Marisha Pessl Returns With Psychological Thriller: Darkly

The New York Times bestselling author, Marisha Pessl, has finally announced a new novel coming from Random House and Delacorte Press.

It’s been a while since Pessl released a new book (Neverworld Wake in 2018), but she’s back with a new novel, Darkly, set to arrive on November 12th. Delacorte Press recently revealed the new project, offering the first details and cover for it.

Pessl debuted at the age of 27 with Special Topics in Calamity Physics, which was awarded the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and selected as a New York Times Best Book of the Year. She went on to receive mass acclaim for her 2013 novel Night Film, an NPR and Cosmo Best Book of the Year that was praised as “maniacally clever” by the Washington Post and “a suspenseful, sprawling page-turner” by USA Today. In 2018, she made her foray into young adult with Neverworld Wake, adding even more rave reviews to her name with applause from the New York Times, USA Today, Bustle, and more.

With DARKLY, Pessl has once again crafted an intricate labyrinth full of buried clues and hidden connections, and her dazzling prose and signature powers of imagination will startle, tantalize, and delight readers. Featuring integrated letters, diagrams, news articles, maps, and photos throughout that create an immersive reading experience reminiscent of Night Film, this absorbing psychological thriller is as complex, sophisticated, and inventive as Pessl’s previous novels. It’s the perfect entry point for new readers to Pessl’s oeuvre, and die-hard fans will agree it is well worth the six-year wait since her last publication.

“What would you kill for?” When this question appears in an ad for an internship with the Louisiana Veda Foundation, seemingly every high school student in the world rushes to apply. Not much is known about Louisiana Veda, the late game designer whose creations have attained cultlike status. Her game empire, Darkly, was renowned for its ingenious and utterly terrifying toys and games, rife with hidden symbols and secrets. But after Veda’s mysterious death, the company went bankrupt and production was discontinued. The remaining Darkly games are now priced like highly sought-after works of art, with the rarest and most notorious items commanding tens of millions of dollars at auction, but the name Louisiana Veda has retreated into the past, cloaked in legend, rumor, and dust.

Arcadia “Dia” Gannon has been obsessed with Louisiana Veda ever since she and her mother played Disappearing Act—and she is shocked when she is one of the seven individuals from around the world chosen for the internship. Dia is suddenly thrust into the enigmatic heart of Louisiana Veda’s operation, and it’s not long before she is questioning everything. Who are these other interns? Why do they all seem to have something to hide? And why was she really chosen? It soon becomes clear that this summer will be the most twisted Darkly game of all.

Says Pessl: “DARKLY was inspired by rainy boardgame nights and the old-fashioned, windswept mystery novels of my childhood. My wish is that readers are drawn into Louisiana Veda’s lost gaming world and try to discern, along with the characters, where the woman ended, the myth began, and the overgrown garden in-between.”

Says Horowitz: “I was surprised and beyond thrilled when I received DARKLY. Marisha Pessl weaves startling secrets and buried clues together as she creates complex characters who are never exactly who they seem to be. As she explores family, community, and social pressures, readers see that like those characters, we all must reckon with understanding impossible realities. This brilliant psychological thriller leads our main character, Día, not only to love and appreciate her heritage, but to embrace hope for her wide-open future. I know that Marisha Pessl’s fans and new readers will love this novel.”

Darkly is set to hit bookstores on November 12, 2024 and available for pre-order now wherever books are sold!



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Jordan Maison
Jordan Maison
Lover of all things nerdy, Jordan's passion for books began at an early age and simply never stopped.