About the Series
Opening in New York City on September 10, 2001, this decades-spanning serial killer trilogy unfurls dark secrets from Manhattan to well-heeled suburbia; from the rural Midwest to a lush tropical island.
As the city sleeps in the early hours of September 10, 2001, the killer waits and watches, unaware of the cataclysm to come. Even the nightmare of 9/11 will not postpone his private reign of terror.
Allison Taylor adores her adopted city, New York, loving every minute of the invigorating urban hustle. But on a bright and clear September morning, the familiar landscape around her is savagely altered—and in the midst of widespread chaos and fear, a woman living upstairs from her is found, brutally slaughtered and mutilated.
For Allison…for her neighbor, James “Mack” MacKenna, desperately searching for news of his missing wife…for homicide detective Rocky Manzillo, hunting for a monster amid the smoking ruins of a devastated city, this tragic day will hold a special horror. Because a different kind of terror has entered their lives…and it’s coming to claim Allison Taylor as its next victim.
“Staub is boss when it comes to relaying fictionalized accounts of revulsion. “Nightwatcher” is one such book. A disturbing yet suspenseful tale that will take you into the mind of a serial killer amidst the calamity and horror of real terror on American soil.
“Staub allows glimpses into the psyche of not just the serial killer, but of his victims as well. Suspenseful, powerful, tense and—as usual—wonderfully written with an ending that will leave you guessing—well, maybe not the reader, but certainly (NYPD Detective) Manzillo. As clarification, you can read an excerpt of “Sleepwalker,” which is “Nightwatcher’s” successor in crime that Staub includes at the end of this book. A great read!”
—Starr Gardinier Reina for Suspense Magazine
“This first book in a new trilogy starts off with a bang. The action builds right through to the explosive ending. Allison is a relatable character, and Staub really nails the atmosphere of New York immediately following 9/11. Four Stars!”
—RT Book Reviews
“Terrifying in more than one way, this novel holds the interest of the reader from the very beginning and just does not let go.”
“Wendy Corsi Staub has always excelled at exploring the potential for terror in everyday situations and among everyday people, and Nightwatcheraffords her a real-life backdrop to work within—one in which an entire city’s vulnerabilities were exposed to a global audience. Readers, then, will be transported back to their own recollections of that fateful September morning, which both enhances the story’s potency and fosters a sense of intimacy. This might have posed a calculated risk for a lesser author, but Staub expertly offsets the horrors with humanity, showing reverence while skillfully eliciting a creepy and disturbing atmosphere.
“A gifted storyteller, Staub also possesses the ability to convincingly portray multiple viewpoints. This shifting of perspectives not only lends itself to a heightened sense of suspense throughout the narrative but also to rich character development, resulting in multi-faceted personalities, whether hero, victim, or villain. As one might expect, her female protagonist is realistically flawed but entirely likable. (Secondary characters are also well-drawn and allow for an examination of the true human drama of 9/11.) The antihero is equally compelling, however, as Staub not only delves into madness itself but into the makings of madness—and how catastrophe can often trigger one’s breaking point.
“Nightwatcher is everything that Staub fans have come to expect—and more. The thrills are near constant, and, combined with the waking nightmare state of 9/11, result in a high-tension and deeply visceral tale that will leave readers in a crippling state of uncertainty. The fear, the paranoia, the desperation—it leaps right off the page and gets under your skin…”
—John Valeri for Criminal Element
“The key to this powerful…suspense is the impact of 9/11 on New Yorkers as Stalin was wrong when he said: “The death of one man is a tragedy; the death of millions is a statistic;” as the timeframe matters. A murder of one person seems callously minor (except to family, friends and neighbors) when compared to over three thousand dead in a morning. Many first responders died alongside civilians in the Towers and risked their lives afterward at Ground Zero; Manzillo’s investigation provides a normalcy like the November 1 World Series game in the Bronx as life goes on but one must never forget this day in infamy. This is a great thriller.”
“I found NIGHTWATCHER to be utterly engrossing. The accurate portrayal of the events of September 11, 2001 in New York City brought tears to my eyes. Wendy Corsi Staub knows how to keep readers glued to the page and guessing who the killer is. If you like non-stop action and suspense, NIGHTWATCHER should be in your hands!”
Ten years after the catastrophe, a great fallen city has risen again. Ten years after, a horror begins
The nightmare of 9/11 is a distant but still painful memory for Allison Taylor MacKenna—now married to Mack and living in a quiet Westchester suburb. She has moved on with her life ten years after barely escaping death at the hands of New York’s Nightwatcher serial killer. The monster is dead, having recently committed suicide in his prison cell, but something is terribly wrong. Mack has started sleepwalking, with no recollection of where his nighttime excursions are taking him. And here, north of the city, more women are being savagely murdered, their bodies bearing the Nightwatcher’s unmistakable signature.
