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She escaped a serial killer. Then things got weird.

Amber Jamison cannot believe she’s about to become the latest victim of a serial killer—she’s savvy and street smart, so when she gets pushed into, of all things, a white windowless van, she’s more angry than afraid. Things get even weirder when she’s miraculously saved by a mysterious woman…who promptly disappears. Who was she? And why is she hunting serial killers?
You’d think escaping one psychopath would be enough, but Amber’s problems are just beginning. Her close call has law enforcement circling a past she’s tried to outrun. So she’s forced to flees across the country, ending up at a seedy motel in Las Vegas with a noir-obsessed manager and a sex worker as her unlikely companions…and danger right behind. She’s landed in the crosshairs of the world’s most prolific killer, caught up in a deadly game that’s been going on for years. To survive, she’s forced to dust off her old playbook and partner with someone she can’t trust.

“A wild ride of a thriller.”–CrimeReads (one of the most anticipated thrillers of 2023)

“This twisty game of cat and mouse is as addictive as the Vegas Strip.” –Elle Cosimano, author of Finlay Donovan Is Killing It

“Killing Me is a twisted humdinger of a book in the best possible way. Thrilling, fast-paced, and funny, this is a page-turner from start to finish.”–Samantha Downing, author of My Lovely Wife

“This quirky thriller, with nicely developed LGBTQ themes of self-love and a sprightly conversational tone, makes tackling gruesome killers feel a little like a romp.”–Booklist

“[A] fun, quirky thriller with a flawed yet likable main character surrounded by a wacky supporting cast. For readers who enjoy a bit of dark humor, like in Jeff Lindsay’s ‘Dexter’ series.”–Library Journal

Michelle Gagnon recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, KILLING ME.

Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
This is all Jandy Nelson’s fault.

I honestly thought I was done with writing. I’d always been dismissive of writer’s block; I felt it was for dilettantes. As a working author, I reasoned, I couldn’t afford to swan around moaning about my inability to write. I had bills to pay.

And then, it happened to me. No opening ideas, no plot points, no characters whispering in my ear, just…nothing. It was devastating.

So, after much swanning about and moaning, I set my sights on a new career and applied to Clinical Psychology programs. My work with LGBTQ+ foster youth had inspired a desire to learn more about developmental trauma so that I could someday help these amazing young people more effectively. I started taking undergraduate psychology classes at community colleges (which was one of the very few silver linings of everything moving online during the pandemic). And to distract myself from the general awfulness of this global tragedy, I lurked on Twitter. Turns out that every day, my friend Jandy was urging people to treat noon as “magic hour,” when we’d all sit and write.

The first time I saw her post, I thought it was sweet but impractical. Who could write under these challenging circumstances? I resolutely went back to my (sorry) attempts to bake bread from scratch.
The eighth time, I was annoyed. Obviously, anyone who could manage creativity during all of this was better than me, and that was profoundly irritating.

The twentieth time, I thought, what the hell. I’d been mulling over the striking similarities between authors, therapists, and con artists, in that they all earn a living off an ability to read people. Consequently, I sat down and wrote about a psych major/former grifter who was trapped in the back of a serial killer’s van.

A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
This book served as my escape hatch during the pandemic. At a moment when we were all wiping down groceries and crossing the street to avoid breathing someone else’s air, it was tremendously helpful to be able to live in an alternate reality where, despite the constant intrusive serial killers, at least friends were able to go out for dinner and hug each other.

Michelle Gagnon

Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?
I’m a huge fan of noir, and also smart con films. So the inspiration for Killing Me kind of combined The Sting, Oceans 11, and Thelma and Louise.

When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?
Absolutely. I felt it was time for a queer character to star in a novel where the book wasn’t about her being gay; that’s just who she is, and everyone around her accepts it. It’s not commented on, it’s not part of the story line, and the romantic entanglements she experiences are just as par for the course as in any other thriller. Because while I love “issues” books, I did not want to write a scene where Amber explains how she came out, or does any of the things we’ve come to expect of LGBTQ+ protagonists. We certainly don’t ask that of heterosexual, cisgender heroes, so why demand it of gay ones?

In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?
From the beginning, I wanted something fun and sexy that was female-driven, starring women who were complicated, flawed, but redeemable.

Did I already say fun? I really wanted it to be fun. Because we all definitely deserve some serious fun and laughs and glitter and rainbows after suffering through the past couple of years.

What can you share about what you’re working on next?
The sequel! In it, Amber and Grace return to Vegas for Dot’s wedding, and lo and behold they’re set upon by another serial killer. Apparently that town is positively lousy with them.


Michelle Gagnon is a former modern dancer, bartender, dog walker, model, personal trainer, freelance journalist, and Russian supper club performer. Critics agree that her performance at most of these professions was middling at best. Her bestselling thrillers have been published in dozens of languages worldwide and nominated for a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense and a Thriller Award. While they failed to garner either of these prestigious prizes, the banquet dinners were lovely. Michelle has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate in the foster care system, specializing in work with LGBTQ+ Transitional Age Youth. A graduate of Wesleyan University, she is pursuing a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University Los Angeles. A native Rhode Islander (sort of), she is currently a reluctant Angeleno, where she lives with her family and way too many pets.

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