An Inconvenient Woman

by Stéphanie Buelens

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In Stéphanie Buelensdebut psychological thriller, two women on opposite sides of the law dig at the heart of a years-old crime in order to stop a future one.

LA-based French tutor Claire Fontaine knows her ex-husband killed their teenage daughter all those years back, and she knows he’s capable of killing again. So when she sees him move in with another woman and play step-father for a girl the same age as the one she lost, Claire tries desperately to warn the new bride of the danger facing her family. But when the woman dismisses her admonishments, she sees her chance to take matters into her own hands and stop the crime she failed to stop before.
Sloane Wilson left the LAPD to work as a “sin eater,” a contractor for hire who specializes in cleaning up inconvenient situations — situations which, for whatever reason, are better handled outside the law. Like, for example, an ex-wife who stalks her former husband, throws paint on his door, and makes vague, violent threats to his new wife. A domestic dispute like that just gets messy when the cops get called; plus, there is a risk that their presence will aggravate an already-tense scenario.

As Sloane investigates her newest mission, however, she finds that there is more to the story than meets the eye, uncovering a history of trauma that casts aspersions on both Claire and Sloane’s client. In a case where objective truth is increasingly muddled by passions, suspicions, and fears, she soon loses the ability to distinguish fact from fiction. But Sloane knows one thing for certain: sometimes the only way to prevent a crime is by committing one.

Stéphanie Buelens was born in Belgium and educated in France. She has traveled to more than thirty countries. For the last twenty years, she has lived between Paris and Los Angeles. She has worked as an actress, interpreter, translator, business consultant, French media coach, and language instructor. She currently lives in Belgium.

My idea of a good psychological suspense story is one that messes with your head. No cheap thrills, just lots of disorienting plot twists that have you doubting your own mental faculties. An Inconvenient Woman, a remarkably polished first mystery by Stéphanie Buelens, succeeds at these mind games with a taut plot.

The New York Times

One of the thrillers of the year […] Never loses its grip.

The Daily Mail

A razor-sharp debut that dumps two Los Angeles women with troubled family histories into a blender and cranks the speed up to liquefy […] A piercing, high-speed nightmare best consumed in a single breathless sitting.

Kirkus ⭐ starred review

Buelens’ story is riveting, with the tension ratcheting up until the end. With twists aplenty, vivid characters, and a palpable sense of looming disaster, readers will find themselves wondering whose story to believe.


Beautifully, beautifully written and suspenseful from the chilling opening until the end.

—James Patterson, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Addictive, immersive, unputdownable. As deep and human as it is rocket-paced, An Inconvenient Woman is a slick, accomplished debut.

—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of The Stranger Inside