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The Worst Thing Launches at @McIntyre's Books

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Nora Gaskin’s novel The Worst Thing is * “a tight, spare novel of suspense” * “fascinating” * “real” * “original” *

With captivating contemporary realism, Nora Gaskin’s novel The Worst Thing (publication date: May 15, 2018) turns commonplace objects from young lives—selfies, cellphones, Google maps, glossy magazines, vintage fashion, haircuts, and ponytails—into elements of suspense.

“Who says a nice girl can’t write a convincing psychopath? In The Worst Thing, Nora Gaskin introduces Ape, a character so real, so broken, so deliciously creepy (“Are you scared?” he asks one of his victims. “I need you to be scared.”) you won’t be able to look away from him. You might even catch yourself secretly, guiltily admiring him. You surely won’t forget him.”
—Kim Church, author of Byrd

“The Worst Thing is a tight, spare novel of suspense*, reminiscent of Ruth Rendell. With a bad guy Gaskin fashions from the inside out, whose demise you will root for even as you come to understand his needs, this story has the depth and substance of one that will be read for years to come.”
—Jenny Milchman, USA Today bestselling & Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author

“A gripping story of a traumatic crime and how it affects the lives of everyone associated with it, from the police to a building handyman. It has all the plot twists and turns you want from an absorbing crime novel, but the book's real strength is in its characters. Most of the main characters are women who are tested and respond in ways that are human and believable. The men feel like real people too. The ending is equally real*. Highly recommended.”
—Sarah Shaber, award-winning author of the Louise Pearlie WWII mysteries

“Shadowy foreboding and well-earned emotions lured me in, while fascinating * backstories, absence of gore, and realistic police work insured that I enjoyed every word of this tightly woven original* thriller.” —Karen Pullen, author of Cold Feet and Cold Heart


When Kellah Mace’s parents are killed in an accident—when Kellah is fifteen years old—she overhears someone say, “She’ll go through life knowing the worst thing has already happened.” Numb from loss and grief, Kellah takes these words to mean she need fear nothing. Only one thing can hurt her again: the loss of someone else she loves.

The Worst Thing begins with the intense friendship of Kellah and Angel, forged on the window ledge outside of their rooms at boarding school—and in the mirror during a hair-cut makeover.
After high school, these intrepid young women move to an apartment in the city. Angel jumps into a modeling career and her allure is not lost on the world— she’s suddenly, it seems, everywhere. While Angel is at late night parties and photo shoots, Kellah finds the college library her refuge, until Albert shows up.

Albert Darwin, called Ape by acquaintances, has a story of his own. He was a frightened little boy, grown up to be a desperate man. As he becomes a computer repairman, he muses, how stupid people think the worst thing might happen when they hit their computer reset button. Living off the grid, often invisible, often lurking on the Internet, Albert’s single-mindedness brings new meaning to “the worst thing.”

With captivating contemporary realism, Gaskin’s novel The Worst Thing turns commonplace objects from young lives— selfies, cellphones, Google maps, glossy magazines, vintage fashion, haircuts, and ponytails— into elements of suspense.


Nora Gaskin is the author of two previous books Time of Death: The True Tale of a Quest for Justice in 1960s Chapel Hill, and a mystery, based on a true crime, Until Proven: A Mystery in 2 Parts.

As the founder, editor, and publisher of Lystra Books (an eclectic and growing publisher, based in Chapel Hill, NC), Gaskin has stewarded 23 books into publication.

Add to that resume her editing byline for Carolina Crimes: 21 Tales of Need, Greed, and Dirty Deeds, a terrific collection of stories set in North Carolina and South Carolina, with an introduction by Jeffery Deaver, published in 2017 by Down & Out Books.

On the heels of Carolina Crimes, Gaskin brings her most creative endeavor to date: the captivating, realistic, and brilliantly provocative novel The Worst Thing (publication: May 15, 2018).