Author: Hannah Jayne
Release Date: July 3, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
From the author of The Escape, Twisted, and Truly, Madly, Deadly comes a chilling new thriller that asks: what happens if your real life became stranger and deadlier than fiction?
Everyone is dying to read the latest book in the popular Gap Lake mystery series, and Addison is no exception. As the novels biggest fan, she’s thrilled when the infamously reclusive author, R.J. Rosen, contacts her, giving her inside information others would kill for.
Addison’s always dreamed of what it would be like if the books were real…. But then she finds the most popular girl in school dead. Murdered. And realizes that life imitating fiction is more dangerous that she could have imagined. As other terrifying events from the books start happening around her, Addison has to figure out how to write her own ending—and survive the story.
There was something inordinately creepy about being at school after dark. The place was deserted—the benches and picnic tables in the quad looked ominous and foreboding under the flickering yellow lights. Crystal Lanier shivered and pulled her jacket tighter against an imaginary chill. The weather was mild at Gap Lake in September; the days still sunbaked, the nights, like this one, a gentle mix of fading summer and impending fall. But the bare bones of the deserted campus had put a chill in the air, and shot a blast of cold right through Crystal.
“I’m creeping myself out,” she muttered shifting her books from one arm to the other.
A wisp of wind cut through the quad. Crystal was almost sure she heard someone laughing—a weak, choked giggle, like someone was trying to swallow it down.
She spun, her long black hair fanning over her shoulders. “Is someone there?” She knew she sounded like every horror movie victim ever, and her heart hammered in her throat as her skin prickled with beads of sweat.
This was Gap Lake, she reminded herself. It was a tiny town where everyone knew everyone else, and nothing bad ever happened. She was thinking that when the shadow approached. When he reached out for her long black hair. She was thinking what a nice, safe place Gap Lake was when he clamped a hand over her mouth. When he strangled her scream and drove the needle straight into her throat.
Addison glanced up and blinked, feeling redness stain her cheeks and ears. She closed the book slowly, looking around at the two dozen sets of eyes staring back at her.
Mrs. Lea took two steps forward and held out her hand. Addison cleared her throat and shifted in her seat.
“The book, Addison.”
Reluctantly, Addison handed over the dog-eared book.
“Can I get it back after class, please?” she asked, her voice meek.
Maya Garcia hiked her backpack over her shoulders and stepped into the junior hallway. “Okay, how many times has Mrs. Lea taken that thing from you?”
Addison shrugged, falling into step with her best friend. “Let’s see, I’ve read it about fifty-seven times so…fifty-six?”
“You are the biggest, nerdiest R. J. Rosen fan ever.”
“Hey, I’m president of his fan club. It’s mainly research.”
Maya shook her head sadly. “It’s borderline obsessive.”
“Who you calling borderline?” Addison flashed a wide grin. “It’s not entirely my fault. Rosen needs to write faster. If he could keep up with the public’s rabid love for the Gap Lake mysteries, I wouldn’t need to constantly reread—”
“And reread and reread. And write massive amounts of fan fiction.”
Addison rolled her eyes.
“Don’t get me wrong, Adds. I love the books too, but you’re a teenager. You need a more destructive hobby to fit in.”
Addison nodded sagely. “I see where you’re coming from. What do you suggest?”
“Drinking, drugs, reckless driving.”
“First of all, to drive recklessly, I’d have to drive, which I will not. And as for the other stuff, what am I? A stereotype?”
Maya narrowed her eyes, crossed her arms in front of her chest. “I feel like you’re not taking me seriously.”
Addison stopped at locker 221 and spun the lock, pulling open the metal door. “I like to read. So what?”
Maya yanked a handful of books out of Addison’s locker before dumping them back in again. “So, you should shelve a few hundred of these books and live in the here and now with the rest of us who have boyfriends who don’t live only on paper.”
“Number one, have you read the first Gap Lake book? Not only is Crystal’s boyfriend, Declan Levy, not a one-dimensional paper product, he may or may not be responsible for her murder—I vote not. But if that doesn’t make a rounded character, I don’t know what does.”
“Character,” Maya enunciated. “That’s the magic word. A character is not a real person.”
“And speaking of not real people, who’s this boyfriend of yours you seem to be referring to?”
