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The Happiness Thief

Forty-one year-old Natalie Greene still believes she might have caused the car crash that killed her mother decades ago. But did she? Her memories are buried beneath a deep trauma, which still ripples through her life and recently ruined her marriage. Now, haunted and weary, she’s a single parent struggling to support herself as a freelance food photographer.

Once again, Natalie’s beloved stepsister, Isabel, comes to the rescue, suggesting that Natalie join her on a business trip to the Cayman Islands. Isabel, who has a thriving business as a happiness guru, will lecture at an annual industry conference; Natalie will unwind—and maybe discover a nugget of healing wisdom.

But one evening during their visit, Natalie is spooked when she strikes something—or someone—on a desolate street while driving Isabel back to their hotel. Why is there blood on the bumper? They find nothing on the road, but it triggers Natalie’s PTSD and revives her old fears. When she later receives an anonymous email hinting at foul play, Natalie decides to investigate on her own, with help from an attractive
Boston Globe journalist. But looking into the island accident also sparks a trip down a foggy, frightening memory lane, exposing dark secrets and chilling revelations.
Praise and Press:
  • Kirkus Reviews
    "Bokat is an evocative wordsmith . . . she has crafted a sympathetic heroine as her main character . . . . A compulsively readable mystery and character study." The verdict: Get it.
  • Mystery Scene Magazine
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  • Foreword Reviews
    ". . . a tantalizing mystery . . . . each reveal builds suspense. It is obvious that Natalie’s memories are incomplete; the explanation behind this leads into a powerful conclusion."
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    Read the review
  • Caroline Leavitt, New York Times best-selling author of Pictures of You and With or Without You
    “So, so smart, and as downright dangerous a read as the edge of a razor, Bokat’s book is a masterful study of memory, family, and the lies that derail us. Don’t even dare to think you’ll get any sleep once you start reading.”
  • Judy Batalion, New York Times best-selling author of The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos
    “Nicole Bokat has the rare and precious gift of being both a master storyteller and an elegant poet. Each and every sentence dazzles in this intelligent and fiery tale about family, loss, and what it means to feel happy, whole.”
  • Tess Callahan, author of April and Oliver
    "Sharp, quick-witted, with twists you can’t foresee, Bokat’s smart new thriller is like a cyanide pill wrapped in chocolate truffle—dangerous but irresistible. The Happiness Thief will swallow you whole."
  • Aspen Matis, #1 Amazon best-selling author of Your Blue Is Not My Blue and Girl in the Woods
    "The Happiness Thief is a beautifully written, heart-thundering page-turner. I tore through it, desperate to discover answers. The novel’s characters are as rich and complex as you and I.”
  • Leslie Lindsay, Always with a Book
    "A masterful tale of family dysfunction, enmeshment, interconnected twists, the infallible effect of memory and emotion, lies, and so much more …. "
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    Read the interview
  • Amy Wilhelm,
    “I really loved this book! Natalie is not your average sleuth, and her PTSD certainly complicates her perspective. The Happiness Thief is a unique take on a thriller that is both refreshing and true to the genre! PS – we think it would make a great book club read!”
    Read the interview
  • Dru's Book Musings
  • The Chapters and Brews Book Club of Minnesota recommends The Happiness Thief
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    “This mystery was a good fit for our group. A pageturner, it kept us guessing until the end. We had some great discussions about some of the secondary characters and their roles in the story."
  • Books by Women
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  • Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb
    Read the interview
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  • Hasty Book List
  • Montclair Magazine
  • Nerd Daily
  • Psychology Today
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Read the first two chapters

View the trailer:

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Order your copy here:

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