Security, Gina Wohlsdorf's first novel, forthcoming from Algonquin Press on June 7, 2016

Security - on sale now

When the gleaming new Manderley Resort opens in less than one week, Santa Barbara’s exclusive beachfront hotel will offer its patrons the ultimate in luxury and high-tech security. No indulgence has been ignored, no detail overlooked. But all the money in the world can’t guarantee safety. As hotel manager Tessa and her employees ready the hotel for its invitation-only grand opening, a killer is in their midst. One by one, staff are picked off with ruthless precision. And before the night is over, as Tessa desperately struggles to survive, it will become clear that the strangest and most terrible truth at Manderley is simply this: someone is watching. 

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R e v i e w s

…a flawless literary refresh of giallo devices, completed with a masked-and-gloved killer; long, sharp knives; screaming, lingerie-clad victims; and twists aplenty – oh, get ready for the twists. Security is perfectly tuned for blockbuster status: scary, gory, kinky, and experimental enough to push readers’ envelopes without going so far as to lose mainstream appeal. They don’t make a hotel big enough to house all the people who will want to read this, and soon, as in Manderlay, all eyes will be on Wohlsdorf
— Booklist, starred review
Security isn’t your run-of-the mill thriller. Not by a long shot. Original and imaginative, the story is told in so clever a manner that it could almost obscure the story itself. . .were it not for Wohldoft’s gasp-inducing plot and fully engaging characters whom she develops without any sacrifice to the gripping suspense, the sheer terror, or the wrenching love story. When reading the last half of the book, I didn’t take a breath. I predict SECURITY will be this year’s THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN.
— Sandra Brown, author of Friction
The thrill of this novel goes beyond its wickedly clever, split-screen, high-tech wizardry—a kind of video gamer’s literary retake of Hitchcock’s Rear Window—and emanates from its strange, disembodied narrator: a consciousness not just godlike in its ability to see every room on every floor, nor just helplessly voyeuristic, but a consciousness also moved by the bloody cat-and-mouse playing out before it to contemplate such mysteries as human vulnerability, desire, sex, security and—finally—love. The effect is terrifying, sexy, dizzying, and impossible to look away from.
— Tim Johnston, author of Descent
Be surprised, be very surprised: Gina Wohlsdorf brings more than just plot twists and a terrifically tender love story to this thriller about a disastrous opening for a luxury beach-front hotel. It’s her playful homage to Hitchcock and du Maurier that had me reading, howling, and just plain loving this novel. I can’t wait to read her next!
— Sara Gruen, author of At the Water’s Edge
Film and literature have been each other’s trampolines for a long time, each providing a platform to launch the other, with each genre’s inherent benefits and limitations. So this is the novel that wouldn’t exist without film: an elaborated screenplay of a movie that exists only in our minds, with every advantage the written word has over the visual. This literary text shows its architecture, and is written in vivid and beautiful, nuanced language. It’s also shocking and filled with Tarantino-ish dark humor, along with the writer’s attentiveness toward constructed worlds and constructed identities, their limits and inevitabilities (The first Manderley – du Maurier’s — also went up in flames). Structurally reminiscent of the amazing Jennifer Egan, Gina’s book is certainly a hybrid, like nothing else. Get ready.
— Ann Beattie, author of The State We’re In
Grand Hotel meets Psycho in the age of surveillance: Gina Wohlsdorf’s Security is cinematically vivid, crisply written, and sharp enough to cut. As the body count rises, the question becomes: Just who is telling this story? Lee Child fans, in particular, will be able to appreciate how brilliantly Wohlsdorf subverts our expectations of the action genre in this smart, shocking, poignant thriller.
— Emily Croy Barker, author of The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic