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Patricia MacDonald books in order

Patricia Macdonald is an American author of mystery, suspense and psychological thrillers.

Raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, she attended Boston College and graduated with a master’s degree there before proceeding to work in the literary field as a book editor.

She was also at one point an editor for a New York soap opera magazine.

Patricia made her debut as a novelist in 1981 with The Unforgiven, which was nominated for an Edgar Award.

A novelist whose work has done remarkably well especially in France where she is a #1 bestselling author, Patricia currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter.

More about Patricia MacDonald

Genres: Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

United States

Non Series

  • The Unforgiven (1981)
  • Stranger in the House (1983)
  • Little Sister (1986)
  • No Way Home (1989)
  • Mother's Day (1994)
  • Secret Admirer (1995)
  • Lost Innocents (1998)
  • Not Guilty (2002)
  • Suspicious Origin (2003)
  • The Girl Next Door (2004)
  • Married to a Stranger (2006)
  • Stolen in the Night (2007)
  • From Cradle to Grave (2009)
  • Cast into Doubt (2011)
  • Missing Child (2011)
  • Sisters (2013)
  • I See You (2014)
  • Don't Believe a Word (2016)
  • The Girl in the Woods (2018)
  • Safe Haven (2018)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Unforgiven

She swore she was innocent.

Maggie Fraser has tried to forget. The body of the man she loved. The blood seeping into the snow. The scandalous murder trial. The twelve agonizing years in prison for a crime she did not commit. But now Maggie is free -- and ready to start a new life. Alone. Unknown. 

On a quiet island off the coast of New England, she accepts a job with the local newspaper. And slowly, she tries to put the past behind her, opening her heart to the paper's ruggedly handsome editor, Jess Herlie. Then the nightmare begins...again.

Now she must pay.

Someone is watching Maggie's every move -- and waiting for revenge. Someone who refuses to forgive and forget. Someone who would do anything, even destroy innocent lives, to teach the guilty that there is no sanctuary, no escape, for...The Unforgiven

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 1981
ISBN: 978-0440191230
Publisher: Dell
Stranger in the House


Eleven years ago, Anna Lange's life was shattered when her young son, Paul, disappeared -- though she never gave up hope that he might be alive. Now, her son has been returned. The joyful family reunion is short-lived, however, as the nervous, withdrawn Paul begins to behave strangely. Anna's husband and daughter grow fearful living in the same house with him. But Anna believes that Paul is still recovering from the extreme psychological trauma he experienced the night he disappeared -- though he claims he has no memory of that time.

Does he or doesn't he? Someone remembers -- and will stop at nothing to keep the truth a secret. Now Anna will have to contend with a nightmare from the past that will either tear her family apart, or destroy them together....

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 1983
ISBN: 978-0440184553
Publisher: Dell
Little Sister

Two estranged sisters.

One obsessive boyfriend.

A dark secret that could destroy them all.

Beth has the perfect life. She’s the one who escaped her bleak hometown and now she’s got a successful business, a devoted boyfriend, and her dream home.

Then one phone call changes everything . . .

Her father is dead. And Beth must go home to Maine to take care of her fourteen-year-old little sister who she hasn’t seen in eight years.

Her little sister is dating a dangerous man. He’s too old for her. Obsessive and controlling.

And he’ll do anything to keep Beth’s little sister to himself.

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 1986
ISBN: 978-0440147435
Publisher: Dell
No Way Home

A small town where nothing bad ever happens—until a pretty teenager disappears...

Founder's Day in Felton, Tennessee, should be a joyous occasion. But it's the day Michele Burdette never returns home from the festivities...the day Michele is found murdered. 

Now, as her mother Lillie tries to heal her shattered life, haunting questions emerge about the identity of Michele's killer—and Lillie realizes no one in her family or in Felton can be presumed innocent. 

A ring of suspicion is tightening around Michele's father, stepfather, and her football hero brother, and Lillie's quest for justice will reveal the deadly lies hidden behind the closed doors of her town, and her past...

