Chris Bohjalian

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The Guest Room

book | Fiction | Jan 2016
US → Doubleday (Ed. Jennifer Jackson)

When Richard Chapman offers to host his younger brother's bachelor party he expects a certain amount of debauchery. He sends his wife, Kristin, and young daughter off to his mother-in-law's for the weekend and he opens his Westchester home to his brother's friends and their hired entertainment.

What he does not expect is this: bacchanalian drunkenness, a dangerously intimate moment in his guest bedroom, and two naked women stabbing and killing their Russian bodyguards before driving off into the night. 

In the aftermath, Richard's life rapidly spirals into nightmare. The police throw him out of his home, now a crime scene, his investment banking firm puts him on indefinite leave, and his wife finds herself unable to forgive him for the moment he shared with a dark-haired girl in the guest room. 

But the dark-haired girl, Alexandra, faces a much graver danger. Stolen from her family as a teenager and locked away in hotel rooms and a closely-guarded cottage, Alexandra has been held captive by oligarchs for years. But now, in one breathless, violent night, she is free, running to escape the police who will arrest her and the gangsters who will kill her in a heartbeat. 

A captivating, chilling story about shame and scandal, The Guest Room is a riveting novel from one of our greatest storytellers.


Audio Rights


The audio rights are handled by Alice Lutyens.

Claire Nozieres manages the translation rights for The Guest Room

Translation Rights Sold

Le Cherche Midi Editeur
Lit Edizioni

A story both global and intimate...heartbreaking.

Kate Tuttle
The Boston Globe

The book's real throbbing heart is Anahit, an aspiring young dancer from Armenia... The narrative's frequent somersaults from Anahit's devastating backstory to the Chapman family's more sheltered world is a remarkable artistic feat. . .a steely exploration of the very human cost of bachelor parties and other games of male pleasure.

Eliot Schrefer
USA Today

Bohjalian’s deft and light-handed storytelling makes this book a compelling and captivating read. In particular, Bohjalian’s treatment of guilt and paranoia is realistic and downright scary. You will remember Richard and Alexandra long after the last page.

Tracy Sherlock
The Vancouver Sun

While The Guest Room reads like a thriller, in Bohjalian's skilled hands it also reads as a stunning meditation on shame and scandal -- and on issues of trust and forgiveness that can make or break even a long-term ostensibly happy marriage… The Guest Room builds to a shattering -- and unexpected -- conclusion. This is a masterfully told, compulsively readable cautionary tale.

Amy Goodfellow Wagner
The Examiner

A gripping story about suburban American lives ripped apart… It's hard to put down, or ever forget.

David Shaffer
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Well-written and psychologically astute... Alexandra is the conscience in this conscienceless world, a girl who manages to hold on to her innocence and compassion despite the horror of her life. Her voice, with its sometimes uncertain, quirky English, is rendered with such perfection that it’s easy to forget that the author is male. This, the book tells us, is what happens to the innocent... Enjoyable.

Arlene McKanic

Superb...a stark reminder of the consequences when perhaps we don't listen to our better angels.

Kelly Konrad
Chicago Now

Suspenseful… It took all of our willpower to not bite off all of our nails as we tore through this dark thriller.

Lynsey Eidell

Chris Bohjalian is a master at looking unflinchingly at morally complex human dramas and providing insights into the matrix of emotions and actions of his characters… Bohjalian does it yet again in his new novel, The Guest Room, with equal sure-footedness and compelling resonance. It is one of his most daring stories yet. He takes the reader deep into the darkest corners of illicit, international sex-slave trafficking in a riveting story about worlds in collision… Bohjalian subtly crafts reverberating echoes between the two stories…The ending comes with a shock but will also leave the reader sitting quietly for a long moment, attempting to take it all in.

Frank O. Smith
Portland Press Herald

This dramatic story is convoluted and thrilling, and nothing short of a page-turner.

Christina Wilkerson
Arkansas Traveler

Bohjalian catches a key social moment with a book that's fresh and different... a tale of scandal, shame and escalating suspense.

Barbara Hoffert
Library Journal

Gripping. . .Venturing into crime-thriller-territory familiar to fans of Harlan Coben, Bohjalian's page-turner about an average Joe caught up in sordid events beyond his control resonates with chilling plausibility.

Carol Haggas

Chris Bohjalian keeps readers turning each page...painfully honest...compelling.

Amanda St. Amand
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Bohjalian's novel is a tightly constructed, sex-and-violence-driven thriller, but it's also a check to the convenient ignorance indulged in by American consumers -- of entertainment as well as goods.

Peggy Burch
Memphis Commercial Appeal

The Guest Room has an edge-of-the-seat momentum that propels the reader straight to the last page...For those who value the well-researched novel, the author's 18th book will please.

Anita Shreve
The Washington Post

It reads like a thriller...I did not see the end coming. Chris does a terrific job of exploring the very dark side of trafficking and the women who are preyed on...Lots to discuss, and book clubs should take note.

Carol Fitzgerald
The Book Reporter

Bohjalian is at his best in The Guest Room, one of his most compelling books so far, combining an explosive premise, a timely social topic, and fast-paced storytelling with a purpose.

Amy Driscoll
The Miami Herald

A devilishly good story. And this suspenseful crime novel, imbued with violence, bad decisions and families torn apart, may be Bohjalian's best one yet.

Carol Memmott
Book Trib

Heartbreaking...I won't give away of the surprising twists and turns that The Guest Room takes on the path to Bohjalian's daring conclusion; I'll only note that much of the pleasure that comes from reading any well-constructed narrative lies in trying to anticipate how the author will write himself out of seemingly inescapable corners. But here, for a change, we also have a novelist who seems more concerned with examining and dramatizing a much more universal question: whether, in the end, any amount of love or compassion, retreat or nobility or forgiveness, can overcome the remorseless workings of evil.

Skip Horack
The San Francisco Chronicle

[The Guest Room] is a well-crafted story with some incredibly important things to tell us about ourselves [...]

Gina Dalfonzo

A good man's momentary moral lapse plunges his happy, prosperous life into a nightmare of murderous gangsters and remorseless sex traffickers. Bohjalian's deftness as a story teller is on full display here, as he couples the urgency of a compulsively readable crime thriller with a quiet meditation on the meaning of family and relationships; the painstaking, quotidian, essential business of how we win love, and how swiftly we can lose it.

Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of March, People of the Book

The Guest Room pulses quick as a page-turner, but its concerns run deep into the moral consequences following an eruption of violence in ordinary lives,

Charles Frazier, National Book Award-winning author of Cold Mountain

Bohjalian’s page-turner about an average Joe caught up in sordid events beyond his control resonates with chilling plausibility.

Carol Hassas
Full Review

Jane Gelfman

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Translation Rights
Claire Nozieres
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
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