Helen Phifer books in order
Helen Phifer is a British bestselling author of crime fiction and supernatural thrillers.
Some of her best known work include the Annie Graham, Lucy Harwin, Beth Adams and Morgan Brookes Detective series.
A keen lover of books from her teenage years, during which she read and was inspired by the likes of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Herbert and Graham Masterton, Helen decided to venture into fiction writing when she felt she could no longer find stories that could scare her stiff.
She made her debut as a novelist with the Annie Graham Detective novel, The Ghost House (2013). The book not only became an Amazon #1 bestseller in Canada, but also made the top #10 in the UK and US Amazon Top 100.
Helen currently resides in a tiny town in Cumbria, England.
Whenever she isn’t writing, Helen can be found either drinking coffee with her friends, tasting Porn Star Martinis, spending quality time with her loved ones, or recording podcast episodes to inspire other writers.
Genres: Mystery, Supernatural Thriller
- The Good Sisters (2016)
- Lakeview House (2020)
- The Ghost House (2013)
- The Secrets Of The Shadows (2014)
- The Forgotten Cottage (2014)
- The Lake House (2015)
- The Girls In The Woods (2016)
- The Face Behind the Mask (2017)
- The Girl in the Grave (2019)
- The Girls in the Lake (2019)
Detective Lucy Harwin
- Dark House (2017)
- Dying Breath (2017)
- Last Light (2018)
Detective Morgan Brookes
- One Left Alive (2020)
- The Killer's Girl (2020)
- The Hiding Place (2021)
- First Girl to Die (2021)
- Find the Girl (2022)
- Sleeping Dolls (2022)
- Silent Angel (2022)
- Their Burning Graves (2022)
- Hold Your Breath (2023)
Ghosts of New York
- The House on West 10th Street (2018)
Detailed book overview
1933, Mother Superior Agnes offers sanctuary to a desperate young woman fleeing for her life. Only to wake in the morning to discover a terrible fate has befallen one of the Sisters – in a room locked from the inside. Agnes can’t help but fear that she has allowed a great evil to enter the convent, but she has no idea how far reaching the consequences of that one fateful night will be…
Over 80 years later, Kate Parker, divorced, alcoholic, and broke, moves into the dilapidated old convent she dreams of turning into a bed and breakfast, whilst changing her life. Although the locals refuse to go near the place at night, Kate is determined to stay while the renovations take place. But when she starts to hear strange noises at night, and the crucifixes she had removed reappear on the walls, Kate starts to suspect she is not entirely alone in her new home.
Icy water laps against the wooden jetty. But the girl doesn’t notice the cold as she slips slowly under the freezing surface…
Running from a devastating relationship that almost cost her everything, Maddy Hart impulsively accepts a job as a live-in caretaker at imposing Lakeview House. She has no memories of having visited the crumbling mansion on the banks of Lake Thirlmere before, but when she arrives, something about the house feels familiar…
The more time Maddy spends in the house, the more unsettled she feels. Why does the local story about the last woman who lived here, who drowned on her wedding day, chill Maddy to the bone? By day, she clears out the dusty rooms, but in the dead of night it’s hard to explain away the eerie noises or crackly radio she hears hours after she turned it off. Slowly, Maddy begins to fear that her worst nightmare is coming true, has her past caught up with her…?
When a soaking wet wedding dress is left on Maddy’s doorstep she feels completely trapped. It is her exact measurements. Is her ex trying to send her a message? Or has Maddy’s digging uncovered an even deadlier secret? Will this perfect escape become the perfect trap?
NB: This book is also known as What Lies Below.
Do you believe in ghost stories?
‘I’m coming to find you, ready or not.’
There's not much that scares Annie Graham. Not even the horrors she has witnessed during her years on the police force.
When she agrees to look after her brother's farmhouse, she finds herself drawn to the crumbling old mansion in the woods nearby. But an innocent exploration of the empty ruin and the discovery of the diary of former resident Alice leaves her more than a little spooked. She knows it holds the secrets to a dark past, and she has to find out more.
