The Violence: A Novel (Hardcover)
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Three generations of abused women must navigate their chilling new reality as a mysterious epidemic of violence sweeps the nation in this compelling novel of self-discovery, legacy, and hope.
“A gorgeously creative and surprisingly gleeful story about the way violence infects every aspect of American life.”—Sarah Langan, author of Good Neighbors
“A novel that defines this era.”—Stephen Graham Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Only Good Indians
ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—CrimeReads
When Chelsea Martin kisses her husband hello at the door of their perfect home, a chilled bottle of beer in hand and dinner on the table, she may look like the ideal wife, mother, and homemaker—but in fact she’s following an unwritten rulebook, carefully navigating David’s stormy moods in a desperate nightly bid to avoid catastrophe. If family time doesn’t go exactly the way David wants, bad things happen—to Chelsea, and to the couple’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Ella. Cut off from all support, controlled and manipulated for years, Chelsea has no resources and no one to turn to. Her wealthy, narcissistic mother, Patricia, would rather focus on the dust on her chandelier than acknowledge Chelsea’s bruises. After all, Patricia’s life looks perfect on the surface, too.
But the façade crumbles when a mysterious condition overtakes the nation. Known as the Violence, it causes the infected to experience sudden, explosive bursts of animalistic rage and attack anyone in their path. The ensuing chaos brings opportunity for Chelsea—and inspires a plan to liberate herself and her family once and for all.
About the Author
Delilah S. Dawson is the author of the New York Times bestseller Star Wars: Phasma, as well as Star Wars Galaxy's Edge: Black Spire, Mine, the Hit series, the Blud series, the creator-owned comics Ladycastle, Sparrowhawk, and Star Pig, and the Shadow series (written as Lila Bowen). With Kevin Hearne, she co-writes The Tales of Pell. She lives in Georgia with her family.
“A paean to the resilience of women . . . As the characters in this novel fight for their lives in a pandemic-cursed hellscape, The Violence could not be more of-the-moment.”—Alma Katsu, author of The Hunger and The Deep
“Delilah S. Dawson has crafted a pandemic thriller that’s so much more—a piercing examination of survival, courage, and self, terrifying and hopeful in equal measure.”—Peng Shepherd, award-winning author of The Book of M
“The Violence in The Violence might be contagious, but what you really catch here is the anger—so righteous and so right here, right now—in a novel that defines this era.”—Stephen Graham Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Only Good Indians
“An inspiring story of self-discovery, resilience, and hope, and a page-turning thrill ride that will leave you breathless.”—Sylvain Neuvel, author of The Themis Files and A History of What Comes Next
“Horrifying and inspiring in equal measure, The Violence shines a light on the epidemic of abuse women have always endured, folded into a stellar thriller full of danger, courage, and characters who feel alive.”—Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Road of Bones and Ararat
“The Violence is Dawson at her best: unflinching yet empathetic, the brutal and the gentle side by side, rage and despair tempered with joy and hope.”—Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author of the Ink & Sigil series
“The Violence isn’t just a timely, ripping thriller—it’s an intimate, thoughtful, heart-wrenching portrait of abuse and power, and how those things ripple through generations.”—Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse
“With The Violence, Dawson takes no damn prisoners: a powerful, fascinating, and courageous gut punch of a book.”—Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Relentless and V-Wars
“A compulsively readable fusion of domestic thriller and modern horror that shocks and surprises at every turn. A must-read!”—Kameron Hurley, author of The Light Brigade
“A staggering, masterful tale of survival and redemption during a literal epidemic of violence. Dawson is a storyteller working at the top of her class.”—Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers
“Visceral, thrilling . . . A novel paced like a fistfight, aching like a just-gone tooth—but there’s hope in the harrowing.”—Max Gladstone, Hugo and Nebula award–winning author
“The Violence is a stunning story with a cast of fully developed characters and an utterly convincing plot. It's a dark, exciting, and often charming tale of three amazing people who discover just how strong women can be.”—Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches
“Dawson pulls no punches in The Violence, an edge-of-your-seat thriller packed with horror and hope. You won’t put this one down until the wee hours of the morning.”—Christina Dalcher, bestselling author of Vox
“With three-dimensional female characters and a timely subject, Delilah Dawson’s The Violence reads like Stephen King at his best. A powerful, moving story with broad appeal.”—Sara Donati, bestselling author of the Wilderness series