Dark Rooms (Fiction)

Publisher -- HarperCollins: William Morrow

Release Date -- March 3, 2015


The Secret History meets Sharp Objects in this stunning debut about murder and glamour set in the ambiguous and claustrophobic world of an exclusive New England prep school.

Death sets the plot in motion: the murder of Nica Baker, beautiful, wild, enigmatic, and only sixteen. The crime is solved, and quickly—a lonely classmate, unrequited love, a suicide note confession—but memory and instinct won’t allow Nica’s older sister, Grace, to accept the case as closed.

Dropping out of college and living at home, working at the moneyed and progressive private high school in Hartford, Connecticut, from which she recently graduated, Grace becomes increasingly obsessed with identifying and punishing the real killer.

Compulsively readable, Lili Anolik’s debut novel combines the verbal dexterity of Marisha Pessl’s Special Topic in Calamity Physics and the haunting atmospherics and hairpin plot twists of Megan Abbott’s Dare Me.

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062345868

  • ISBN 10: 0062345869

  • Imprint: William Morrow



Critical Praise for Dark Rooms

Great story, great twists, great insights — a brilliant start to a novelist’s career. Dark Rooms gallops out of gate but the ride is so smooth. Words are rose petals in Lili Anolik’s hands. What a privilege to get in on the ground floor with this exciting new writer. Already can’t wait for what’s next!
— Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Burning Room
The plot is high-suspense, but it’s the strength of the characters—and the strength of Anolik’s hypnotic, unfussy prose—that gives the book its lasting force. Wholly absorbing and emotionally rich...Something deeply satisfying.
— Kirkus Reviews
Opening sentence hooks.
— Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero, American Psycho)
A Twin Peaks-twisted murder mystery.
— ELLE Magazine (March 2015)
Dark Rooms warrants an urgency that I haven’t experienced since reading Nancy Drew in elementary school. It had me pining for more explanations, more dialogue, more, more, more, in a way that I don’t tend to experience often as an adult...Simply put, Anolik brilliantly strings us along — which is what makes her first novel so rewarding to read, and so upsetting to finish.
— Los Angeles Review of Books
Unlike recent thrillers that have flown off the Amazon shelves and into our oversize purses (and then into the hands of Hollywood producers)—this one is written as murder mysteries should be: well. Anolik’s writing is sharp and clever; sometimes you get whiffs of old-school influences like James M. Cain, a dash of James Wolcott’s twisted adjectives...But really, Anolik’s writing is entirely her own, and it’s refreshingly good in a genre where it doesn’t really need to be.
— Vanity Fair
— New York Daily News
Shattering first novel from Vanity Fair contributing editor Anolik...Whether or not you believe in ghosts, Anolik’s debut will haunt you.
— Publisher's Weekly (Dark Rooms featured in a starred and boxed review)
Dark Rooms is at once a crime novel and a high school drama, with shades of both Gillian Flynn and Curtis Sittenfeld... With complex characters and a multilayered narrative, it can be hard at times to know whom to root for; thankfully it’s equally difficult to put this stunning debut down.
— Bookpage
The story line just scratches the surface of this insightful, complex novel...Anolik’s haunting debut is tough to put down and will stay with you for a long time. The author’s characters and tone recall Donna Tartt’s The Secret History or Kimberly Pauley’s Ask Me.
— Library Journal (Dark Rooms featured in a starred review)
One hell of a first novel. Dark Rooms is an elegant work of crime fiction with a plot as well-drawn as the characters who inhabit it. It’s a fine murder mystery as well as an exploration of loss and identity...Think Megan Abbott meets Twin Peaks.
— Gregg Hurwitz, New York Times-bestselling author of Don't Look Back
Fascinating, disturbing, mysterious, and at times, downright creepy—Lili Anolik’s wonderfully twisted debut novel will intoxicate readers!
— John Searles, bestselling author of Help for the Haunted and Strange but True
An immediate standout, Dark Rooms is sharply told and entirely relevant...Comparisons to Gillian Flynn and Megan Abbott were inevitable, and are entirely warranted, but Lili Anolik stands alone as an exhilarating and wholly original new voice in crime fiction.
— Hartford Books Examiner
Sometimes like David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, sometimes like Marsha Pessl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics — but it’s all filtered through Anolik’s fresh, captivating voice, lending the work a rare, dreamy quality.
— Flavorwire



ELLE Mention.png