind I reckon!)
Feb 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl has alot to answer for as it has inspired a whole new type of thriller were you need to put you sense of disbelief to one side before reading and in my case put me in an uncomfortable position of not knowing if i like the book or not. Peter Swanson's debut novel is such read in that although has a different story line has many of the same characteristics.

The story goes of George Foss who for the last 20 years has longed for his first college girlfriend Liana Decter or
Carla Palmeiro
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-stars
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Colleen Fauchelle
George (main character) What were you thinking .Ok so you meet this girl in your first term at university , you get on and have fun together and that is great. Then after holidays you come back to Uni and find out something had happened to her and you go and find your own answeres,(sure why not, you liked her, I understand that) which brings you a whole heap of trouble (You do remember that dont you.) You come back to Uni and get on with your life.
What the fish were you thinking!!! To let this
Julie Parks
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller

Twisty, dangerous, full of intrigue and very well told. "The Girl with a clock for a Heart" is like a pitch black coffee that's bitter but enriching, strong and captivating - a jolt that drives you through the most stressful day on skinny, scurry, scary fast spider legs while flipping page after page.

Peter Swanson definitely knows how to wrap a reader's attention into never-ending plot development. Even at the very end, when you're on your last page and supposedly almost done with the story...a
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like "The Kind Worth Killing", I could not put this first novel of Peter Swanson's down once I picked it up. A college girlfriend turns up 20 years later in the narrator's corner bar and basically you're off and running. Terrific psychological thriller with a sociopath on one hand and a guy who never got over her on the other.

My only quibble with this story is the ending. Seemed a little tacked on or Swanson tried a couple of different endings and finally said, "Ok, there." Like h
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While shopping in my local Waterstones I saw this book and something about it drew me in. I am not sure if it was the book title or the write up but I knew I just had to read it. I finished it within 2 says and thoroughly enjoyed it. Fast paced full of action and a touch of romance. Full of twists and turns and cliff hangers at the end of chapters.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A good heist-based thriller with lots of twists along the way. I've recently become a fan of conman fiction, because I don't think I have the brain power equipped to actually develop and carry out cons myself haha. I am always surprised by them. I do understand the monologuing at the very end, but it was unfortunate how everything had to be spelled out to the reader. This is the second Peter Swanson book I have read, and my question so far for him is: What woman hurt you??
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a nice little thriller about corrupted identity & why, even if you're still pining over your first college love, if you're pretty sure she's a murderer, you should not entangle yourself in her life several years after your relationship ended. Liana, who George originally knew as Audrey, shows up one day at his favorite bar, calling herself Jane & needing help. She's pretty & manipulative & ensnares George in a plot that has more delicious, flaky layers than a fresh-baked ...more
Poor George Foss. He is fast approaching 40 and his life has not turned out to be as he wishes. Indeed, for all practical purposes his world has lost its color and appeal. Feeling life has passed him by, he works a boring job and the only family he goes home to at night is Nora, his cat. George has an on-again-off-again relationship with Irene, a perfectly nice waitress in a bar close by. One evening in the bar, he espies who he thinks is his old college sweetheart, the proverbial one-who-got-aw ...more
Mandy White
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Thanks to my local library I have finally read this. I have read all of this authors other books.. this one was just as good.
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not an issue on my own book review blog, but other websites at which I post reviews don't have an option of fractional ratings, so for them I rounded off my real rating of 3.5 stars to 4 instead of going the other direction - although to be honest, the latter crossed my mind. What didn't I like? For one thing, everything that happened seemed more than a little too contrived. For another, I can't imagine a real-life grown man being so gullible - time after time after time - no matter how hea ...more
Oct 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: three-star
In a rare turn of events, the authors debut is overshadowed by his brilliant follow up (this being his debut release).

George is your average thirty-something, working in a magazine office and living a bachelor lifestyle (see: casually sleeping with an old flame) when a figure from his past appears and asks a huge favour. But wasn't this the same woman who mysteriously disappeared some years ago?

I enjoy the authors writing for the fact it isn't overly complicated as some books of this genre are.
Liz Barnsley
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable twisty turny thriller which I enjoyed VERY much. And the author's new novel coming next year "The Kind Worth Killing" is even better. Now very much on my "must read authors" list. Full review to follow.
The Girl With A Clock For A Heart – is the kind of title to die for. This was the debut from Peter Swanson, that came out to a fanfare of hype in 2016. Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing and Her Every Fear are firm favourites of mine. I went in with high expectations because I know the kind of gorgeous writing Swanson is capable of. It all feels very much like a first novel, where the author has almost cracked the winning formula. It is not as good as his subsequent novels.

The story features a dul
✰☽❤✰  Unsolved Mystery ✰❤☾✰
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers
Recommended to ✰☽❤✰ Unsolved Mystery ✰❤☾✰ by: Given to me for a honest review

- My Description -
George Foss met and fell in love with Audrey Beck on the very first night of college life.

Everything is normal.

They have tons of fun for 9 months.

Then Audrey returns home for Christmas break.

George receives horrible news from Audrey's college roommate that Audrey has committed suicide.

The obvious question is why?

George makes a trip to give his condolences to her family.

The pictures in her parents house looks nothing like the Audrey he loved.

The obvious question is who?
Anna K.
Jul 09, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible. From the get-go, the premise is hard to suspend disbelief. You mean to tell me that even after he was apprised of her sketchy character, hstill waited around, for 20 years, making no life for himself, hoping she'd come back into his life, maybe, someday? Really? Really? Even if you swallow that, the writing is annoying. Alternating chapters of what's going on currently with flashback, as the history is revealed, every chapter ending in a cliffhanger. Oh, and, not wrapped up. Explained, ...more
Oct 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

The only reason this didn't get 4 stars is that I was unsatisfied with the ending. I didn't dislike the ending, in fact it was the only plausible ending. Spoiler alert:

The ending is the beginning of the next book. At least, there better be a next book. It was suspenseful and I honestly didn't know who really did what and what part they played. The protagonist is weak so I hope he grows a stronger backbone next book.

Really enjoyable book.
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Following the pre-publication hype, I was more than intrigued to read this new debut crime thriller from Peter Swanson. Opening with a very familiar conceit of a figure from the main character’s past reappearing, up to their eyeballs in trouble, and thus propelling innocent main character into mild peril, there are some very obvious comparisons with the stalwarts of the genre. Having ticked these boxes, I embarked on this trying to keep an open mind on the entrance to this particular sub-genre o ...more
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Peter Swanson is the author of four novels: The Girl With a Clock For a Heart, an LA Times Book Award finalist; The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; and his most recent, All the Beautiful Lies. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and fe ...more

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“he spent most days in a haze of disinterest.” 2 likes
“Approaching forty, George felt as though his world had been slowly drained of all its colors. He’d passed that age when he could reasonably expect to fall madly in love with someone and raise a family, or to take the world by storm, or to have anything surprising lift him out of his day-to-day existence.” 2 likes
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