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Nov 22, 2023

‘jaw-droppingly clever’ bestselling Strange Sally Diamond wins the Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year at The An Post Irish Book Awards

Liz Nugent’s

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**A Publishers Weekly Best Mystery and Thriller of 2023**

** An Amazon Top 20 Mystery Thriller and Suspense Book of 2023**

**A Number 1 Bestseller in Ireland for Nine Weeks, Top 5 for five months**

**Top Ten Bestseller List in UK**

**Sales in Ireland & UK of over 100,000**

**Selected for BBC 2 Between the Covers 2023**

**Writer Of The Year at the Women of the Year Awards**

**Sold into 16 territories**

Published by Sandycove, to rave reviews and from the Number 1 bestselling author of Our Little Cruelties and Skin Deep, Sally Diamond cannot understand why what she did was so strange. She was only doing what her father told her to do, to put him out with the rubbish when he died.

Now Sally is the centre of attention, not only from the hungry media and police detectives, but also a sinister voice from a past she cannot remember. As she begins to discover the horrors of her childhood, Sally steps into the world for the first time, making new friends and big decisions, and learning that people don't always mean what they say.

But who is the man observing Sally from the other side of the world? And why does her neighbour seem to be obsessed with her? Sally's trust issues are about to be severely challenged . . .

Liz Nugent has worked in Irish film, theatre, and television for most of her adult life. She is an award-winning writer of radio and television drama and has written critically acclaimed short stories both for children and adults, as well as the bestselling novels Unravelling OliverLying in Wait, and Little Cruelties. She lives in Dublin and has won four Irish Book Awards, as well as the James Joyce Medal for Literature.

Praise for Strange Sally Diamond

“Liz Nugent’s story opens with the death of Sally’s father — and a shocking revelation about her past…As Sally digs into the truth, the novel becomes surprising, moving, and shockingly “both heartbreaking and making you laugh”

Harlen Coban praises Strange Sally Diamond on The Today Show NBC

“Jaw-droppingly clever. I’m completely in awe of Liz Nugent’s writing, and this is my favourite yet. One of the best books I’ve read in a long, long time. I can’t stop thinking about it.”
Lucy Foley, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Apartment

“The best book of 2023. An incredible reading experience, it shook me to the core. I loved every damn second of it!”
Lisa Jewell
, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Family Remains

"Shocking, disturbing and utterly original, Strange Sally Diamond will grip you from first page to last."
Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train

“It creeped me out (in a good way). Think Room and The Collector but add a dazzling/unique main character and encroaching dread. Terrific”

Ian Rankin

“Twisted and twisty, dark and gripping, no one is going to forget Sally Diamond in a hurry!"
Graham Norton, New York Times bestselling author of Holding

“It’s compassionate and challenging, letting us imagine the lives that are forgotten when the news cycle moves on … a very special book”

Val McDermid

“A brilliant book! Liz Nugent has outdone herself with this one.”
Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

“A terrific read.”
Anthony Horowitz, New York Times bestselling author of Magpie Murders

"There’s the usual trademark Liz Nugent disturbing content, but with a heart-felt dose of humanity to balance things out."
Crime Reads Most Anticipated Crime Fiction of Summer 2023

“Nugent fashions an unforgettable protagonist in Sally, and never loses sight of her characters’ fundamental humanity, even as she piles on twists and steers the narrative into exceptional darkness. Inventive, addictive, and bold, this deserves a wide audience.”

Publishers Weekly

“Nugent writes relatable, imperfect characters… This well-written, engaging novel isn’t for the light of heart, but it will find a home with readers who thrive on intricate plotlines and character development.”

"Sally is an appealing character—strange, yes, but also engagingly literal. Nugent hits exactly the right tone of empathy and optimism."

