Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll

It’s 2021, and Pamela Schumacher, a New Jersey-based lawyer has just received a gut-punching letter that sends her spiraling forty-three years into the past. “You may not remember me, but I have never forgotten you,” the letter begins.

Suddenly, it’s January 15th 1978, and readers are transported to Tallahassee, where Chapter President Pamela wakes in the middle of the night noticing something amiss in her sorority house. The chandelier and television have been left on, and dirty plates are scattered around the rec room. Then Pamela notices that the back door, too, has been left open, before she hears a thud.

It’s then that she, shrouded in darkness, sees him, lit by the overhead chandelier. The man who has forced entry, murdering two of her sisters, and severely assaulting two others. Pamela, the only eye witness, doesn’t know it then, but she will forever be changed by this moment. 

As the investigation unfolds, a woman named Martina Cannon enters Pamela’s life with information about a missing person’s case in Lake Sammamish. Tina believes her lover, twenty-five-year-old Ruth, was killed by a man called The Defendant, a twice-escaped convict, who she thinks has struck again in Tallahassee, murdering Pamela’s sisters.

Bright Young Woman follows these two women, from past to present day, from coast to coast, eternally bound by the tragic losses they have endured, and the brutal acts of violence at the hands of the same man.

This a disturbing and terrifying tale that takes a close look at American serial killers, and society’s sickening obsession with glorifying them in the aftermath of their killing sprees. Knoll’s prose is incisive, electrifying, and all-consuming. I couldn’t look away.

Sabrina Lantos

Jessica Knoll is the New York Times bestselling author of The Favorite Sister and Luckiest Girl Alive—now a major motion picture from Netflix starring Mila Kunis. She has been a senior editor at Cosmopolitan and the articles editor at Self. She grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and graduated from the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their bulldog, Beatrice.

Bright Young Women is available for pre-order, releasing September 19, in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook formats. Check,, or Simon & Schuster Canada for a retailer near you.

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