We Were Never Here: A Novel
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK • “This book is every suspense lover’s dream and it kept me up way too late turning pages. . . . A novel with crazy twists and turns that will have you ditching your Friday night plans for more chapters.”—Reese Witherspoon
A backpacking trip has deadly consequences in this “eerie psychological thriller . . . with alluring locales, Hitchcockian tension, and possibly the best pair of female leads since Thelma and Louise” (BookPage), from the bestselling author of The Lost Night and The Herd.
A Marie Claire Book Club Pick • Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR and Marie Claire
Emily is having the time of her life—she’s in the mountains of Chile with her best friend, Kristen, on their annual reunion trip, and the women are feeling closer than ever. But on the last night of the trip, Emily enters their hotel suite to find blood and broken glass on the floor. Kristen says the cute backpacker she brought back to their room attacked her, and she had no choice but to kill him in self-defense. Even more shocking: The scene is horrifyingly similar to last year’s trip, when another backpacker wound up dead. Emily can’t believe it’s happened again—can lightning really strike twice?
Back home in Wisconsin, Emily struggles to bury her trauma, diving headfirst into a new relationship and throwing herself into work. But when Kristen shows up for a surprise visit, Emily is forced to confront their violent past. The more Kristen tries to keep Emily close, the more Emily questions her motives. As Emily feels the walls closing in on their cover-ups, she must reckon with the truth about her closest friend. Can Emily outrun the secrets she shares with Kristen, or will they destroy her relationship, her freedom—even her life?
Praise for We Were Never Here: A Novel
“A book that skillfully examines toxic friendship at its most extreme . . . When the reckoning arrives, it shows that sometimes, we should fear our friends a lot more than strangers.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A page-turning thriller about two best friends whose annual reunion trip goes wrong—one of them may or may not have ‘accidentally’ killed a fellow backpacker!—transforming their friendship as they once knew it.”—Marie Claire
“Bartz takes the idea of a ‘frenemy’ to new heights. . . . Yet another expert vivisection of female modes of communication and competition.”—Los Angeles Times
“A thrilling tale.”—Oprah Daily
“Beneath the thrilling cliffhangers and impeccably paced plot lies a very sharp portrait of female friendship and how magical and intense it can be.”—NPR
“Whether you’re planning far-flung summer travels or kicking it closer to home, you’re going to need a great beach read—and that’s where We Were Never Here comes in. . . . [A] twisty thriller.”—PopSugar
“Bartz’s evocative descriptions of destinations as varied as Chile and Cambodia pulled me in immediately, but it was the way she ratcheted up the tension by dropping clues about the duo’s murky past that kept me rapt until the end.”—Travel + Leisure
“Pulse-pounding with secrets, lies, and friends who trust too much.”—CrimeReads
“This smartly written psychological thriller will leave you all tingly.”—Reader’s Digest
“Incredibly tense and atmospheric, We Were Never Here explores the nuances of memory, the secrets that bind a friendship—and those that threaten to tear them apart. Andrea Bartz delivers a sharp, unsettling thriller about power, obsession, and the inescapable grip of the past.”—Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Last House Guest
“A nail-biting, immersive whirl of a read . . . Brimming with mysterious twists, turns, and a frenemyship of the most chilling proportions, We Were Never Here is every woman’s worst nightmare—and every thriller-lover’s dream.”—Zakiya Dalila Harris, author of The Other Black Girl
“Andrea Bartz takes a friendship with boundary issues and adds an extra-special ingredient—the permanent, secret alliance of two people who have gotten away with murder. . . . An observant, suspenseful, and deeply scary novel.”—Steph Cha, author of Your House Will Pay
“A terrific novel, blending the Hitchcockian elements with a touch of Patricia Highsmith.”—Booklist (starred review)