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 1989
ISBN: 978-1451607482
Publisher: Gallery Books
Mother's Day

Meet Karen. Married to her childhood sweetheart. Loving mom of thirteen-year-old Jenny. It's Mother's Day and her perfect day becomes a perfect nightmare. A woman turns up at her door claiming to be Jenny's biological mother. Two days later the woman's bloody body is found in a dumpster. And the prime suspect is Karen's own husband . . .

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 1994
ISBN: 978-1804052464
Publisher: Joffe Books
Secret Admirer

Laura has it all.

A loving husband, a five-year-old son, a flourishing career and a beautiful home on the shore.

New Year’s Eve. An intruder in a ski mask invades her beautifully restored Victorian home. He knocks her unconscious and shoots her husband dead in their bed.

Her perfect life just ended.

The police think she’s lying about what happened. And now she’s the prime suspect for her husband’s murder.

But if she didn’t do it, who did?

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 1995
ISBN: 978-1804052617
Publisher: Joffe Books
Lost Innocents

Meet Maddy Blake, devoted wife and mom.

Always stood by her husband.

Getting her life back together.

But now all her hard work is about to be destroyed.

A teenage baby-sitter and the baby boy she’s looking after are abducted. Her naked body is discovered in the woods. The little boy is still missing.

Witnesses put Maddy’s husband, Doug, at the scene of the crime.

She stood by him when he was accused of the ultimate betrayal, but can she trust him now?

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 1998
ISBN: 978-1804052822
Publisher: Joffe Books
Not Guilty

When Keely Bennett's world is shattered by the suicide of her beloved husband, Richard, she and her nine-year-old son Dylan have to start over. Her late husband's childhood friend, Mark Weaver, helps Keely settle Richard's affairs and sweeps her into a whirlwind romance -- and eventually a comfortable suburban lifestyle that includes marriage and a beautiful baby girl.

The darkness that clouded Keely's past has all but vanished. Yet Dylan, now a teenager, remains distant, brooding and resentful of his stepfather and baby sister, Abby. Then history repeats itself, and her life is once again thrown into chaos. But Keely's nightmare is just beginningŠfor the authorities are looking for a murderer, and they already have a prime suspect: Dylan.

Refusing to believe her son is a killer, Keely vows to clear his name. But the prosecutor has a personal stake in seeing Dylan convicted -- and her pleas for help from the police fall on deaf ears. To save her son, Keely must rely on herself. But she is far from alone; someone is watching her every move. 

When her investigation threatens to uncover a conspiracy of secrets and corruption, she is suddenly plunged into the path of danger -- and into the sights of a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to ensure the truth stays buried forever....

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 2002
ISBN: 978-0743423564
Publisher: Pocket Books
Suspicious Origin

When Boston cable television news producer Britt Andersen learns of the death of her beautiful sister, Greta, she heads straight for her sister's hometown. 

Estranged from Greta since their father died, Britt meets for the first time her attractive brother-in-law, Alec Lynch, the owner of a successful snowmobile dealership, and her eleven-year-old niece, Zoe, who narrowly escaped the fire with her life. 

Surprised by the emotional bond that springs up between her and Zoe, Britt decides to spend time with her sister's family to help her niece recover from the tragedy. But soon Britt clashes with her brother-in-law and picks up clues about her sister's unhappy marriage and Alec's likely infidelity.

When the fire marshal discovers the house fire was set deliberately, Britt pushes the police to question Alec more closely. An outsider in a small town whose ways she doesn't understand, Britt finds it difficult to sort the truth from the gossip and the innuendos. 

Why does Dr. Olivia Farrar, with whom Greta worked, hold a grudge against Alec? Is pretty Lauren Rossi merely Alec's devoted employee or "the other woman"? And what do the Carmichaels, Alec's former neighbors, really know about the events that led to the deadly conflagration? 

When Britt learns a closely guarded family secret she begins to question everything she believed about her sister's life and death...and unwittingly places herself on a collision course with a killer.

