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Mister Tender's Girl
Cover of Mister Tender's Girl
Mister Tender's Girl
A Novel
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A 2019 Thriller Award Finalist!

How far are you willing to go for Mister Tender?

At fourteen, Alice Hill was viciously attacked by two of her classmates and left to die. The teens claim she was a sacrifice for a man called Mister Tender, but that could never be true: Mister Tender doesn't exist. His sinister character is pop-culture fiction, created by Alice's own father in a series of popular graphic novels.

Over a decade later, Alice has changed her name and is trying to heal. But someone is watching her. They know more about Alice than any stranger could: her scars, her fears, and the secrets she keeps locked away. She can try to escape her past, but Mister Tender is never far behind. He will come with a smile that seduces, and a dark whisper in her ear...

Inspired by the Slender Man crime, this gripping thriller plunges you into a world of haunting memories and unseen threats, leaving you guessing until the harrowing end.

A 2019 Thriller Award Finalist!

How far are you willing to go for Mister Tender?

At fourteen, Alice Hill was viciously attacked by two of her classmates and left to die. The teens claim she was a sacrifice for a man called Mister Tender, but that could never be true: Mister Tender doesn't exist. His sinister character is pop-culture fiction, created by Alice's own father in a series of popular graphic novels.

Over a decade later, Alice has changed her name and is trying to heal. But someone is watching her. They know more about Alice than any stranger could: her scars, her fears, and the secrets she keeps locked away. She can try to escape her past, but Mister Tender is never far behind. He will come with a smile that seduces, and a dark whisper in her ear...

Inspired by the Slender Man crime, this gripping thriller plunges you into a world of haunting memories and unseen threats, leaving you guessing until the harrowing end.

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About the Author-
  • Carter Wilson is the USA Today-bestselling author of THE COMFORT OF BLACK, which won the Colorado Book Award, the International Book Award, and the National Indie Excellence Award. His thrillers have received critical acclaim, including multiple starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. He resides outside of Boulder, Colorado. Visit him at www.carterwilson.com
Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    September 15, 2017

    Alice Hill's father earned a living from writing graphic novels featuring Mister Tender, a bartender who convinces people to do evil in return for fulfilling their utmost wish. Ten years ago, Alice was nearly stabbed to death by two classmates who had taken the books' message as truth and Mister Tender as their master. After surviving the brutal crime, the trial, her parents' divorce, a move to America, and a spiral into drugs, Alice feels like she can finally live her life. She opens and runs a small coffee shop and controls her anxiety through intense workout sessions. It may be lonely, but it's working. Then a package containing an unpublished Mister Tender novel arrives and Alice's world is turned upside down again, as she races to identify Tender before it's too late. Wilson (Revelation) does a bang-up job of transforming a real news story (the 2014 Slender Man stabbing) into a can't-put-down thriller that will reverberate with readers. The characters are well drawn, the plot hums, the creepiness level is high, and you won't see the ending coming. VERDICT Fans of psychological suspense shouldn't miss this great thrill ride.--Marianne Fitzgerald, Severna Park H.S., MD

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 4, 2017
    Alice Hill, the narrator of this taut, complex thriller from Wilson (Revelation), was 14 and living in London when two classmates of hers—twin sisters—lured her into a park one night. There the sisters stabbed her five times as a sacrifice to Mister Tender, a “part human, part demon” bartender who was then a popular graphic novel character created by her father. Fourteen years later, her father is dead, and Alice, who wears long sleeves even on hot days to hide the scars on her arms, is living in Manchester, N.H., along with her overly anxious mother and chronically ill brother. Alice appears to have overcome her problems and to be doing well other than having developed a knife phobia. Her life, however, starts to fall apart when unsavory people from her past—including an incarnation of Mister Tender—find her. Alice must revisit her past to find out who’s behind the resurrection of Mister Tender and the terror that follows in his wake. Only some distracting actions by secondary characters mar this creepy, unsettling tale. Agent: Pamela Ahearn, Ahearn Agency.

