The Passenger (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Passenger by Lisa Lutz takes the reader by surprise at every turn.  Tanya’s husband lies dead at the bottom of the stairs; clearly the widow is not bereaved.  Fearing nasty questions from the police she splits town in a hurry, putting miles between herself and the dead man.  Tanya assures the reader she didn’t do it, but we have only her word that Frank didn’t have help falling down those stairs, and Tanya’s relationship with the truth has lots of room for flexibility.  Within 48 hours Tanya is gone, vanished.  Her hair, clothes, car, name are all new.  This woman sheds identities and places, not really homes, with speed as she attempts to outrun her past, keeping secrets hidden.  It isn’t easy living with an identity unlikely to pass official scrutiny, becoming someone new, keeping watch for any sign of danger and fleeing to places unknown.  What secrets keep her running? Is she a killer or a victim?  Hard to say.  Trying on a new persona, she meets Blue, a blond beauty whose ice cold eyes lock onto her with soul deep knowledge, there is no hiding from their recognition.  Will Blue be a savior or a dangerous foe?  Genre is too confining a definition for Lisa Lutz.  How to Start a Fire is one of the two best novels I have read about women and friendship (the other is Pam Houston’s Contents May Have Shifted).  The Spellman Files is fast paced fun, the story of a family of PI’s from San Francisco with a highly original take on life, hilarious.  And now this stone cold thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out if the protagonist is on the side of the angels or devils, or maybe somewhere in-between.

— Deon Stonehouse

March 2016 Indie Next List

“Thrilling and impossible to put down, this is the sharp, witty, and often sassy story of a woman, variously known as Norah/Jo/Tanya/Amelia/Debra/et al., on the run from events in her past for which she claims innocence. Her only chance of freedom is to run, and while running she changes identities and adds new troubles almost faster than readers can keep track. A meeting with a mysterious woman named Blue puts her on a new path, one that hopefully will lead her home and give her a chance to finally clear her name. Fast-paced and full of unexpected obstacles, this is a roller-coaster ride of a read you don't want to miss.”
— Nancy McFarlane (E), Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC


“A dead-serious thriller (with a funny bone)” (The New York Times Book Review), from the author of the New York Times bestselling Spellman Files series, comes the story of a woman who creates and sheds new identities as she crisscrosses the country to escape her past.

Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.

She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born.

It’s almost impossible to live off the grid in the twenty-first century, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret. From heart-stopping escapes and devious deceptions, we are left to wonder…can she possibly outrun her past?

The Passenger’s white-knuckled plot and unforeseeable twists make one thing for certain: the ride will leave you breathless. “When the answers finally come, they are juicy, complex, and unexpected. The satisfying conclusion will leave readers rethinking everything and immediately turning back to the first page to start again. Psychological suspense lovers will tear through this thriller” (Library Journal, starred review).

About the Author

Lisa Lutz is the author of the New York Times bestselling, Edgar Award– and Macavity Award–nominated, and Alex Award–winning Spellman Files series, as well as the novels How to Start a Fire, The Passenger, and The Swallows. She lives and works in upstate New York.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781451686647
ISBN-10: 1451686641
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: November 29th, 2016
Pages: 336
Language: English