A fierce blush crept across Maya’s olive cheeks. “I didn’t say that I had a boyfriend. But there are possibilities. Men in the wings. Plans afoot and so forth and…stuff.”
“‘Plans afoot’? ‘So forth and stuff’? Who are you?”
Maya put her hands on her hips. “I’m your best friend, Addie. Remember me? I’m not a mystery novel, but I’m pretty damn fantastic if I say so myself.”
Addie pulled the book back. She gave it a quick kiss, before stashing the book in her backpack.
Maya gaped. “Did you just kiss a book? Seriously?”
“It’s my lifeblood.”
Maya cocked an eyebrow and Addie shrugged.
“Okay, so it’s research.”
“Tell me you still want to be a writer and haven’t decided on serial killing as a career goal.”
“According to my father, the latter pays better.”
“How is the wolf of Wall Street?”
Addie blew out a sigh. “Buying low, selling high, still wishing his disappointing daughter had a penis or a power tie.”
“Well, I know what to get you for Christmas.” Maya stopped dead in her tracks. “Don’t look, but you’re being ogled. Possibly even being fantasized about in weird and uber-sexual ways.”
Addie immediately crossed her arms in front of her chest. “Now I feel skeevy.”
“I’d pay a thousand bucks if Spencer Cohen was staring at me that way.”
Addie shrugged, trying to play it off like she didn’t care. “You need a life.”
Maya groaned and shook Addie’s arm. “And you need two feet in reality or you’re going to prom with a cardboard cutout.”
“If it’s a cardboard cutout of Declan Levy, sign me up.”
“So you are into serial killers.”
“Declan didn’t do it!”
Maya rolled her eyes. “Declan totally did it. He killed Crystal, then did Andy and Rhodes. It’s textbook. I know because I am the daughter of cops, times two.” She held up two fingers a half inch from Addie’s nose. “He had motive, opportunity—all those other CSI words.”
“That’s what the author wants you to think. And you totally fell for it! You are so R. J. Rosen’s target audience!”
“And you’re his secret side chick.”
Addie snorted. “I prefer biggest fan.”
“Well, it seems like Spencer Cohen is your biggest fan, and he’s coming over here.”
“Hey, Addie.” Spencer grinned, one of those three-point grins that hit his dark-brown eyes, chin dimple, and Crest-white smile.
I’m not in love with Spencer, she told herself. Infatuation. Puppy love, maybe. He’s just so cute…
Maya stepped forward. “Addie was just telling me how much she loves water polo. And dancing.”
Addie blinked. “I was?”
“I play water polo.” Spencer brightened and Addie gritted her teeth. She had been to nearly every one of his matches. True, she was usually up on the last bleacher with her nose in a book, but she watched whenever Spencer was in the pool. He never even noticed her.
“Yeah,” she said with a slow nod. “I’ve seen. I mean I know. I know because I’ve seen you. Not in a weird way, like in a fan way. Not, like, a weird mega fan or anything but, like, a Hornets fan. You know.” Addie fisted her hand and punched at the air. “Go team!”
Maya threaded her arm though Addie’s and gave it a yank. “We have to go.”
“Why did you do that?” Addie hissed once they were out of earshot. “Spencer and I were having a conversation.”
“Have you ever heard the term dead in the water? Because that’s what you were. ‘Go team’?” She shook her head sadly.
“Did I sound that bad?”
“Yes, yes you did.”
Addie sighed. “See? That’s why I should stick to guys on paper.”
“Oh honey,” Maya slid an arm over Addie’s shoulders. “At this point I don’t even think your book boyfriend would talk to you.”
Praise for Copycat:
“A twisty rollercoaster ride that mixes fiction with reality and truth with misconceptions…lovers of mysteries will certainly enjoy this fast-paced page turner.” —Library Media Connection
“Addie and Maya feel authentic; their charming interpersonal dynamic and the escalating pace of the plot result in a quick read.” —Kirkus
About the Author:
Hannah Jayne decided to be an author in the second grade. She couldn’t spell and had terrible ideas, but she kept at it. Many (many) years—and nearly twenty books—later, she gets to live her dream and mainly does it in her pajamas. She lives with her rock-star husband, baby daughter, and their three overweight cats in the San Francisco Bay area. She is always on the lookout for a juicy mystery, an exciting story, or a great adventure.
Giveaway for 2 Copies of Copycat
Runs July 3rd – 31st (US & Canada only)