What was the terrible truth that Alice uncovered? And how could what happened to her over 100 years ago help solve the murders of young women in the town?
Annie needs to stop the serial killer before she becomes his next victim – but the past comes back to haunt her in ways she could never have expected.
One little girl, one missing child. One historical mystery colliding with the future.
Sophie was afraid of the man in the shadows. He terrified her, but he would always disappear when someone else came. But one day in June 1984, she didn’t escape. He took her.
When a young woman is found draped over a gravestone in a chilling murder, police officer Annie Graham experiences a familiar sense of dread. A new killer is out there, and her senses tell her there is something eerily different about this case.
When she spots the little girl standing outside her window, she knows that the past is about to catch up with all of them. But can she help right the wrongs of thirty years ago, and stop the killer before it’s too late?
Annie Graham has fought her demons, and is ready to leave them behind. Her new cottage seems like the new start she’s craved: quiet and quaint, it’s empty of the memories which have haunted her for so long.
But before long, the ghosts of a forgotten tragedy stir within Annie’s new home. Someone – or something – is coming for her. And this time, she might not get the chance to run…
A serial killer on the loose. A mystery that must be solved before time runs out.
Elderly Martha Beckett is a prisoner in her own home, and has been ever since her older brother disappeared at just nine years old. He went to hide in the cellar and never came back. And now Martha has sworn to protect anyone else from the evils lurking just below her floorboards. But whatever it is, has woken up – and is hungry again…
When she calls the police for help, Annie Graham is the first to respond. Now Annie Ashworth, she is happily married to fellow police officer Will, with a gorgeous home and a job she loves. But then she hears the news – serial killer Henry Smith has escaped from his mental hospital and is on the run. So when a severed head lands at her colleague Jake’s feet – they can only assume that Henry is back to his old tricks. Last time he nearly killed Annie, and this time she’ll bet he wants to finish the job.
So Annie now has two monsters to track down, before they kill again. And time is running out…
Don’t go into the woods. Because you’re in for a big surprise…
In an old album there is a beautiful Victorian photo that captures three young sisters, staring silently at one another. Only the trained eye can see the truth hiding in plain view. One of the sisters is already dead.
Annie Ashworth is currently off duty. With her baby bump growing fast, she is under strict instructions to stay away from police work and look after herself, especially as she has a history of leading danger right to her door. So when her police officer husband, Will, is called to the discovery of a skeleton buried out in the local woods, Annie tries to keep out of the investigation. But as another body is discovered and her own niece suddenly goes missing, staying away just isn’t an option.
As Annie is soon to discover, a picture really does tell a thousand stories. But which one leads to a killer?
The greatest show on earth may pose the greatest danger…
1950: Tufty the clown is a circus favorite, drawing fans from miles around. But behind the painted white face, the upturned red lips and bouncy wig, there lurks something far more sinister…
Present Day: When Walter discovers an old clown suit, he finds himself inexplicably drawn to it. Putting on the suit feels electric, but that’s when the voices in his head get louder, and suddenly, he finds himself acting in ways he never would have imagined.
Police officer Annie Ashworth is enjoying her maternity leave spending time with baby Alfie. Until there is a new serial killer on the loose in Barrow, which might explain the cold presence she senses in her house. She’s sure a spirit needs to be put to rest, and she’s always been right in the past. But who is the man in the mask who haunts her nightmares? And why is he wearing a clown suit…
At least they’d found her. Once the site was processed and the girl’s body removed, they’d be able to identify her so that her family could give her the burial she deserved. This innocent girl was far too young to be lying in a grave, crushed under the weight of someone else’s coffin...
