Release date: March 9, 2021
Fast-paced and brilliantly unpredictable, J.T. Ellison’s breathtaking new novel invites you to a wedding none will forget—and some won’t survive.
Jutting from sparkling turquoise waters off the Italian coast, Isle Isola is an idyllic setting for a wedding. In the majestic cliff-top villa owned by the wealthy Compton family, up-and-coming artist Claire Hunter will marry handsome, charming Jack Compton, surrounded by close family, intimate friends…and a host of dark secrets.
From the moment Claire sets foot on the island, something seems amiss. Skeletal remains have just been found. There are other, newer disturbances, too. Menacing texts. A ruined wedding dress. And one troubling shadow hanging over Claire’s otherwise blissful relationship—the strange mystery surrounding Jack’s first wife.
Then a raging storm descends, the power goes out—and the real terror begins…
Good morning y’all! I’m so excited to be sharing an excerpt of Her Darkest Lies today!
I didn’t know, when I met Jack, the details of his life before me. I didn’t press him, and he didn’t offer. Maybe I was naive. Maybe I was just a girl in love. We existed that first month of our courtship in a kind of bubble, with eyes only for one another. And when he finally shared his story, I wasn’t deterred.
A month into our courtship, Jack took me to his brother Elliot’s wedding, where I met his family for the first time. They were as intriguing, smart, and lovely as he was. I guess my own prejudices about wealth and privilege made me assume the worst, but I found the Comptons as intensely fascinating and philanthropic as their son. Brice hadn’t exactly started Compton Computers in his garage—his money was inherited—but he’d grown it into a rival to Microsoft and Apple. Ana was editor emeritus of Endless Journey, the travel magazine started by Jack’s grandmother. Elliot worked with Brice on the day-to-day running of the business. Jack, of course, was in charge of the Foundation, and the youngest, Tyler, was a doctor. The family’s most recent project of note was working with Bill Gates on getting universal sanitation to some of the poorer African nations, for heaven’s sake.
The Comptons were doing real work to make the world a better, safer place. They were warm, funny, and kind.
I was enchanted.
It didn’t hurt that Jack’s elegant mother, Ana, talked nonstop about my painting, the one Jack bought the night we met. She was having it hung in the lobby of their Manhattan office, where everyone would see it. She admired my talent. She wondered if I would be willing to discuss a series of pieces for their private collection.
After Elliot’s wedding, I started getting commissions. Magazine features. I was painting like crazy, and people liked my work. It was surreal. I think anytime an artist has a modicum of success, you distrust it, as do the people around you. Too good to be true. What did you do to get it? Who did you blow?
In my case… I was blowing Jack Compton, and my career was on fire.
I had love. Success. And yes, for the first time, money. These are the elements of many dreams come true.
When he asked me to marry him, I couldn’t say yes quickly enough.
Jack completed me in ways no one had ever before. Not family. Not lovers. Not friends. He was the other half of my heart. He drove away all of my insecurities with his love.
There was only one thing, one tiny, bothersome issue that cast a shadow on my happiness.