“Nugent’s fifth novel is her best yet: evil perpetuates evil in a heartbreaking but humane tale of people damaged beyond repair”

The Guardian

"Tense and suspenseful and often creepy, Liz Nugent has delivered a haunting and poignant tale, one that won’t be easy to forget any time soon."
Mystery & Suspense

“Sally is a terrific, protean creation, imbued with immense life force and a kind of naive charm. It is never less than enthralling to spend time in her company, and the novel’s soaring coda is a tribute to her spirit. No one is writing remotely like Liz Nugent now. She is, as Duke Ellington said of Ella Fitzgerald, beyond category”

Declan Hughes, The Irish Times

'In Sally Diamond, Nugent has given us an astounding creation with a singular voice . . . an absorbing, twisty, compulsive psychological thriller with surprising humour and pathos'

Sunday Independent

“Her most elusive, most mysterious novel yet, one that poses a myriad of tantalising questions”

Irish Examiner

“Hypnotic and terrifying, her story seeps into the imagination and leaves behind a haunting memory”

The Daily Mail

“striking and immersive..delivered brilliantly in Nugent’s distinctive voice”

The Irish Independent

“Irresistibly compelling, this dark story is shocking yet endearing. A brilliant read that will suck you in”

Crime Monthly

“Unpredictable, unforgettable unique and fascinating..​an astounding creation with a singular absorbing, twisty, compulsive psychological thriller with surprising humour and pathos… Liz Nugent is the master of macabre meditations on the human condition”

Sophie White, The Sunday Independent

“Dark and disturbing”

Heat Magazine

“Brilliantly witty and extremely moving, the character of Sally will capture your heart”

Best Magazine, Book of the Month


Sara Cox

“Just finished STRANGE SALLY DIAMOND ..There’s something v special about all of Liz’s novels. Character-driven stories that are real & wild at the same time. This one blew me away. Unflinching, unpredictable & unputdownable. A dark masterpiece”

Will Dean

“Dark, compelling, and deeply moving”

Ruth Ware

“No one gets into damaged people’s heads like Liz Nugen – I’d have known this was her writing even if her name had been deleted from the cover. Moving, thrilling, enraging and impossible to put down”

Erin Kelly

“Liz Nugent is a genius of an author and Strange Sally Diamond is one of the best crime novels I've read in years. Sally is a character who will initially shock you, perplex you and then win your heart. Dark, intriguing, heartbreaking and surprising, if I wasn't biting my nails I was smiling to myself. It's absolutely brilliant. If this book doesn't win every prize in 2023 I will be very surprised. Move over Eleanor Oliphant - Sally Diamond is going to rule the world”

Cl Taylor

“Liz is so brilliant at getting under the skin of characters who don't fit the mould, showing how we're all created of light and shade and often it's just chance that sends us in one direction rather than another. ..StrangeSallyDiamond peels your heart with a paring knife in one continuous paper-thin coil. Dark, disturbing, utterly compelling. Liz Nugent’s books defy genre – just powerful stories, exquisitely told”

Tammy Cohen

“A brilliant, brilliant book. I don’t have the skill to give this novel the kind of praise it deserves. It’s devastating. It’s beautiful. It’s mesmerising. Clever. Surprising. Completely immersive. In total awe”

Imran Mahmood

An extraordinary book. Compulsive reading, with one of the most complex, intriguing and moving characters I’ve ever encountered in fiction”

Clare Mackintosh

“One of the most original, and spine-tingling books I’ve read in ages, Liz Nugent’s Strange Sally Diamond draws you in to the close, claustrophobic world of rural Ireland and the life of an emotionally withdrawn woman whose dark, hidden past is coming back to haunt her. Crackling with tension, this book with have you turning the pages late into the night. An absolute triumph”

Abir Mukherjee

“Blown away by Strange Sally Diamond … Utterly chilling and impossible to put down. Her best yet!”

Andrea Carter

“Absolutely loved Strange Sally Diamond. It reminded me in parts of John Fowles’ The Collector. Highly recommend!”

Laure Van Rensburg

“Dark, heart-breaking, funny, brilliant – Strange Sally Diamond will stay with for well beyond the final page”

Paul Cleave

“I'm lost in admiration for Liz and her writing. I've loved her four previous books, particularly Our Little Cruelties, but Sally Diamond has moved her to another level. It transcends genre and deserves to win literary prizes. It's vivid, pacy, taut but so very moving. It's written with enormous compassion and I LOVED the character of Sally, my heart absolutely broke for her. This novel feels *different*, it seems to me that it defies categorisation. It's dark certainly and the ending is chilling yet it's written with incredible heart”

Marian Keyes

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