When the body of a teenage girl is found hidden inside a stranger’s grave in a small-town cemetery in The Lake District, an urgent call is made to Forensic Pathologist Beth Adams. One look at the beautiful girl’s broken body is enough to bring Beth out of hiding for the first time since an attempt on her own life…
Beth doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence that the victim was found the same day a threatening gift was left on the doorstep of her secluded home. Her instincts are telling her that it’s a trap, that she should run for safety. But she knows she’s the only one with the expertise to help her trusted friend, Detective Josh Walker, crack the most shocking case of his career.
The tiny traces of material Beth finds beneath the victim’s fingernails is the break in the case the team need to chase down this twisted killer. But this critical lead comes at a dangerous price, exposing Beth’s whereabouts and dragging her back into the line of fire once again.
With Beth’s own life on the line, the investigation is already cracking under the pressure. Then another local girl goes missing… Can Beth stay alive long enough to catch the killer before he claims his next victim?
Peering over the side of the boat, the glare of early morning sun catches on something pale in the inky water. The boy’s curious fingertips break the surface, pulling up a tangle of long blonde hair from the reeds below…
The discovery of a young student floating face down in Lake Windermere, her naked skin almost translucent in the freezing water, looks like yet another tragic teen suicide. But the victim’s lack of clothes make Forensic Pathologist Beth Adams want to investigate further. Anything to distract her from the arrival of her abusive ex-boyfriend’s body on the mortuary table that morning.
With witnesses keeping tight-lipped and any clues washed away by the tides, it’s up to Beth to find the evidence her team needs. But then another girl is found in the lake, this time still clinging to life. She tells them she was at a party on a boat, and that she was pushed…
As more bodies surface, Beth finds tiny traces of boat paint present on each victim. It’s a critical lead that links these attacks back to a tragic accident involving a group of school children years ago.
Faced with a killer hungry for revenge, and with her own life spiraling out of control, it’s going to take every ounce of skill and determination for Beth to catch this monster before he takes another innocent life. But will Beth realize he’s been right beside her all along?
Detective Lucy Harwin
A shadowy figure in the dark was dragging something heavy behind them. Lizzy pulled the covers over her head, then realized what was being dragged. She rammed a fist into her mouth to stop herself from screaming...
For years, the Moore Asylum housed the forgotten children of Brooklyn Bay. But now, a man is found brutally murdered in the derelict building, strapped to a steel trolley, launching a terrifying investigation for Detective Lucy Harwin.
Lucy quickly discovers the victim was once a Moore Asylum doctor, and when a woman also linked to the home is found murdered on her doorstep, Lucy knows she must dig into its history. What dark secrets lie within the asylum’s walls – what was the scandal leading to its closure thirty years ago?
With her own demons to fight, Lucy starts to uncover the shocking tale of the Moore Asylum children, and begins to wonder: who will be the next victim?
Just as Lucy thinks she’s closing in, a disturbing clue makes her suspect the killer is watching her every move. Can she catch this twisted individual before another life is lost, or will they get to her first?
Take a breath. Pray it’s not your last.
Just a few months after a terrifying case that nearly took her life, Detective Lucy Harwin is back with her squad in the coastal town of Brooklyn Bay – and this time, she’s faced with a case more horrifying than anything she’s encountered.
Along with her partner, Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy is investigating what appears to be a vicious but isolated murder; a woman found bludgeoned to death on a lonely patch of wasteland.
But when a second victim is discovered strangled in an alleyway, then a young family shot in their own home, Lucy and the team must face the unthinkable reality - a killer is walking the streets of their quiet coastal town.
While Lucy and the team try to find the link between these seemingly unconnected murders, they uncover a disturbing truth – these murders are replicating those carried out by infamous serial killers.
Lucy must get to the killer before he strikes again. But he’s got his sights on her, and is getting ever closer…Can she save herself, before she becomes the final piece in his twisted game?
Lucy watches the doctor leave, then turns to the nameless victim on the table. ‘I promise I will catch whoever did this to you,’ she whispers.
In charge of a new team, Detective Lucy Harwin is called out to attend the discovery of a woman’s body in an abandoned, crumbling church, and is quickly plunged into a case that will test her leadership skills to the limit.
