Harriet Walker is the fashion editor of The Times. She has been a broadsheet journalist for over a decade and has also written for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and The Gentlewoman, among others. She has interviewed the likes of Cate Blanchett, Emma Watson and Hailey Baldwin, and has appeared on the BBC, Sky News, Woman's Hour, the World Service and TalkRadio. Her books Minimalism in Fashion and Cult Shoes were published by Merrell. Born in Glasgow and raised in Sheffield, Harriet studied English at Trinity College, Cambridge, and now lives in South London.
THE NEW GIRL - Hodder (UK) and Random House (US) - 9th July 2020
She's borrowed your life. What if she decides to keep it?
Glamorous Margot Jones is the fashion editor at glossy women's magazine Haute, and pregnant with her first child. Margot's used to her carefully curated life being the object of other women's envy - who wouldn't want her successful career, loving husband, beautiful house and stylish wardrobe?
Maggie, a freelance journalist, certainly knows she doesn't measure up. So when Margot gets in touch to suggest she apply for her maternity cover at Haute, Maggie seizes the chance at living a better life - even if it's only temporary.
But the simultaneous arrival of Margot's baby and a brutal end to her oldest friendship sends Margot into a spiral of suspicion and paranoia. Are Maggie's motives as innocent as they seem? And what happens at the end of the year when Margot wants her old life back - especially if Maggie decides she doesn't want to leave?
‘I was so absorbed by The New Girl. In this suspenseful debut, Harriet Walker applies the finest of brushes to those shades of grey between friendship and rivalry – not so much domestic noir as domestic gris. I recommend.’ - Louise Candlish
“Offers a pacey account of modern paranoias… a cleverly observed study of the pressure on women to identify as professionals or parents.” - Sunday Times
“A proper page turner” - The Mail on Sunday’s YOU Magazine
“A smart page-turner (which) tackles female rivalry” - Picked as one of the Summer’s must reads by the i Newspaper
'An astute and gripping domestic thriller that holds a mirror up to the fragility of female friendship and the sometimes devastating effects of social media. We guarantee you’ll be up all night racing towards The New Girl’s explosive finale' - Women & Home
'An insightful dissection of jealousy and insecurity' - Peterborough Telegraph
"Harriet Walker's The New Girl, set against a backdrop of magazines, explores female friendships while ramping up the tension and is ideal for lazing in the sun with" - The Stylist
'This gripping tale of friendship and motherhood is the perfect summer read' - Grazia
“This debut thriller reads like The Devil Wears Prada meets Single White Female. I couldn’t put it down.”—Catherine Steadman, author of Something in the Water and Mr. Nobody
'"With elegant prose and complex, vivid characters, THE NEW GIRL is a delicious slow burn of a thriller. I can't wait to read more from Harriet Walker" - Andrea Bartz, author of The Herd and The Lost Night
"[She] movingly portrays the fragility of friendship and the corrosive effect of mistrust and recriminations in a wickedly funny psychological thriller that’s in turn brutal and tender. Walker is off to a fine start." - Publisher's Weekly
"Fusing society’s heavy reliance on social media with a plot that is both pacy and rich with tension and a cast of unreliable and flawed characters, The New Girl is suspenseful and stylish writing at its very best." - The Literary Edit
"Wonderfully twisty and richly psychological – a compelling read" - Leaf Arbuthnot, author of Looking for Eliza
"As smart and stylish as a fashion week catwalk show, this gripping debut kept me hooked late into the night!" - Annie Lyons
"A compulsive and gripping story that delves into the female psyche and explores how despite appearing to have everything we can be our own worst enemies. With a twisty plot and deftly drawn characters this was a compelling and all-consuming lockdown read." - Hannah Persaud, author of The Codes of Love
"Single White Female meets The Devil Wears Prada, this is an ingenious thriller that I couldn't put down. A beautifully written, tense and chilling story of toxic friendships, insecurities and guilt. This deserves to be huge." - Claire Douglas
'The New Girl does what the very best psychological thrillers do: takes a scenario that many of us know well and twists it so that it becomes utterly terrifying. Choosing a maternity leave rivalry as a plot device was a masterful stroke and it’s executed perfectly; the writing is beautiful and the storyline constantly refuses to head where you think it is going. I flew through this book in a few days (or should that be nights that were later than they were meant to be, as I read ‘just one more chapter’…)' - Caroline Corcoran