CAUTION: THIS BOOK CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST BOOK.
The Five Suspects is the second and final full book in my Stalker Mystery Set, but it is not a sequel, exactly. It is more like a journey into the minds of five specific characters from I’m Not a Stalker. Because of this, I must offer a caution to any of you who have not yet read the first book…
This book can be read as a stand-alone. However, it is also basically one giant spoiler for the mystery in I'm Not a Stalker.
If you haven't read that book yet, you might want to start there, unless you aren't planning to read I'm Not a Stalker at all.
If you plan to read the first book and haven’t yet, please close this book now and go read it, before I accidentally ruin it for you.
Still here? I’m assuming that means you’ve already read I’m Not a Stalker, so I’m going to move ahead.
The Five Suspects gives an in-depth look into Anissa’s five leading suspects for the secret-admirer mystery: Hunter, Declan, Matthew, Randy, and Sean. If you’ve read the first book (and you have, right?) you know that Hunter and Anissa’s love story drives the book. Hunter is really the heart of this book you hold now, and the majority of it is in his POV.
Writing from Hunter’s point-of-view was not in my original plans when I first began I’m Not a Stalker. But my readers begged for narrative scenes to fill in the gaps between the emails and messages. They wanted to see Hunter’s thoughts, to know more about him. And so I began working on his story. However, as I worked to expand the original story through Hunter’s eyes, a funny thing happened. I intended only to write a book from Hunter’s point-of-view, but as I worked on that, full lives emerged for these other characters, too. Readers began requesting to see the story through the eyes of other characters they loved (or loved to hate). Out of this came a backstory for Megs, and stories for Matthew, Declan, and Sean. I originally posted these up separately on Wattpad as short stories (except for Megs’ story; hers is a short story readers can get free when they subscribe to my CCrawfordWriting newsletter at http://ccrawfordwriting.com). But when I decided to turn Hunter’s book into an e-book, I realized that his story is not complete without the other stories. They all fit together, a tapestry of romance and suspense and drama and weirdness all centered on Anissa, but of which she was mostly unaware (which is kind of hilarious, when you think about it, though some of the situations in this book are anything but funny).
And so all the stories have been edited, revamped, and have emerged as one in The Five Suspects.
I’m Not a Stalker was Anissa’s story, her love story-mystery. This book is theirs: the five suspects’, those guys whose lives were – for a time, at least – all drawn into orbit around her. It is about her, but it is also about them – a kaleidoscope presentation of what Anissa’s semester looked like through their eyes. Rather than emails and messages like the first book, this book is told in a chronological narrative, beginning just before the start of the first book and following multiple storylines throughout the first book’s time period. The book does shift POV several times, but I always indicate clearly when it does. And you might be surprised to find that there was far more happening in the backdrop of the first book than Anissa realized. This book will show you all of that – and more.
Going into these guys’ minds and lives was more fun than I would have imagined, and I am infinitely grateful to the readers who suggested I write these points-of-view.
I hope you enjoy it.