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 2003
ISBN: 978-0743423595
Publisher: Pocket Books
The Girl Next Door

She's out to clear his father's name...and caught in killer's sights.

The affluent town of Hoffman, New Jersey reeled in disbelief when highly esteemed physician Duncan Avery stabbed his wife Marsha to death one spring evening. The two Avery sons turned their backs on their father but his daughter Nina never stopped believing in his innocence.

Now, fifteen years later, Nina, a struggling actress in New York City, returns to Hoffman when her father is paroled and insists on re-settling there. Not only does Dr. Avery want to repair his relationships with his sons and meet his grandchildren, he claims he wants to find out who killed his wife. But neither Nina's brother Patrick, a successful investment banker with a wife and twin sons, nor Jimmy, a recovering drug addict who has adopted a new family, can bear to acknowledge their father's return.

Then, as suddenly as before, another act of violence overturns the Averys' lives. No longer certain if she can trust her family, her neighbors, or her old friends, Nina finds she can rely only on herself and a surprising new ally in her life as she searches for the truth behind crimes past and present. If she digs deep-down into the secrets of her family's and her neighbors' lives she stands a chance of catching a killer before she becomes his next victim.

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 2004
ISBN: 978-1476738918
Publisher: Gallery Books
Married to a Stranger

Is the man she married the man who wants her dead?

Twenty-six-year-old Emma Hollis is about to marry David, the hot guy who swept her off her feet in just four months.

She feels like life couldn't be more perfect, with a job she loves as a teen counselor, a man who's crazy about her, and a baby on the way.

Emma and David promise to love and cherish each other for the rest of their lives in a beautiful ceremony at a quaint country inn.

The newlyweds honeymoon in an idyllic cabin in the woods. It's the perfect escape.

But Emma has no idea that her dream is about to turn into her worst nightmare.

Soon she'll be fighting for her life.

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-1804056646
Publisher: Joffe Books
Stolen in the Night

What really happened that night?

They said he killed her sister.

They lied.


Tess’s heart pounds and she rubs her eyes, wondering if she is really awake or in a nightmare. Her sister Phoebe’s blue eyes are wide with fear, a dirty hand with ragged fingernails covering her mouth. Pressed against Phoebe’s neck is a knife that makes a dent in her skin.

“If you make one peep or tell anybody, I’ll kill your sister here. Do you understand me?” the man hisses at her.

Nine-year-old Tess DeGraff is the only witness to the knife-point kidnapping of her teenage sister, Phoebe, at the beautiful lakeside New Hampshire campsite where she’s staying with their parents and brother.

Phoebe’s body is found two days later and a local offender is arrested. The trial lasts only three days after Tess describes the abductor and points to him in court.


Tess has finally got herself together. She has a beautiful home and her ten-year-old son is the light of her life.

But new DNA evidence exonerates her sister’s killer. Tess is left questioning everything she thinks she knows. If he didn’t do it, who did?

Tess must go back to where it all happened and find out what really went on that night.

And the truth can be very dangerous . . .

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-1804056745
Publisher: Joffe Books
From Cradle to Grave

Young mother Claire confesses to the gruesome double murder of her newborn son and husband.


Her best friend, Morgan, has always been there for her and now she refuses to believe that Claire is a killer.

But Claire’s picture-perfect life isn’t what it seems.

She had it all: a handsome chef husband Guy Bolton, a happy life on the coast, and a beautiful baby boy.

Then, days after the christening, Claire’s husband and baby are murdered.

Claire confesses to the crime. The evidence against her is damning. The police are convinced they have their killer.

But Morgan doesn’t think she did it.


Morgan will put her life at risk to find out.

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 2009
ISBN: 978-1847511904
Publisher: Severn House Publishers
Cast into Doubt

A dream vacation turns into a mom’s worst nightmare.

Shelby wants to give her daughter Chloe a gift she’ll never forget: a luxury cruise around the Caribbean.

It will be the honeymoon she and her husband Rob never got to take. Shelby will look after their little boy.

Then the unthinkable happens.

