top of page

Mar 2, 2023

Strange Sally Diamond ‘brilliantly witty, extremely moving, the character of Sally will capture your heart’ published today by Sandycove, Penguin

Liz Nugent’s

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.

NANA .jpg

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 . . .

Praise for Strange Sally Diamond:

“unpredictable, unforgettable unique and 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

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

Crime Monthly

“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

“Possibly my favourite Liz Nugent book so far. I LOVED IT! Strange Sally strides onto the page, fully formed and funny as hell (this is Liz, we’re talking dark funny). I was hooked from the first paragraph and then Liz toyed with me, I held my breath, gasped, laughed and cried. This is twisty, original and pitch-black. I’ll go anywhere with Liz but only in daylight.”
Nikki May of Wahala and soon to be BBC TV series

“Holy crap, Liz, I just this minute finished Strange Sally Diamond and I am shook TO THE CORE!! Best book I've read this year and your best book since Oliver, I will be calling it The Book of 2023 whenever anyone asks! Thank you so much for a truly INCREDIBLE reading experience!! I loved every damn second of it. And thank you for what you did with Sally at the end. It was horribly sad, but also entirely correct”

Lisa Jewell

“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

“Liz Nugent has outdone herself. Twisted and twisty, dark and gripping, no one is going to forget Sally Diamond in a hurry!”

Graham Norton

Strange indeed … and smart, too! Shocking, disturbing and utterly original, Strange Sally Diamond will grip you from first page to last”

Paula Hawkins

“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

“It's such a terrific read, Liz. What an amazing character you've created”

Anthony Horowitz

I’ve just finished Strange Sally Diamond and I’m in that dizzy aftermath when you feel you have been through an out of body experience. Something ‘so cool, so calm, so bright,’ as Herbert said of all our days heading for doom — and yet the reader’s hand is being held to its fire in the most subtle, artful, tectonic way. If Liz Nugent was a clockmaker she’d be Galileo. Many readers, consciously or not, may feel an identification with Sally Diamond. I certainly did. We might also be thankful that, unlike her, we can draw our bucket back up out of the dark toxic well she has been assigned. Maybe it doesn’t matter if it’s Liz’s best book, it probably is. But the sheer mastery of the whole thing, the modulated propulsion, her sentences as right as right can be. She is as excellent a writer as anyone living I can think of, and most likely a better novelist. It is all just a perfected dance and how she does it no mortal soul can know”. 

Sebastian Barry

“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

Strange Sally Diamond has more heart than nearly any thriller I’ve read. Nugent continues to prove herself a master at eliciting empathy for her characters, even—especially—the ones you really want to hate. An absolutely brilliant concept and flawless execution. I will be thinking about this story for months to come”

Stephanie Wrobel

“Strange Sally Diamond is a magnificent novel by a major talent. Liz Nugent is a treasure”

Shari Lapena

“Liz Nugent dares to go where many won’t. What a compelling storyteller she is. Always challenging. I laughed out loud only to recoil from my laughter as the story unfolded. For this is wickedly dark territory. And yet amidst the darkness, she allows a light to glimmer - that of a diamond. Sally Diamond, to be precise”

Sarah Winman

“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

“Just finished the fantastic Strange Sally Diamond by that twisted genius Liz Nugent - I did not want this book to end! What a brilliant character and a wonderfully woven story. So very dark and clever and it completely broke my heart”

Susi Holliday

“Just finished Strange Sally Diamond. F**k me, what a book. What a book! Achingly beautiful with a cast of characters that'll remain with you long after the final page is turned. Already one of the must-read books of 2023”

John Marrs

“I’m struggling to find words to describe how wonderful this book is. All at once it’s dark, funny, compelling, shocking and heart-breaking with perfect characters and unrelenting tension. The best book I’ve read in years. Just incredible”

Neil Lancaster

“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 absolutely loved this book. I think it is Liz's best book yet. I was completely absorbed by Strange Sally Diamond. I honestly could not put it down and read it into the small hours, which is saying a lot because I usually fall asleep after one page of reading late at night. Liz is such a master of creating psychologically authentic characters. I believed in Sally and Peter and Conor Geary so much. Every single step of the way, I knew I was in the hands of a master storyteller. Liz does not put a foot wrong. There were a few moments too when I let out a scream of horror as I could not believe what was happening in the story but it was all so brilliantly shored up by the psychological backstory it was hugely affecting. It's tense, it's creepy, it's foreboding and unflinching. Just what we love about a Liz Nugent book. Liz had me in the palm of her hand as I was reading this. It's such a joy to read a book like this, to be completely assured that you are in the hands of a brilliant storyteller and to just be able to give yourself over to a story because you know it's going to be so good. These kinds of writers are few and far between. Liz is a rare, and gifted storyteller and writer and a gift to readers. … She's so clever, insightful and psychologically brilliant. I just loved this book so much. Deeply unsettling and deeply brilliant!”

