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Samuel Hawley has been shot twelve times over the course of his life as a criminal. Alternating between the stories behind each of those twelve bullets and Samuel’s present day life as a father raising a teenage daughter, Hannah Tinti tells a story that is both tender and intense. This is an excellent literary thriller with a relentlessly-paced plot, complicated characters you can’t help but root for, and a dynamite ending.
April 2017 Indie Next List
“Hannah Tinti has accomplished something rare in The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley: she has written a book too exciting to put down, but too well written to race through or, heaven forbid, skim. Her novel, however, is more than just a treat for those of us who love literary thrillers; it is also a provocative exploration of violence and the extremes to which men and women will go to defend those they love. Because Tinti is so good at what she does, it is virtually impossible for us, her readers, not to become complicit in the mayhem and to be left wondering, in the end, what we would do in her characters' places.”
— Ezra Goldstein (E), Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY
A coming-of-age novel and a literary thrill ride about the price we pay to protect the people we love most.
"A father-daughter road trip you won't soon forget."--Richard Russo
Samuel Hawley isn't like the other fathers in Olympus, Massachusetts. A loner who spent years living on the run, he raised his beloved daughter, Loo, on the road, moving from motel to motel, always watching his back. Now that Loo's a teenager, Hawley wants only to give her a normal life. In his late wife's hometown, he finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at the local high school.
Growing more and more curious about the mother she never knew, Loo begins to investigate. Soon, everywhere she turns, she encounters the mysteries of her parents' lives before she was born. This hidden past is made all the more real by the twelve scars her father carries on his body. Each scar is from a bullet Hawley took over the course of his criminal career. Each is a memory: of another place on the map, another thrilling close call, another moment of love lost and found. As Loo uncovers a history that's darker than she could have known, the demons of her father's past spill over into the present--and together both Hawley and Loo must face a reckoning yet to come. Praise for The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
"A master class in literary suspense."--The Washington Post
"Tinti depicts brutality and compassion with exquisite sensitivity, creating a powerful overlay of love and pain."--The New Yorker
"Hannah Tinti's beautifully constructed second novel . . . uses the scars on Hawley's body--all twelve bullet wounds, one by one--to show who he is, what he's done, and why the past chases and clings to him with such tenacity."--The Boston Globe
"The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
is an adventure epic with the deeper resonance of myth. . . . Tinti exhibits an aptitude for shining a piercing light into the corners of her characters' hearts and minds."--O: The Oprah Magazine
"An achingly beautiful story. . . . Tinti's language is precise and beautiful."--The Dallas Morning News
"Gripping. . . Tarantino-like in its plot twists, action, and violence, the novel sweeps across the country and back and forth in time."--Interview
"The Twelves Lives of Samuel Hawley
is a thrillingly told tale that touches on the mythological and the mundane with equally compelling results."--BuzzFeed
"A surprising and celebratory father-daughter story told with astonishing language and scope."--BBC
"Tinti's second novel was years in the making, and well worth the wait. . . . This contemporary interpretation of the Greek myth of Hercules, whose twelve labors are represented by Hawley's twelve bullet wounds, is at once an American epic, a hardboiled crime story, and an exploration of familial love."--Otto Penzler, LitHub
"An unforgettable novel."--PopSugar
"Tinti's storytelling is masterful--she weaves together dozens of beautifully drawn characters."--NYLON
"Tinti knows how to blend emotional connections with engrossing plots."--The Huffington Post
"Hannah Tinti proves herself to be an old-fashioned storyteller of the highest order."--Ann Patchett, author of Commonwealth