The Red Thread


How do you avenge—or forgive—your own murder four hundred years after it happened?

Prompted by recurrent dreams, sixteen-year-old Dana Landgrave uncovers an ancient crime that has drawn the same souls together through three lifetimes.

There's nothing sinister about the girl's sunlit twenty-first-century American life in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Yet, centuries ago, terrible things were done—by someone she knows! Could it be her easygoing, easy-to-look-at boyfriend, Chase? Or her younger brother, Ben, who has been confined to a wheelchair since a school bus accident? What about Gianna, her inscrutable enemy on the yearbook staff? Or her eccentric psychotherapist, Dr. Sprague?

As she summons courage to reenter the past, each incarnation propels Dana to new discoveries—and new suspicions—until the threads of all three lives converge in a devastating revelation.


"Townley weaves a dizzying tapestry of possibilities throughout The Red Thread as only a master can, making the bizarre seem possible and the unthinkable real. . . . He crafts mysteries within mysteries that build suspense in an intense page-turner exploding with triumphs, tragedies, and outrages leading to a wild finish."—SUN NEWSPAPERS

"Anyone who has ever stood in a museum and gazed up at a medieval tapestry, thinking, 'How did they do that?' will not be surprised to find signs of the weaver's art in Townley's novel. Like a fine tapestry, there are no loose threads or tricks used to accomplish the feat. It's a pure weave."—NIMBLE SPIRIT

"First-rate suspense and emotion. Captivating and shivery."—KIRKUS REVIEWS

"Deliciously scary."—BOOKLIST

"Townley has allowed his adolescent characters to be highly intelligent, responsible people. It's Townley's skill that makes the places and people seem real, and he is able to keep the tension high throughout."—KLIATT