Edel Coffey

“Twisted, shocking, and very, very, dark, Liz Nugent has created a character for the ages in Strange Sally Diamond”

Louise O’Neill

“I devoured Strange Sally Diamond and it is still going around in my head days after I finished it. The sense of place is brilliantly achieved. And Sally is such a memorable lead character and the other characters so dark in comparison to her innocence. I loved it!” 

Patricia Gibney

“Absolutely superb. I was so enthralled with Sally in the present but the Peter flashbacks, oh my God. I couldn’t read it fast enough. And in true Liz style, what a twisted, unexpected ending. I think this is my favourite book of hers since her first. It might be my favourite full stop”

Jo Spain

“Imagine a novel in which Room meets Eleanor Oliphant meets Liz Nugent’s unique voice and style. Horrifying, heartbreaking and utterly gripping on every page, clear your schedule for what might be her best – and darkest – book yet”

Catherine Ryan Howard

“Absolutely extraordinary. I love all of Liz Nugent’s books but this one is my new favourite. It’s going to win all the awards and deservedly so. Just wow! Strange Sally Diamond is a wonderfully twisted blend of light and dark; a book I couldn't put down, a character I won't forget. Clever, creepy, compelling, but poignant too, Strange Sally Diamond is going to be huge, and deservedly so”

Andrea Mara

“Another bloody scorcher from Liz Nugent that kept me up to the wee hours to finish. Liz is one of the most intelligent, original, twisty crime writers working in the genre today”‬‬‬‬

Adrian Mckinty


“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

“What a brave, funny, disquieting, riveting book. By the end, I felt I knew Sally Diamond’s mind better than I did my own”

Louise Candlish

“Utterly compelling. Brilliant writing and memorable characters. Genuinely unputdownable”

Dervla Mctiernan

“So, so good. Sally Diamond gets under your skin and worms her way into your heart. I didn’t want it to end”

Jane Fallon

“Wow .. this was dark, disturbing and compelling yet so touching, too. An amazing read”

Gilly Macmillan


“It has been six weeks since I read Strange Sally Diamond  and still about twice a day a scene will flash before me and make my insides curdle. In other news, I can't remember the twist of the last book I read. (Read it... If you dare.)”

Eithne Shortall

“I absolutely devoured this book. Sally Diamond is the most fantastic character. Liz has created a dark, twisted, gripping, intriguing, heart-stopping tale full of characters who, despite the hoors they inflict, are victims in their own right. Sally is a character that will stay embedded under my skin for a long time to come”

Sinéad Moriarty

“I finished the book last night and I literally had to have a lie down afterwards. In a stellar writing career, this really is Liz’s finest hour. I put my whole life on hold for it. And if it’s not made into a major Netflix series, I really will eat my own knicker elastic! There are no words to say how utterly blown away by Sally Diamond’s world. What a character, what a story”

Claudia Carroll

“Utterly addictive with a truly unforgettable heroine”

Sinéad Crowley

“Possibly my favourite Liz Nugent book so far. I LOVED IT! Strange Sally strides onto the page, fully formed and funny as hell (this is Liz, we’re talking dark funny). I was hooked from the first paragraph and then Liz toyed with me, I held my breath, gasped, laughed and cried. This is twisty, original and pitch-black. I’ll go anywhere with Liz but only in daylight”

Nikki May

“A masterpiece. I had no idea what it was about (not giving much away in the blurb is a stroke of genius) but I was quickly captivated by her nuanced portrait of the complex woman that is Sally Diamond/Mary Norton. It's dark, mesmerising and one of the very best character-led novels I've ever read. Liz handles the darkness within the pages so deftly, so expertly. The wicked acts against Sally, Denise, Lindy and yes, poor Peter, never feel overdone. It was just so compelling and moving. I gulped it down and didn't want it to end. Anyway, I could wax lyrical for days”

Fiona Cummins

“I’ve loved all of Liz Nugent’s novels and this was no exception. Strange Sally Diamond is clever, compelling, chilling, disturbing and soooooo dark!”

Diane Jeffrey

bottom of page