The Big Thrill Discusses THE ENGAGEMENT PARTY with Darby Kane
Emily Hunt went missing from her affluent liberal arts school on graduation weekend. Her body was found floating in a river, and a quiet loner who most people on campus really didn’t know died by suicide. A tenuous link—one text—bound the two dead students together and was enough for law enforcement to close the case. But they got it wrong and now someone is determined to set it right.
Twelve years later, college friends gather to celebrate an engagement over a long overdue getaway on a swanky private island in Maine—with only one way in and one way out. Sierra Prescott, invited as a guest and unconnected to past events, is the only person who soon senses not all is what it seems.
The tension in the air is ignited when they find a dead man in the trunk of a car with a note: time to tell the truth. And things only get worse. As a torrential storm strands them together, the group’s buried stories begin to surface and secrets are bartered. To survive this deadly party, they’ll need to stop a killer before they become prey.
#1 International bestselling author Darby Kane recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest contemporary thriller, THE ENGAGEMENT PARTY.
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?
Before I start writing I spend a lot of time thinking about the book and using a white board to map out characters and possible plot points. THE ENGAGEMENT PARTY clicked from the start. I could “see” which characters delivered the story (the point of view characters) and what the secrets were and how they would unravel.
Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?
THE ENGAGEMENT PARTY is a locked-room thriller. Any author who writes one probably is a fan of, or at least has seen or read, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. I thought about how she put the plot together while trying to decipher mine.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
The book deals with the issue of true crime fans who cross boundaries. While amateur sleuths have been extremely helpful in some cases, they’ve been an impediment in others by doing things like spreading rumors rather than facts. I wrote this book during a time when there were several high profile, real life missing people in the news. Watching the true crime theories play out inspired THE ENGAGEMENT PARTY.
In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?
The book is about a murder that happened on college graduation weekend. Now, twelve years later, the truth about what happened that night comes out. All of the characters are dealing with secrets and unresolved trauma. A lot of people carry around trauma. It’s relatable. If the book helps anyone see that burying pain results in trouble later that makes me happy.
Darby Kane is a former divorce lawyer with a dual writing personality. Her debut thriller, Pretty Little Wife, was a Book Of The Month pick, #1 international bestseller, and has been optioned by Amazon for a television series, starring Gabrielle Union. Darby’s books have been featured in numerous venues, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Cosmopolitan.
To learn more about the author, please visit her website.
THE ENGAGEMENT PARTY with Darby Kane