Suddenly Allison must confront a devastating truth: her life is in jeopardy once again…and quite possibly from the man she trusts and loves.
“SLEEPWALKER is Wendy Corsi Staub’s best novel to date. I’m going out on a limb here; Staub has written over 70 novels, and I am sure folks will be coming out of the woodwork to point out the error of my ways on this issue. Fair enough; all I ask is that you read SLEEPWALKER first and then get back to me. If it’s not her best, it’s certainly in the running for that title.
“I have to tell you that the plotting of SLEEPWALKER is brilliant. You will want to read it twice — once to enjoy and a second time just to pick up on the clues you might have missed or ignored the first time through. Also, there is a revelation at the end that you will never see coming and that goes off like a hand grenade lobbed into a small room on a quiet summer afternoon. It will have you marking your calendar for January 29, 2013 when SHADOWKILLER, the last volume in the trilogy, is scheduled to be published.
“And in the event that you need further convincing, the opening pages of SHADOWKILLER are included at the end of SLEEPWALKER, as is the introduction to NIGHTWATCHER, in case you missed the opening installment. All of this, and more, makes SLEEPWALKER a book that you do not want to miss.”
—Joe Hartlaub for Bookreporter.com
“Four stars. The second book of Staub’s newest trilogy is a suspense-filled ride that keeps the shocks coming…in this installment, we are seeing the evolution of Allison and how past events have affected her. Her character feels very natural and realistic. As always, Staub leaves us wanting more and happy that there is another book to come in this trilogy.”
—RT Book Reviews
“Staub has built her brand on this kind of domestic suspense, so it’s no surprise that she excels at orchestrating a story that has a multitude of tensions. (The narrative also allows for keen commentary on the complexities of marriage, parenting and careers.) Not only are Allison and her children in grave peril – and perhaps from the very man who is supposed to be their protector – but nobody in their inner circle is safe. But from who? Sleepwalker is a strong and skillfully executed follow-up to Nightwatcher that works well, both as a sequel or a standalone. Staub’s decision to move the action from the city to the suburbs is a savvy one, as it provides a nod to her roots while also allowing for a fresh and intimate landscape on which to play out a disturbingly diabolical drama. Longtime fans will recognize, and appreciate, some new creative reaches that speak to the author’s ever-expanding ambitions while the more casual reader will simply fall under the spell of a good story. The book’s ending is entirely satisfactory, and there’s a final jaw-dropper that beautifully opens the door to the final installment – one that will leave you counting down the days to the New Year…”
—John Valeri, Hartford Books Examiner
Allison Taylor MacKenna feels as though she’s awakened at last from a nightmare that plagued her and her family for more than a decade. But her darkest hour has yet to come…
Nestled in the warm, domestic cocoon of loving husband and family, Allison finally feels safe—unaware that a stranger’s brutal murder on a Caribbean island is the first step in an intricate plan to destroy everything in her life. For seasoned NYPD detective Rocky Manzillo, the signs are clear that something terrible has emerged from the shadows: a murder victim left without a face…a wilted carnation…and a faded photograph that yields a startling connection.
Now, as Allison’s murky memories of a troubled childhood creep back to light, a cunning predator who shares her history prepares to enact a horrifying retribution–and won’t stop killing until Allison faces a shocking truth…and pays the ultimate price.
“Four Stars. Staub ratchets up suspense with her third in a trilogy featuring Allison Taylor. The trilogy comes to a tight and surprising close with this twisted tale…suspense oozes off the page as Taylor finders herself in jeopardy again.”
—RT Book Reviews
“Alternating between past and present day, Shadowkiller serves as part sequel and part prequel. At its core, the book is an exploration of the relationships between who people once were and who they become – and the drastic measures that some will go to in order to rectify history. As Staub exposes the secrets of Allison’s childhood and the circumstances leading to her and Mac’s meeting, one truth becomes increasingly evident: the past is not at rest – and seemingly random events are anything but…Shadowkiller is a fitting ending to this dramatic and intricately plotted saga. The book also serves as evidence of Staub’s continued willingness to take risks, as it represents more of a whydunit than the more traditional whodunit. While longtime fans may miss trying to discern the malevolent force masked behind a familiar face, Staub’s strong characterizations and skillful exploration of the seemingly ordinary events that suddenly morph into extraordinary ones will sustain them. A veteran of nearly eighty books, she well knows how to keep you turning pages long into the night…”
—Hartford Books Examiner