In My Dreams I Hold a Knife: A Novel (Hardcover)

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"[A] mordant debut novel....examines what it means to covet the lives of others, no matter the cost."—The New York Times

"Tense, twisty, and packed with shocks."—Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of Survive The Night

Six friends.

One college reunion.

One unsolved murder.

Ten years after graduation, Jessica Miller has planned her triumphant return to her southern, elite Duquette University, down to the envious whispers that are sure to follow in her wake. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see—confident, beautiful, indifferent. Not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather Shelby's murder fractured everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she'd been closest to since freshman year.

But not everyone is ready to move on. Not everyone left Duquette ten years ago, and not everyone can let Heather's murder go unsolved. Someone is determined to trap the real killer, to make the guilty pay. When the six friends are reunited, they will be forced to confront what happened that night—and the years' worth of secrets each of them would do anything to keep hidden.

Told in racing dual timelines, with a dark campus setting and a darker look at friendship, love, obsession, and ambition, In My Dreams I Hold A Knife is an addictive, propulsive read you won't be able to put down.

"Beautiful writing, juicy secrets, complex female characters, and drumbeat suspense—what more could you want from a debut thriller?"—Andrea Bartz, author of Reese's Book Club pick We Were Never Here

About the Author

Ashley Winstead is an academic turned novelist with a Ph.D. in contemporary American literature. She lives in Houston with her husband, two cats, and beloved wine fridge. You can find her at

Praise For…

"Ashley Winstead’s mordant debut novel is the latest entry in the budding subgenre of “dark academia,” where the crime narrative takes place on a college campus...At its heart, Winstead’s novel examines what it means to covet the lives of others, no matter the cost." — The New York Times

"Looking for an eerie campus setting? This chilling suspense novel has murder, friendship and defiance when six people return to their college reunion a decade after one of their close friends was murdered." — Parade Magazine

"A twisty, dark puzzle...Fans of books such as The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl will find this book captivating, as will anyone who enjoys being led down a winding, frightening path. Highly recommended." — New York Journal of Books

"An addictive and entertaining thriller." — Texas Lifestyle Magazine

"An engrossing tale of murder, love, and obsession set against the backdrop of an elite southern university. Delve into the dark secrets and ever-shifting allegiances of the East…This page-turning debut suspense novel is perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and J.T. Ellison’s Good Girls Lie." — Crime By The Book

"Nostalgic and sinister, In My Dreams I Hold a Knife whisks the reader back to college. Glory days, unbreakable friendships, all-night parties and a belief that the best in life is ahead of you. But ten years after the murder of one of the East House Seven, the unbreakable bonds may be hiding fractured secrets of a group bound not by loyalty but by fear. Twisty and compulsively readable, In My Dreams I Hold a Knife will have you turning pages late into the night, not just to figure out who murdered beloved Heather Shelby, but to see whether friendships forged under fire can ever be resurrected again." — Julie Clark, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Flight

"Fans of The Secret History, Ruth Ware, and Andrea Bartz will devour this dark academic thriller with an addictive locked-room mystery at its core. Ten years after an unsolved campus murder, the victim's best friends reunite, knowing one might be a monster—but is anyone innocent? Over the course of a single shocking night, Ashley Winstead peels back lie after lie, exposing the poisoned roots of ambition, friendship, and belonging itself. An astonishingly sure-footed debut, In My Dreams I Hold a Knife is the definition of compulsive reading. The last page will give you nightmares." — Amy Gentry, bestselling author of Good as Gone, Last Woman Standing, and Bad Habits

"Beautiful writing, juicy secrets, complex female characters, and drumbeat suspense—what more could you want from a debut thriller? I'm Ashley Winstead's new biggest fan. If you liked Marisha Pessl's Neverworld Wake or Laurie Elizabeth Flynn's The Girls Are All So Nice Here, trust me—you will love this." — Andrea Bartz, bestselling author of The Lost Night and The Herd

"An unsolved murder, dark secrets and dysfunctional college days, all wrapped up in a twisty plot that will keep you flipping pages." — Darby Kane, #1 Internationally bestselling author of Pretty Little Wife

"With its compelling puzzlebox structure and delightfully ruthless cast of characters, this twisty dark academia thriller will have you flipping pages like you’re pulling an all-nighter to cram for a final. In My Dreams I Hold a Knife is required reading for fans of Donna Tartt's The Secret History and Amy Gentry's Bad Habits." — Layne Fargo, author of They Never Learn

"[A] captivating debut...Winstead does an expert job keeping the reader guessing whodunit. Suspense fans will eagerly await her next." — Publishers Weekly

"Tense, twisty and packed with shocks, Ashley Winstead’s assured debut dares to ask how much we can trust those we know best—including ourselves. A terrific read!" — Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of Home Before Dark

"Packed with intrigue, scandal, and enough twists and turns to match Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, this is a solid psychological-thriller debut." — Booklist

"Deeply drawn characters and masterful storytelling come together to create an addictive and riveting psychological thriller. Put this one at the very top of your 2021 reading list." — Liv Constantine, internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish
Product Details
ISBN: 9781728229881
ISBN-10: 172822988X
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: August 3rd, 2021
Pages: 352
Language: English