Living Dead Girl

After his estranged wife disappears, a husband returns to the remote lake house where their young daughter died, and he soon loses his grip on reality. Paul Luden has been haunted by a memory he can’t recall. Whatever happened to his marriage, to his two-year-old daughter, is too traumatic to remember, so his unconscious has chosen to block out key details. But when he receives a phone call from the small lake town where they’d lived, telling him that no one had seen or heard from his wife in ten days, he knows what he has to do. He and his nineteen-year-old girlfriend drive from L.A. to Washington State where he’s forced to confront his past. And as he pieces together his buried memories, Paul unravels mentally, falls into self-destructive trances and ultimately discovers the truth about his wife. Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

“Tod Goldberg’s striking and affecting second novel, told in the first person and in the present tense, makes smart use of the unreliable-narrator device…Goldberg is a gifted writer, poetic and rigorous. And Living Dead Girl — be it a suspense tale, a psychological mystery or a fiction tour de force — is a haunting book — January Magazine

Goldberg ratchets up the suspense with a steady hand…AlthoughLiving Dead Girl is posed as a mystery, the real theme here is a psychological exploration into both the magnificent strength and barely contained fragility that resides in all of us — and how shockingly easy it is for our resiliency to slip away when emotional trauma overwhelms the heart — Pages Magazine

The flow of this work is simultaneously convincing, confusing, and enthralling. Anyone fascinated with the human psyche will quickly lose himself in these pages…For an engulfing, stimulating read, this is definitely the book to order — The Mystery Review

An evocative read full of seductive prose, sharply focused characters, and a microcosmic world fraught with human sadness —Library Journal

Goldberg’s second novel is both a page-turner and a complex study of human relationships. Fans of psychological thrillers will find a lot to like here — Booklist