With no leads except the crudely-fashioned crucifix the victim was displayed on, Lucy is at a complete loss. That is, until another body turns up: an elderly woman who devoted her life to the church.
Faced with a killer stalking the streets of her small coastal town, while also throwing herself into work to forget the love of her life, Lucy’s first case is turning into a nightmare.
Linking the killer to the church where her own teenage daughter volunteers, it seems the threat is quickly drawing closer to Lucy and those she loves. Can she catch this monster and prevent a tragedy that will tear her world apart?
Detective Morgan Brookes
She knelt down by the side of the first girl. She had to force herself to breathe as she lifted the soft white cloth covering the girl’s beautiful face…
When the body of a woman is found hanging from a tree in her front garden, rookie Detective Morgan Brookes is first on the scene. But Olivia Potter is past saving. And when her husband and daughters cannot be traced, Morgan knows there is more to this tragedy. And then she finds them. Lying huddled together in the dark basement, each of their faces covered with a small cotton cloth, their bodies cold to the touch.
But as Morgan kneels beside the family, she realizes that one of the girls is still breathing. As she holds Bronte’s fragile hand in hers, begging her to hold on, she vows to find out who has done this.
Every day Morgan wakes at 4.25 a.m., her old insomnia now mixed with a new fixation on the case. But every clue about the murdered family leads to a dead end. Until, trawling through old files, she discovers a link to a cold case from years ago. Another family was murdered in this house, and the killer was never caught.
When Morgan returns to the scene of the crime to discover more about this forgotten case, she finds another body. With Bronte still unconscious in hospital, Morgan must act fast to solve this case and lay two families to rest, before the killer returns for the girl left alive…
‘Mama, wake up.’
The little girl reached for her mother’s face with one pudgy hand. But the eyes stayed closed, and the blood continued to trickle across the floor.
When the body of a young woman is found, tied to her bed and the victim of a brutal attack in her own home, Detective Morgan Brookes is sickened by what she finds as she searches the house. And unprepared for the nightmares it inspires about her childhood.
When the DNA collected gives a positive ID, Morgan can’t wait to put the attacker behind bars. But the person it matches to is already in prison. How could the DNA of someone who has been locked up for over twenty years have shown up in Morgan’s crime scene? And then they make another close match. To Morgan herself.
Faced with the impossible proof that she is somehow connected to this case, Morgan delves deep into the crimes of a killer who stalked the Lake District two decades ago. But distracted by the old case, she misses the signs that he has found a new victim. And when he strikes close to home, Morgan finally realizes that she has been living on borrowed time. To find this killer, it’s clear she must confront the nightmares in her past…
The little girl peered down the dark alleyway. She knew she wasn’t supposed to take this shortcut and her mother would kill her if she found out, but it was raining and all she wanted was to get home quickly. She stepped forward, not seeing the silent figure following her into the dark passageway…
When nine-year-old Charlotte Standish goes missing from her street in the small town of Rydale Falls, it sparks a media frenzy. Detective Morgan Brookes leads a frantic hunt for the girl, but little Charlie seems to have vanished into thin air.
Chasing up a lead at Charlie’s school, Morgan is chilled to learn that this isn’t the first time a child has gone missing on this street. Another girl disappeared fifteen years ago, and Morgan is the only one who thinks the cases could be related. But in the moment that she takes her eye off Charlie’s case to investigate the link between the two girls, another child, Macy, goes missing.
Then Morgan gets the call she was dreading, Charlie’s lifeless body has been found in a local park, lying in the shadow of a large tree. Morgan has let one girl down, but she refuses to give up on Macy.
