We Are All the Same in the Dark

A Novel

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PEOPLE PICK • The discovery of a girl abandoned by the side of the road threatens to unearth the long-buried secrets of a Texas town’s legendary cold case in this superb, atmospheric novel from the internationally bestselling author of Black-Eyed Susans.

“If you only read one thriller this year, let it be this one. Psychologically absorbing, original and atmospheric. I could not turn the pages fast enough.”—Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author of 28 Summers

It’s been a decade since Trumanell Branson disappeared, leaving only a bloody handprint behind. Her pretty face still hangs like a watchful queen on the posters on the walls of the town’s Baptist church, the police station, and in the high school. They all promise the same thing: We will find you. Meanwhile, her brother, Wyatt, lives as a pariah in the desolation of the old family house, cleared of wrongdoing by the police but tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion and in a new documentary about the crime.

When Wyatt finds a lost girl dumped in a field of dandelions, making silent wishes, he believes she is a sign. The town’s youngest cop, Odette Tucker, believes she is a catalyst that will ignite a seething town still waiting for its own missing girl to come home. But Odette can’t look away. She shares a wound that won’t close with the mute, one-eyed mystery girl. And she is haunted by her own history with the missing Tru.

Desperate to solve both cases, Odette fights to save the lost girl in the present and to dig up the shocking truth about a fateful night in the past—the night her friend disappeared, the night that inspired her to become a cop, the night that wrote them all a role in the town’s dark, violent mythology.

In this twisty psychological thriller, Julia Heaberlin paints unforgettable portraits of a woman and a girl who redefine perceptions of physical beauty and strength.

Praise for We Are All the Same in the Dark

“This chilling tale of buried sins is relentlessly unpredictable.”The Times (South Africa)

“[Julia] Heaberlin knows how to build to a truly shocking twist, how to break a reader’s heart and then begin mending it. ‘What’s coming is always unimaginable,’ Odette’s one-time therapist tells her, ‘and by that, I mean just that. It cannot be imagined. What’s coming never acts or behaves the way we think it will.’ That’s true for this novel, too.”The Dallas Morning News

Under the Cover

An excerpt from We Are All the Same in the Dark

Prologue


It takes about eight to ten hours to hand-dig a grave, more if you was doing it in the dark. Five to six if you have a helper. It ain’t like the movies. You need more than just a spade with a good blade. You need a chainsaw for splitting the roots. A pick. Even if you don’t hit rocks, you got Texas clay, which can be as bad as rocks. I always carry a measuring tape and a yardstick, because you’ve got to make a hole a lot bigger than in your mind’s eye. And you’ve got to go deep enough that folks and animals walking by can’t smell the body rotting. I’d go eighteen inches of soil on top to be safe. Bottom line, if you’re asking me my opinion, I don’t think that Branson girl will ever be found. I never saw anything like the search for her body. Every farm. Every bit of lake property. The cops got a color-coded map and took it inch by inch, year by year, until it was all done. I’ll tell you this: If that girl was buried around here, and buried fast, she was buried by someone who knows his dirt. That might be a farmer. That might be a person who’s killed a lot.

—Albert Jenkins, 66, cemetery gravedigger

Excerpt from The Tru Story crime documentary 


- About the author -

Julia Heaberlin is the author of the critically acclaimed Black-Eyed Susans, a USA Today and Times (U.K.) bestseller. Her psychological thrillers, which also include Paper Ghosts (finalist for the ITW Thriller Award for Best Novel), Playing Dead, and Lie Still, have been sold in more than twenty countries. Heaberlin is an award-winning journalist who has worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Detroit News, and The Dallas Morning News. She grew up in Texas and lives with her family near Dallas/Fort Worth, where she is at work on her next novel.

More from Julia Heaberlin

We Are All the Same in the Dark

A Novel

Buy

We Are All the Same in the Dark

— Published by Ballantine Books —