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Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn’t what she seems.

A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila’s husband, Aaron, is also missing. At first these cases are treated as horrible coincidences until it’s discovered the student is really the third of three unexplained disappearances over the last few years. The police are desperate to find the connection, if there even is one. Little do they know they might be stumbling over only part of the truth….

With the small town in an uproar, everyone is worried about the whereabouts of their beloved high school teacher. Everyone except Lila, his wife. She’s definitely confused about her missing husband but only because she was the last person to see his body, and now it’s gone.

Darby Kane recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her debut thriller, PRETTY LITTLE WIFE:

Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?

Character. I had a very specific protagonist in mind. Someone savvy yet morally murky who gets caught up in her worst nightmare and tries to take control of it.

Darby Kane

What attracts you to this book’s genre?

I love the idea of extraordinary things happening to ordinary people. In a domestic thriller, I can take one of the most sacred things—family, biological or found—and one of the most sacred places—a house or other place where they should feel safe—and turn all of that upside down.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

There is a really rich subset of the genre about domestic thriller based on a marriage written by women with a woman as the main character. I hope PRETTY LITTLE WIFE is a good representation of those type of books.

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

This book required me to work around some modern technology, mainly security cameras. Trying to figure out where cameras would be and could trip up my plot took some hard thinking and research.

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

Sometimes we think we can overcome the horror of the past by ignoring it, but it’s lurking out there, impacting everything we do and every choice we make.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

So many. Just a few examples are Lucy Foley, Jane Harper, Laura Lippman, Harlan Coben, Lisa Jewell, and Jennifer Hillier. I’ve read their books not only as a reader and fan but also with an eye toward figuring out how they put their books together. The matching of plot and characterization in the middle of danger is difficult and they (as well as so many others) do it very well.


Darby Kane is the pseudonym of a former trial attorney and current award-winning romantic suspense author. A native of Pennsylvania, Darby now lives in California and runs from the cold. When she’s not writing she can be found watching suspense, thrillers, and mysteries. Clearly, her interests are limited.

To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.

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