The Surrogate by Lynn Katz
The Surrogate is a 78,000 word psychological thriller.
On the verge of returning from another disappointing summer vacation visiting dead authors’ homes, Jenn Cooper, an English teacher from Connecticut, meets her doppelganger in a Key West bar, and agrees to swap lives for one month. Jenn believes she has nothing to lose; she could not be more wrong. As she struggles to make sense of her new situation while hiding her actual identity, she discovers her double’s teenage son, Martin, has isolated himself behind his locked bedroom door. With each passing day, Jenn uncovers clues that shed light on Martin’s disturbing behavior and the twisted family dynamics. Jenn confronts the school system that has failed Martin. She seeks guidance from the new school psychologist with whom she has an affair. As his home-school tutor, Jenn plans American Literature assignments designed to lure him out of his isolation. Martin’s obsession with violent videogames and guns, his unsuppressed rage, his verbal threats, and missing firearms from the family’s arsenal above the garage, lead Jenn to suspect that Martin may be plotting a mass shooting. With every plot twist, Jenn faces more obstacles and fewer options. She must reimagine her life’s purpose, and use her teaching skills to prevent another American tragedy. Convinced that Martin’s mother was psychologically unable to prevent her son’s downward spiral, Jenn Cooper believes she is the surrogate who has the skills to help him, and if necessary, she has the will to stop him.
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