Eric Rickstad’s new suspense novel, “The Names of Dead Girls,” was released last week from Harper Collins.
This is the Shelburne native’s fourth novel, and the third in the series, which has been a New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and international bestseller, and translated into nearly a dozen foreign languages.
The book also is the sequel to “The Silent Girls,” which ended on a cliffhanger. While Rickstad sets his novels in a fictionalized version of Canaan, Vt., Shelburne residents are sure to glimpse Shelburne locales, place names, and influences mixed in the novel.
“I don’t stick to the real geography of Vermont,” Rickstad said. “A person would get lost following my ‘map’ of backroads and wilderness, which is fine by me.”
Rickstad’s storytelling days began in Shelburne: “As a boy I’d go to Companion Hardware where my mom was a clerk and hear people telling stories or arguing about politics, sometimes quite… colorfully. I sensed then the power and importance of story, of having a voice. And our librarian at SMS at the time, Mrs. Pratt, held a ‘literary luncheon’ where a bunch of us fifth-graders ‘discussed’ the merits of ‘Encyclopedia Brown,’ ‘The Great Brain’, and ‘How to Eat Fried Worms,’ and other classics.”
While Rickstad said it’s a thrill to know his novels appear in bookshops as far flung as London, Rome, Prague, and Hanoi, he enjoys seeing his books in his favorite Vermont bookshops.
“When I see my books now in small stores in favorite local bookshops like The Flying Pig… it still feels like a dream,” he said.