Shelby gets a call from a distraught Rob. Chloe is missing. Fallen overboard.

Everyone says she was drunk and alone. That it must have been a tragic accident.

But all Shelby’s maternal instincts tell her that can’t be true. Chloe never drank. Shelby has to find out what really happened.

Because she knows her own daughter. Doesn’t she?

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-1847513069
Publisher: Severn House Publishers
Missing Child

Meet Caitlin.

Devoted wife.

Adoring stepmom.


One phone call will shatter her picture-perfect new life.

She dropped him off at school that morning. But now she gets a call — he’s not there. Caitlin’s six-year-old stepson Geordie is missing . . .

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-1847514134
Publisher: Severn House Publishers

Two sisters.

One’s good as gold.

The other’s committed the ultimate crime.

Alex is still reeling from the death of her parents in a tragic car accident when she makes a shocking discovery — a secret in her mother’s past.

Alex’s mother had a baby daughter just after she left high school. A baby she gave up for adoption.

But when Alex decides to search for her long-lost sister, she is in for a horrifying surprise . . .

Could finding her long lost sister be the biggest mistake Alex Woods has ever made?

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 2013
Ebook: B08WM4R7JD
Publisher: Joffe Books
I See You

How well do you know the people closest to you?

Hannah, Adam and adorable young Sydney Wickes are living under assumed identities in West Philadelphia. Although she’s found it hard to adjust to life in the city, at least Hannah and her family are safe and slowly beginning to build new lives for themselves. 

But all that changes when an unexpected tragedy throws the harsh spotlight of publicity onto the Wickes family, putting them in serious danger. Because Hannah and those she loves are hiding a dark secret in their past, a secret that has torn their lives apart. 

For what do you do when the person you should love the most poses the greatest threat? The Wickes’ sinister family secret is destined to catch up with them – with terrifying consequences.

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-1847515216
Publisher: Severn House Publishers
Don't Believe a Word

A daughter sets out to discover the truth about her mother’s death...

Eden Radley had a strained relationship with her mother ever since Tara deserted the family nine years before to run off with her much younger lover. But when she’s told that her mother has killed herself and her severely disabled young son, Eden’s half-brother, Eden is ridden with guilt. For her mother had tried to get in touch with her on the night she died, and Eden had ignored her text. Was Tara calling for help?

Heading to Cleveland, Ohio, for the funeral, Eden discovers there was so much she didn’t know about her mother, nor about her enigmatic, troubled stepfather Flynn Darby. And the more she learns, the more convinced she becomes that Tara’s death was no suicide. Could Flynn really be guilty of murder …?

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-1847516862
Publisher: Severn House Publishers
The Girl in the Woods

A deathbed confession has chilling consequences...

“I have to tell you something … I did something bad”.

Ever since her best friend Molly was murdered fifteen years before, Blair Butler has returned to her small hometown in the Pocono mountains as seldom as possible. Now she has been summoned home to see her terminally ill sister one last time – only for Celeste to make a shocking deathbed confession. Is it really true that the wrong man has spent fifteen years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit?

Having promised her dying sister that she would do her best to right the wrongs of the past, Blair sets out to discover what really happened that cold, wet November night fifteen years before: the night Molly’s battered body was found in the woods behind her home. But is Blair prepared for the shocking truth …?

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1847518941
Publisher: Severn House Publishers
Safe Haven

A heavily pregnant young woman returns to her small hometown to discover it’s not the safe haven she had first supposed…

Following a whirlwind romance with an old acquaintance she bumped into at a high school reunion, heavily pregnant Dena Russell has moved back to her small hometown to start a new life with horse breeder Brian Riley. But something isn’t right. As Brian’s behavior grows increasingly disturbing, Dena flees her new home, finding refuge with an old schoolfriend.

Then the bloodstained, battered body is found, and Dena is forced to think the unthinkable: could the father of her unborn child be a coldblooded killer? And, if so, how can she and her baby escape his clutches…?

Author: Patricia MacDonald
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1847519726
Publisher: Severn House Publishers