“With DeMeester’s latest, past demons come to the present, forcing a mother and her daughter to fight for their lives against the most oppressive and relentless evil.”
Something’s out there. Called The Cur, he leaves no trace except for the ravaged bodies of girls on the cusp of womanhood. His victims are the trouble-makers, the nonconformists, those who don’t know their place. The girls who refuse to shut up.
Now: Thirteen year old Lila Sawyer can’t share her secrets with anyone. Not her psychologist at school, her father, not even her infamous artist mother. Haunted and terrorized, a delectable evil allows Lila to finally find her voice, only to be punished for using it.
Then: Caroline Sawyer hears dogs at every turn. Snarling, snapping at her, yet no one seems to notice. While tormented with insomnia and stress, her delusions take shape in her waking hours, becoming visceral sculptures she creates in a trance. While her fiancé feels she needs help, her doctor simply hands her pills. Why can’t the men around her understand the horror she feels? Past demons come to the present, sending Caroline and Lila hunting this relentless power to its malicious source.
Why we’re excited about this book:
Over the past few years, Kristi DeMeester has taken the horror fiction world by force, delivering her own brand of hard-hitting yet intensely personal horror. The author of Beneath and the short story collection Everything That’s Underneath, her short fiction has appeared in Shimmer, Apex Magazine, Black Static, The Dark, Shadows & Tall Trees, and Lamplight and has appeared in such anthologies as Tales From a Talking Board, The Bad Book, Ashes and Entropy, Liminal Spaces, Behold: Oddities, Curiosities, and Undefinable Wonders, Nox Pareidolia, Lost Highways: Dark Fictions From the Road, and Eternal Frankenstein. With DeMeester’s latest, past demons come to the present, forcing a mother and her daughter to fight for their lives against the most oppressive and relentless evil. Josh Malerman (Birdbox, Goblin) calls Such a Pretty Smile: “Wonderfully well written; the dread, the enigma, build with each scene. It’s coming of age, it’s family secrets, it’s life in the balance, too. It’s Thomas Harris, it’s Lois Duncan … but no, it’s Kristi DeMeester, in complete confident control of your experience. An outstanding story in outstanding hands.” and Christopher Golden (Ararat, Road of Bones) says: “A mother and daughter fight for their lives and their sanity in Kristi DeMeester’s Such a Pretty Smile, a quietly brutal feminist horror novel about what it means to be a ‘good girl’ in a world of men―and monsters. Thoughtful, creepy, and razor-sharp. This one will cut you.”
Forthcoming from St. Martin’s Press 18 January 2022, Such a Pretty Smile by Kristi DeMeester is available for pre-order now.