Title: After the Devil
Author: Kayla Krantz
Genre: Psychological Thriller/Contemporary Drama
Writing has always been a dream of Alex Alpine’s. After a run with self-publishing leaves her short of her dream of becoming a bestselling author, she decides to quit. Jamie Knox, a recovered addict, can’t bring himself to accept her decision. After a fight with her husband, Alex finds herself face to face with a seemingly charming man from out of town. The next thing she knows, she’s tied up in his basement. Kidnapped and trapped in Jamie’s house in the middle of the woods, Alex yearns for her freedom. The dead body keeping her company makes the need stronger. As her captivity extends from weeks to months, Jamie becomes more to Alex than just the man who ripped her from her family. He becomes her friend and confidant. Torn between her duties to the daughter she left behind, and the life that Jamie’s made for her, Alex must figure out where her true priorities lie. To do so, she must dive into not only her own past traumas but Jamie’s as well.
Love was a concept that Jamie struggled to understand. He wasn’t a psychopath or a sociopath or any of those fancy terms that essentially meant “dead inside,” but his feelings for life, and the world around him, were dulled. The rush of feelings inside him every time he thought of Alex, however, was something, and he considered that something to be close to love.
When her book came in the mail, he hardly wanted to unwrap it from its packaging, worried about damaging it in the slightest. That same picture of Alex from the website was on the back cover, and it was because of that that he started to carry it around with him everywhere.
It didn’t take long for him to discover that Alex had other works. Two in particular, and he did the same process of reading and buying that he had done with the first. Then, he was desperate for more. He scoured the internet, but there were no other pieces by Alex on the market.
Part of Jamie dimmed at the thought. Of course he could reread her books, but that wouldn’t hit him the way reading something new would.
I need to know more.
And that was how he began to process of finding her across several social media platforms. Who else to tell him about her writing journey than the author herself?
A year passed from the start of his descent, and he loved every minute of it. The intrigue he had first felt at discovering her was blossoming into a very real obsession. There were a lot of people who didn’t believe someone could love someone they didn’t know. Someone they had never met. Jamie himself used to believe that, but now every time he got a notification that Alex had posted something new, existential nervousness worked its way into his stomach. He was a believer now, and no one could tell him otherwise. Jamie loved watching from a distance, but eventually, he itched to talk to her.
The thought that she was just a potential message away never left his mind. He drafted conversations in his head, scrapping every one. Cold words sent through the binary web of the internet would never be enough for her to understand how much she meant to him.
So, he kept watching, trying to get to the bottom of the mystery of who she was. Her posts often varied from book quotes, to books she was currently reading, and sometimes even memes. From her Facebook, he learned that she was only two or three years younger than he was. She didn’t post like other girls their age though, barely any selfies and the ones she did take didn’t have those godawful duck lips. In fact, there were hardly any posts about her private life at all, but those were his favorite.
From what he could gather, she was reserved and quiet—a personality in direct contrast to her looks. She was pretty, face angular with bright blue eyes similar to his own. Her hair was light brown, and her entire persona looked mousy. He could imagine her speaking only in whispers.
Can’t wait to dive into this, she had written, and beneath that was a picture of a book.
“East of Eden, huh?” he said. “Interesting.”
He hadn’t known she was a fan of classics, but that particular book happened to be one of the ones on his to-be-read list too. He closed down Facebook and bought the book with one day shipping.
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A mix of psychological suspense and contemporary drama, After the Devil takes a plunge into the darkness that is a human psyche and dissects the idea of good and evil, showing the way that both can take root inside someone and blossom.
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Runs April 6 – April 12, 2021.
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Kayla Krantz is an International Bestselling Author responsible for a number of novels in the genres dark fantasy, psychological horror, and supernatural thriller. She is fascinated by the dark and macabre. Stephen King is her all-time inspiration, mixed in with some faint remnants of the works of Edgar Allen Poe. When she began writing, she started in horror, but somehow drifted into thriller and fantasy. She loves the 1988 movie, “Heathers.” Kayla was born and raised in Michigan, but traveled across the country to where she currently resides, in Texas.
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