Determined to find an overlooked clue, she retraces Macy’s last steps. She’s getting close to the truth when her partner, Detective Ben Matthews, is attacked outside Morgan’s home. Is a twisted killer isolating Morgan from her team? And how long does Macy have left to live? Morgan must solve the case before more innocent lives are taken…
Morgan shudders as she leans out of the window and takes in the familiar blonde curls and clear blue eyes of the fallen girl below. She knows this woman, and she realizes with sickening certainty that her friend is now gone forever…
When Detective Morgan Brookes is called to the scene of a suicide, she’s devastated to recognize the young teacher sprawled out on the grass like a broken doll. She hasn’t seen Brittany for years. Not since the tragic death of Morgan’s high-school boyfriend ripped their friendship group apart. But when witnesses describe Brittany’s erratic behavior and jumbled speech that morning, Morgan is convinced the fearless, life-loving girl she once knew didn’t jump of her own accord.
Traces of poison found in Brittany’s blood prove Morgan’s theory right, but no one can find the source. Then Morgan uncovers a distinctive jar in Brittany’s home filled with toxic herbs, and the sight of it turns her blood to ice. She has a jar just like it, a handmade gift from her aunt. Is this a coincidence, a set-up, or could the only person she’s ever trusted with her damaged past be capable of murder?
Then another woman from Morgan’s past is found, close to the scene of that fatal teenage party. Has Morgan been looking at this all wrong? Are these deaths connected to that deadly night? And how could someone from her own family possibly be involved?
With her aunt’s freedom and more innocent lives at stake, Morgan must dig deep into her painful memories for answers. Who else was there that night, and what exactly did they see? She must stop this twisted killer before any more of her old friends become new victims – but at what cost?
The tent door flutters in the warm breeze, opening towards the silent woods beyond. A silk eye mask lies on top of the empty sleeping bag, blood-red spots ruining the cream fabric…
When a woman disappears from Forest Pines campsite, Detective Morgan Brookes scrambles a search party. Sara Fletcher has never missed a lunch date with her best friend and when Morgan finds a large rip in Sara’s tent, she knows that something terrible must have happened. About to lose hope after hours combing through the acres of dense forest, the excited bark of a tracker dog leads Morgan to female remains, partially covered by leaves and dirt – but the bones don’t belong to Sara.
Morgan trawls through missing persons files until she finds three cold cases with chilling similarities – three other victims dating back twenty years who were taken from campsites while they slept, by a killer the police called the Travelling Man. The post-mortems indicate he kept them alive for 72 hours, meaning every second is crucial to find Sara alive.
Morgan’s team is terrified that this twisted murderer has returned. But Morgan also can’t ignore the fact that a merciless killer from her own past has recently escaped from prison…Could they be chasing the wrong man? If she’s correct, how deep will she have to dig to save Sara and other innocent women like her before time runs out for them all?
The beam shines around the dark room, lighting up the woman in sky-blue pajamas lying on the couch. But she doesn’t wake under the bright glow, she isn’t sleeping at all…
When a concerned neighbor reports a woman missing, Detective Morgan Brookes squeezes through the stiff front door to find the woman dead. At first, the case appears unsuspicious, but something about the scene unsettles Morgan. Every clock in the house has been stopped, every mirror covered, and the woman seems physically unharmed except for one missing lock of hair.
Shirley Kelly was loved by her friends and hated by her ex-husband and his new wife, but they have an iron-clad alibi, and Morgan is certain that the scene-staging holds a vital clue. She’s devastated to be proved right when another woman is killed, and her home arranged in the same way. The only difference is that the second victim has been stabbed, using a knife from Shirley’s own kitchen…
The team can’t find a connection between the two women, but Morgan is sure that there is a deadly pattern to the killer’s actions. She hunts through each woman’s past until she finds the link: years ago, they both worked for a woman called Evelyn Reynolds, before tragedy struck her young family. But what has made them targets now? Morgan knows this twisted case is far from over, can she find the final clue before the clock stops for the next name on the killer’s list?
The girl’s head is bent as if in prayer, her hands bound tightly together at the wrist. Her bare feet are still against the cold sand, the last thing she ever felt before she breathed her last…
When the body of a teenage girl is found in Rydal Falls’ churchyard, Detective Morgan Brookes abandons her own birthday to attend the scene. In the dim evening light, Morgan can just make out the girl wrapped in a pristine white sheet and is certain she’s been left here for them to find.