  • Kirkus

    December 1, 2017
    After Alice spends years working to get over her tragic past, her life is about to become as terrifying as the graphic novels her father used to write featuring a demonic bartender called Mister Tender.Twenty-eight-year-old Alice Gray loves her life in Manchester, New Hampshire. She owns a coffee shop called Stone Rose and a nice house, and though she needs to have an upstairs tenant to help pay the mortgage, Richard, a nurse, is quiet and friendly. Alice wasn't always Alice Gray, though. She grew up in England as Alice Hill and has a tragic claim to fame: when she was 14, twins Melinda and Sylvia Glassin, who had befriended her, stabbed her nearly to death after claiming to receive letters ordering them to do so by Mister Tender, the main character in a graphic novel series drawn and written by Alice's father. To her horror, Alice now receives a package containing what seems to be an unpublished book called Mister Tender: Last Call with a message in her father's handwriting--but her father was murdered three years ago in London, and his killer was never caught. Also included is a website address, where she discovers that photos and details from her life have been posted by someone called Mr. Interested. When he sends a blast from her troubled past to terrorize her, she decides she's finished with being a victim. Her quest takes her to London--the home of the newly paroled Glassin twins--and back, with the promise of violence at every turn. Alice also has to worry about the health of her vulnerable, bipolar 24-year-old brother, Thomas, who is putty in the hands of their domineering mother. Wilson (Revelation, 2016, etc.) puts Alice through the wringer, but she's a very capable woman. A blazing fast pace and spine-tingling set pieces make the book hum, but it's the character of damaged yet indomitable Alice that drives this razor-sharp thriller.Wilson turns the creep factor up to 11, balancing his prose on a knife's edge. A highly satisfying high-tension thriller.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from December 1, 2017
    Fourteen years earlier, Alice Hill, then 14, was brutally stabbed by classmates in a London park and left to die. Her twin-girl attackers said they were under the influence of a Mister Tender, a graphic-novel character created by Alice's own father. To try to escape her past, Alice changed her last name and moved to Manchester, New Hampshire, where she owns a coffee shop and still suffers debilitating panic attacks ameliorated only somewhat by her rigorous physical conditioning. Then her seemingly safe world is rocked: she receives a book from London that has drawings by her late father and by a skilled imitator and shows that someone is stalking her and that a subgroup, organized by a Mr. Interested (an anagram for Mister Tender), is completely obsessed with her. The book's dedication to Alice from her father also holds a hidden messagedon't trust anyonethat she fails to follow as she pursues Mr. Interested to try to reclaim her life. In spare prose, Wilson ratchets up the horror spawned by obsession to a bloody end. For those who tolerate intense, sometimes graphic fiction, this is mesmerizing.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

  • Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Stranger "Dark, unsettling, and full of surprises, Mister Tender's Girl takes the reader on a dangerous journey alongside a woman who must face the past she's been hiding from. A fast-paced, spine-tingling, read-and a reminder that imagined dangers are just as worthy of being feared."
  • Allen Eskens, bestselling author of The Life We Bury and The Heavens May Fall "Carter Wilson hits it out of the park with Mister Tender's Girl-one of the most suspenseful novels I've read in a long time. This book is a true page-turner, riveting on every level."
  • Booklist, Starred Review "In spare prose, Wilson ratchets up the horror spawned by obsession to a bloody end. For those who tolerate intense, sometimes graphic fiction, this is mesmerizing."
  • Sandra Block, author of The Girl Without a Name and The Secret Room "The writing is both gorgeous and gritty, and the story so enticing, that I gobbled it up in one sitting. I can only humbly request that Carter Wilson hurry up and write some more."
  • Kirkus Reviews "Wilson turns the creep factor up to 11, balancing his prose on a knife's edge. A highly satisfying high-tension thriller. "
  • A.J. Banner, USA Today bestselling author of The Good Neighbor and The Twilight Wife "This elegantly written, masterful thriller, by turns meditative and shocking, lyrical and violent, will keep you glued to the pages from start to finish."
  • Jenny Milchman, USA Today bestselling author of Cover of Snow, Ruin Falls, and As Night Falls "Not since Gone Girl's "Amazing Amy" has a character from a make believe children's book been so richly imagined and realized, and led to such a twisting, seductive tale. Mister Tender's Girl forces Alice Hill out of her lonely, isolated world to confront the inner demons that arose after she became the victim of a violent attack. As Alice delves into the events surrounding the crime, she finds that the fictional Mister Tender may have been a very different man from what the world believed. Carter Wilson's latest novel will have readers checking outside their windows for monsters-and, like Alice, also looking for those that lurk inside themselves."
  • Randall Silvis, author of Two Days Gone "Chapter by chapter, Carter Wilson's Mister Tender's Girl compels the reader forward: another question, another mystery, another fear to be dispelled or realized. Start reading this thriller and you won't stop until the end. That's how compelling, whether endearing or nefarious, the main characters are. And that's how talented a writer Carter Wilson is."
  • Library Journal "...a can't-put-down thriller that will reverberate with readers. The characters are well drawn, the plot hums, the creepiness level is high, and you won't see the ending coming. Fans of psychological suspense shouldn't miss this great thrill ride. "
  • Publishers Weekly "...taut, complex thriller..."
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