DEAD GIRLS by Abigail Tarttelin

Dead Girls is finally out October 15th in USA and Canada!
A feminist, funny and twisted story about 90s-era girlhood and avenging your best friend’s death.

Preorder DEAD GIRLS here!

DEAD GIRLS is Abigail Tarttelin’s third book. It is inspired by a real life killing of young girls that happened in the UK when she was a child. It’s a crime/horror/thriller with a child narrator, the extremely intense 11 year old Thera Wilde. Because stories about paedophilia are stories about little girls, and this is Thera’s story to understand what is happening in her small town, and to figure out what she’s going to do about it. You know what they say: if the adults can’t get something done, rely on a child with a ouijaboard, access to a cutlery drawer, and a loose grip on reality.

An authentic, tender portrayal of a young girl’s grief and determination in the face of unbearable loss, as well as a smart, suspenseful exploration of how we talk to young girls about the men who would hurt them. Dead Girls is Tarttelin’s riveting, fiercely feminist follow up to critically-acclaimed LAMBDA Finalist and ALEX Award winner, Golden Boy.

“Eastcastle, England in the late 1990s is a peaceful, rural community where children disappear into wheat fields to play until nightfall. There are no mobile phones and no cause to worry. For families, it’s a place that allows the ultimate freedom, and this is the way eleven-year-old Thera Wilde and her friends are brought up: free.

So when Thera’s best friend goes missing, Thera assumes Billie is off on another adventure. Then detectives come to question Thera at school, and she realises the worst has happened. Thera starts to ask, what is a pervert? Why are girls particularly at risk? And why do the men around her think she’s theirs to touch? Questions the adults around her don’t want to answer.

Meanwhile, Billie has entered the realm of the dead girls; the girls that go missing and who no one finds. Does Thera really see her ghost, or is she hallucinating, mentally marked by the horror of losing her friend? The investigation continues. The rural police are slow, and overwhelmed by the unexpected nature of the case.

Urged on by what she believes to be Billie’s ghost, Thera decides to find out what happened to her friend. It’s the 90s. Girls can do anything. Thera will hunt down the killer herself.”

Abigail Tarttelin. Photograph: Coralie Colmez.

“Abigail Tarttelin is a fearless writer.”
– Emily St. John Mandel

“Tarttelin is a natural storyteller.”
– Matt Haig, author of How to Stop Time

“Harriet the Spy is all grown up―and readying herself to take on the darkness of the adult world. This somehow manages to combine mystery, thriller, horror, and a lovely elegy to lost friendship . . . Completely unforgettable.”
– Emma Flint, author of Little Deaths

“Feminist, bold, shocking, packed with little epiphanies.”
– Shelley Harris, author of Jubilee and Vigilante

Abigail Tarttelin’s 2019 novel Dead Girls, out October 15th from Rare Bird Books, drills down through “layers of moral and cultural norms” to offer “a strong indictment of cultural and narrative scripts that permeate our society” (Hackney Citizen). Her journalism has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, Glamour, Phoenix, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post. Also a screenwriter, in 2016 Abigail served as a juror for the British Independent Film Awards. She is the recipient of awards from The Authors Foundation and The K Blundell Trust in Great Britain.

Preorder DEAD GIRLS here!

Read more about Abigail’s releases over at or follow her on Instagram @abigailtarttelin_

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