The autopsy identifies the girl as sixteen-year-old Shea Wilkinson, and Morgan’s heart cracks with sorrow. The beautiful teenager has been missing for weeks, could she have been suffering all this time? When she learns the sand on Shea’s feet is from a nearby island, Morgan leaves immediately, determined to find the killer’s hiding place and stop them in their tracks.
But scouring the windswept beach, Morgan can’t find any sign that Shea was ever there. And then her phone rings with devastating news. Another girl has gone missing, a young nurse called Milly with the same blonde hair and blue eyes as Shea.
Morgan won’t rest until she has returned the kind, cheerful girl to her distraught parents. But Milly was last seen chatting to one of Morgan’s colleagues on the force…Refusing to think the worst, can she trace the clues and get inside the mind of the most cunning killer of her career, before another innocent life is lost?
They are picture perfect. A young, happy family sat around the kitchen table. But no one moves as wisps of smoke filter into the room and the house becomes a burning grave around them…
When reports come in of a family trapped in a burning house, Detective Morgan Brookes rushes to the scene. But as soon as she enters the ruined home, she is devastated by what she finds. Tied to the kitchen table, Sally and David Lawson, and their young son, had no chance of escaping the flames and the smoke…
Neighbors all agree the Lawsons were the perfect family, and CCTV shows nothing suspicious. Morgan’s only clue is the silver crucifix necklace around Sally’s neck. Because according to friends, she wasn’t religious. Was someone passing divine judgement on this mother and her family?
Focusing on Sally’s last steps, Morgan gets the breakthrough she needs – just days ago Sally had confided in a friend that she felt someone was watching her. And when Morgan finds photos of Sally on her neighbor Luke’s phone, all the pieces slot together.
Only then another local woman reports feeling watched. Nothing seems to link her to Luke, but Morgan can’t ignore it. Could the killer still be out there? Going deeper into Sally’s past and uncovering the killer’s motivations is her only chance to save more innocent lives, but can she solve the twisted puzzle in time?
The biting wind whips around the crystal-clear waters of the lake. The girl sits with her eyes open, as if transfixed by the waves on the shoreline, but she has taken her last breath…
When Detective Morgan Brookes is called to Lake Thirlmere one frosty night, she’s devastated to find the body of a young woman positioned in front of the glistening reservoir. She has ligature marks on her limbs, glue residue on her eyes, and her beautiful face is as cold as ice. Knowing only a dangerous serial killer would arrange a scene so carefully, Morgan is in a race against time to stop them before more innocent lives are lost.
The victim is twenty-year-old Jasmine Armer and her mother is distraught to hear that her beautiful daughter is gone. And Morgan is shocked when she learns that Jasmine’s father recently died by suicide at the same picturesque spot. The killer must have known the family. Then Morgan receives a terrifying package at the station of an intricate death mask. She immediately recognizes Jasmine’s long lashes and perfectly-plump lips.
With the killer taunting her, Morgan knows time is running out. And then Morgan gets the heart-shattering call that her friend, Emily, has been killed. Ligature marks on Emily’s arms are identical to Jasmine’s. Heartbroken Morgan knows this isn’t the end of the killer’s twisted game, but can she track them down before they take another life?
Ghosts of New York
NYPD Homicide Detective Maria Miller is on the hunt for a disturbed killer. She doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but when she's sent to a gruesome murder in the attic of a Brownstone on West 10th Street, her beliefs are seriously challenged.
As the evidence stacks up and she experiences things she can’t explain, could she be wrong? Could it really be the case that the killer who once lived there opened a portal between two worlds, letting an unspeakable evil in? Can she find the killer and send whatever is lurking in the attic back to where it belongs before more innocent victims are slaughtered? And before it comes for her? A haunting thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.