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The Thirteen

Cover of The Thirteen

The Thirteen

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The Witches of Eastwick meets Desperate Housewives in Susie Moloney's The Thirteen, a Globe and Mail Best Book.

Haven Woods is suburban heaven, a great place to raise a family. It's close to the city, quiet, with great schools and its own hospital right up the road. Property values are climbing. The streets are clean, people keep their yards really nicely. It's fairly pet friendly, though barking dogs are not welcomed. The crime rate is practically non-existent, unless you count the odd human sacrifice, dismemberment, animal attack, demon rape and blood atonement. When Paula Wittmore goes home to Haven Woods to care for a suddenly ailing mother, she brings her daughter and a pile of emotional baggage. She also brings the last chance for twelve of her mother's closest frenemies, who like to keep their numbers at thirteen. And her daughter, young, innocent, is a worthy gift to the darkness.

A circle of friends will support you through bad times. A circle of witches can drag you through hell.

The Witches of Eastwick meets Desperate Housewives in Susie Moloney's The Thirteen, a Globe and Mail Best Book.

Haven Woods is suburban heaven, a great place to raise a family. It's close to the city, quiet, with great schools and its own hospital right up the road. Property values are climbing. The streets are clean, people keep their yards really nicely. It's fairly pet friendly, though barking dogs are not welcomed. The crime rate is practically non-existent, unless you count the odd human sacrifice, dismemberment, animal attack, demon rape and blood atonement. When Paula Wittmore goes home to Haven Woods to care for a suddenly ailing mother, she brings her daughter and a pile of emotional baggage. She also brings the last chance for twelve of her mother's closest frenemies, who like to keep their numbers at thirteen. And her daughter, young, innocent, is a worthy gift to the darkness.

A circle of friends will support you through bad times. A circle of witches can drag you through hell.

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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One ONE

    The drunk at table eight was shouting something at the dancer. Paula couldn't hear what it was over the music, but from his ugly expression she guessed it wasn't nice. Then he threw something that landed on the stage in front of poor Rachel. A typical Tuesday night at Blondie's.

    Paula looked away, pretended not to see. Another asshole in the bar. She hated her job. Hated.

    "What the fuck?" Andy said from behind the bar. "Go see what's going on."

    "He threw something at Rachel," Paula said. She and Andy had a sometimes thing, which she also sometimes hated. Today she could smell his cologne on her hair. Chaps. Right now she didn't like his tone.

    "I said go see," he snarled, and turned his back to her.

    Paula groaned and grabbed her tray, wet with spilled beer, and headed for the fray.

    There were only about ten people in the whole bar. It was early, just a couple of hours into her shift. The man had been drunk when she'd got there, obnoxious, loud. She'd picked him out right away. When the first dancer came on, he'd shut up and Paula had hoped that would be it.

    "Excuse me, sir," she said. Even as she did she tensed against the inevitable transfer of his anger. His spittle.

    Wet-eyed, he tried to focus. Paula had a horrible moment of bar clarity as she imagined this guy stumbling home to his family and picking a fight with his sober, half-awake wife. Keep your voice down, honey, you'll wake the kids—

    Shut the fuck up—

    The man ignored Paula and lurched to his feet, yelling at Rachel to get her fat ass off the stage.

    At Rachel's feet was an olive. She must have stepped on it, because it was flattened and the pimento had separated. It must be what the man had thrown at her. Rachel's face was red and her movements were choppy. Choppier than usual. Andy didn't exactly run the A-list on the first shift.

    "Sir," Paula repeated firmly, "please take your seat."

    An ugly grin began on his mouth and gave up early. "What did you say to me?"

    "Could you sit down, please? The dancer's just doing her job."

    He was middle-aged—they always were—overweight, wearing a good jacket. Probably from out of town. Maybe his business hadn't gone well. He pointed a fat finger at her. A wedding ring glinted in the stage lights. "And you can shut your fat mouth."

    He reeked of gin, usually a pleasant, juniper-bush smell. Not on him.

    "C'mon, mister, please?" She tried to smile but she couldn't do it.

    "Aren't you just a fucking crackerjack bitch . . ."

    She stared at him, and for a moment his red-blotched, booze-slackened face disappeared. His eyes were clear and burning on her, his gaze steady. This time he managed his grin, and for an instant Paula felt as if she should duck.

    "You should shut your mouth and get your fat ass home," he said, not slurring anymore.

    "Excuse me?"

    She'd had enough, and turned away. The song was just midway through, the few patrons in the bar every bit as interested in what was going on off the stage as on. She raised her hand to try to signal Andy, and then Rachel screamed.

    The drunk had grabbed Rachel's ankle, catching it on a turn, and she fell to the hard stage floor with a terrible thud. Paula heard the air rush out of her.

    That was it.

    "Let her go!" Paula slapped her tray onto the nearest table. Nickels and quarters jumped wetly in the beery ashtray. It startled the drunk and he twisted his fat head on his fat neck to look at her. His eyes narrowed, whether to focus or to look mean, she wasn't...
About the Author-
  • Susie Moloney is the bestselling author of Bastion Falls, A Dry Spell and The Dwelling. She has been published in numerous countries and assorted languages. She divides her time between the wild prairies of Manitoba and the wild world of New York City. She's not a witch, except maybe a little in the morning.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 2, 2012
    Canadian author Moloney (The Dwelling) examines the price women will pay for their desires in this creepy visit to a contemporary suburbia inhabited by witches. The witches of Haven Woods have all made sacrifices to achieve their mortal desires: talented children, successful spouses, and career and physical goals. When the bond of the sisterhood begins to weaken after a member’s fiery death, Isadora Riley believes that the widowed daughter, Paula, and granddaughter, Rowan, of rebellious member Audra Wittmore hold the key to appeasing their dark master. Atmospheric details like the neighborhood spook house, numerous
    local cats, and the commonality of warding devices are anchored in the minutiae of everyday life. Sure to evoke comparisons to Fritz Leiber’s Conjure Wife, this evocative story will also appeal to fans of Kelley Armstrong’s early works. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House.

  • Uptown "Moloney can make even the sunniest places seem dark, and...Haven Woods is more like hell on Earth."
  • Winnipeg Free Press "Moloney brings a comical matter-of-factness to witchcraft.... It has a page-turning energy, with bursts of vivid writing and dark humour. Moloney continues to stretch the horror genre."
  • The Globe and Mail "Compellingly uncanny.... Pick up a copy of The Thirteen...as soon as possible."
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    Random House of Canada
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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The Thirteen
The Thirteen
Susie Moloney
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