THE LUMINOUS DEAD (April 2, 2019)

The Luminous Dead is a survival story in the vein of The Martian, with a psychological horror twist—the journey of two women climbing knowingly into the jaws of darkness, but not without a hope of seeing the light of day again.
— Barnes and Noble, Martin Cahill

Out now from Harper Voyager.

When Gyre Price lied her way into this expedition, she thought she’d be mapping mineral deposits, and that her biggest problems would be cave collapses and gear malfunctions. She also thought that the fat paycheck – enough to get her off-planet and on the trail of her mother – meant she’d get a skilled surface team, monitoring her suit and environment, keeping her safe. Keeping her sane. Instead, she got Em. Em sees nothing wrong with controlling Gyre’s body with drugs or withholding critical information to “ensure the smooth operation” of her expedition. Em knows all about Gyre’s falsified credentials, and has no qualms using them as a leash, a sword above Gyre’s head. And Em has secrets, too: over two dozen other cavers dead, all in pursuit of an obsessive quest to find Em’s parents, lost in the bowels of the planet.

Gyre refuses to die for Em’s grief, but gaining enough intel to blackmail Em into letting her go and stopping her from hurting anybody else means staying in the depths of the cave a little longer. Except the longer she spends alone with Em, the more she starts to understand the other woman and the more she wants to help free her from the curse her family’s death placed on her. And if the other cavers Em lost are all dead, why is Gyre seeing their faces watching her from the shadows, disappearing when she turns her suit’s cameras on them? Why are her readouts sometimes flat wrong?

Why can’t she shake the feeling that she’s being followed?

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound

Starling has written a tightly-focused novel, part psychological thriller, part deep character study. Starling keeps the reader closely focused on Gyre, whose viewpoint is the only one we see ... We see Em through Gyre, and through her actions. The arc of their relationship is one that bends from antagonistic distrust and manipulation to intimacy and honesty, but the narrative never forgets that Gyre’s sympathy for Em may be more of a consequence of Gyre’s isolation and Em’s role as her one connection to the outside world as much as anything else.
—, Liz Bourke
It is a torturous book. Horrifying in small, cutting, personal ways, and in the more classic scare-in-a-dark-room way. But there’s an iron rod of panicked strength that runs through the middle of it.
— NPR, Jason Sheehan




Jane Shoringfield sees the world in numbers, patterns, and logical projections, and by her math, she needs one thing above all else: a husband who wants a marriage of convenience. At the top of her list is Augustine Lawrence, a young, reclusive doctor. He agrees to her proposal, with only one requirement: she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his ancestral, crumbling house several miles out of town. He is compelled to return there each time the sun sets, despite night calls and ailing patients, but Jane must never accompany him. He says it's just because of disrepair brought on by a country doctor's salary, but on their wedding night, an accident brings her to his door past sundown and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a confused, fearful man.

By morning, Augustine is himself again, but something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall. At night, strange figures stalk the halls, and Jane catches glimpses of a beautiful red-eyed woman in the mirrors and windows of the house. Augustine claims she was a patient of his who died two years before, but the journal Jane discovers tells a different story: her name was Elodie Lawrence, and Augustine believes he killed her.

Soon, Jane is fighting for her sanity and her life, drawn into a world of secret societies, theoretical mathematics, impossible magic, and rituals gone wrong. And now that the secrets of Lindridge Hall have met her, they're not about to let her go.  

In Progress.



Yellow jessamine (UPCOMING)

Powerful shipping magnate Evelyn Perdanu lives a tight, contained life, holding herself at a distance from all who would get close to her. Her family is dead, her country is dying, and when something foul comes to the city of Delphinium, the brittle, perilous existence she's built for herself is strained to breaking.

When one of her ships arrives in dock, she counts herself lucky that it made it through the military blockades slowly strangling her city. But one by one, the crew fall ill with a mysterious sickness: an intense light in their eyes and obsessive behavior, followed by a catatonic stupor. Even as Evelyn works to exonerate her company of bringing plague into her besieged capital city, more and more cases develop, and the afflicted all share one singular obsession: her.

Panicked and paranoid, she retreats to her estate, which rests on a foundation of secrets: the deaths of her family, the poisons and cures that hasten the dissolution of the remaining upper classes, and a rebel soldier, incapacitated and held hostage in a desperate bid for information. But the afflicted are closing in on her, and bringing the attention of the law with them. Evelyn must unearth her connection to the spreading illness, and fast, before it takes root inside her home and destroys all that she has built.

In Progress.