The Surrogate (2021)
A Psychological Thriller
Connecticut high school teacher, Jenn Cooper, falls under the spell of her more stylish double, a woman she encounters in a Key West bar. After a weekend of martinis and makeovers, Jenn is tricked into swapping lives for one month. She uncovers clues about her doppelganger's obsession with guns and the family's twisted dynamics. Jenn discovers dark secrets about Martin, her double's reclusive teenage son. But when she learns what Martin is plotting and that her own life is at risk, it's too late to turn back.
With every plot twist, Jenn faces more obstacles and fewer options. She's on her own as she tries to save herself and prevent another American tragedy.
From the Author
I began writing my first novel when I retired as the principal of Union School in Farmington, CT. The ideas for my domestic thriller began in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook mass shooting, a tragedy that took place at an elementary school not far from mine. The questions that have haunted me since that day inspired my writing.
How could this happen? Why is it happening again and again? What can we do to stop the next mass shooting? What can we, as parents, educators, lawmakers, citizens, leaders, do in order to end the horrific gun violence that continues to grip our nation?
The Surrogate is not a book about a school shooting. It is a novel that explores the psychological profiles of a would-be mass shooter and the teacher who tries to help him.
The following organizations provide information about the issue of gun violence and opportunities to help promote gun safety:
Everytown for Gun Safety: everytown.org
Sandy Hook Promise: sandyhookpromise.org
Moms Demand Action: momsdemandaction.org
In the News
Farmington Patch, April 19, 2021
"This is a fabulous thriller, just when I thought I had read every angle this kind of story could be taken from I was thrown a curveball and given something different. Full of suspense right from the beginning, this is just the type of book that keeps me engaged and wanting more. Well-developed characters just reinforced the quality of this book."
Lee C., NetGalley Reviewer
"Deeply moved by the tragic Sandy Hook school shootings, Lynn Katz weaves together a compelling story that manages to raise all the key questions. What is the role of parenting and gun culture in producing the school shooter? What is the responsibility of school systems to identify and address severe emotional disturbance in its students? And what to make of the denial by all parties that allows such emotional disturbance to threaten catastrophe? With a series of surprise twists that will leave you on edge, Katz thoughtfully illustrates the issues while establishing herself as a first-rate storyteller."
Harold I. Schwartz, M.D.
Psychiatrist in Chief Emeritus, the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital
Professor of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut School of Medicine
"I read a lot of thrillers, so it's hard to find ones that are completely unpredictable. But from its first chapter, The Surrogate kept me guessing. The pacing is excellent and the tension builds pretty steadily. It's truly like no other book I've read before. I highly recommend it if you love thrillers, too, or you're just looking for a fast-paced read."
Maggie, NetGalley Reviewer
"Lynn Katz, a wise and experienced school administrator in earlier iterations of her life, has created a summer thriller based on the fact pattern of the tragic Newtown school massacre that rattled the entire world. Putting her own spin on this horrendous event, she spins a terse, compelling story that should appeal both to the general reader and mental health professionals of every stripe who work with troubled children, their families and the (sometimes flawed) school systems that serve them. This book leaves the reader wondering whether denial of risk (by experienced educators and mental health experts) contributed to one of the most heinous chapters in American school shootings."
Kenneth S. Robson, M.D.
former Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The Institute of Living, Hartford, CT
Professor (emeritus) of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut School of Medicine
"This story had me on the edge of my seat, it was full of menace, threat, and suspense. I will certainly be looking out for more books from this author."