Nominated for a 34th annual Lambda Literary Award • A scintillating thriller with an emotional punch: “The tension builds to unbearably claustrophobic levels. To say more would rob readers of the 'no, he didn’t' suspense that makes Bath Haus an unexpectedly twisted, heart-pounding cat-versus-mouse thriller" (Los Angeles Times).
Oliver Park, a recovering addict from Indiana, finally has everything he ever wanted: sobriety and a loving, wealthy partner in Nathan, a prominent DC trauma surgeon. Despite their difference in age and disparate backgrounds, they've made a perfect life together. With everything to lose, Oliver shouldn't be visiting Haus, a gay bathhouse. But through the entrance he goes, and it's a line crossed. Inside, he follows a man into a private room, and it's the final line. Whatever happens next, Nathan can never know. But then, everything goes wrong, terribly wrong, and Oliver barely escapes with his life.
He races home in full-blown terror as the hand-shaped bruise grows dark on his neck. The truth will destroy Nathan and everything they have together, so Oliver does the thing he used to do so well: he lies.
What follows is a classic runaway-train narrative, full of the exquisite escalations, edge-of-your-seat thrills, and oh-my-god twists. P. J. Vernon's Bath Haus is perfect for readers curious for their next must-read novel.
About the Author
P. J. VERNON was born in South Carolina. His first book, When You Find Me, was published in 2018. He lives in Calgary with his partner and two wily dogs.
A New York Times Editors' Choice Book • The Best Crime Novels of the Year by CrimeReads • A Newsweek Favorite Book of the Year • A Queerties Award Nominee for Best Read • Left Coast Crime “Lefty” Award Nominee for Best Mystery • A Lambda Literary Award Finalist for LGBTQ Mystery • Recommended by: The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Washington Post, Lambda Literary, LGBTQ Reads, The New York Post, Oprah Daily, Crime by the Book, CrimeReads, Goodreads 2021 Pride Reading List, Jezebel, Entertainment Weekly, and Parade
"The great age of the gay thriller has arrived!!!"—CrimeReads
“As taut as a tightrope. Each twist in this tale of a tryst gone very, very wrong spins the plot into a new and daring direction.” —Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of Survive the Night
“Bath Haus is the gay one night stand from hell—thrilling!” —Silvia Moreno-Garcia, New York Times bestselling author of Velvet Was the Night
“It’s like if your worst nightmare—and sexual fantasy—came true at the same time...You won’t be able to put it down.” —Eric Cervini, New York Times bestselling author of The Deviant’s War
“Gone Girl + Grindr is all you need to know. But if that’s not enough, imagine if your worst hookup story turned into an attempted murder and a runaway-train thriller chase...Tis the season for a healthy dose of visceral anxiety.” —Queerty
“Oliver risks it all at a bathhouse, unleashing a nightmarish spiral of events that won't stop in this chilling, compulsively readable tale.” —Newsweek, Best Books of 2021
"A nightmarish white-knuckler about the tenuous relationship between stability and control." —O, The Oprah Magazine
“A white-knuckle ride to the dark side of infidelity. . .Bath Haus [is] a smart, steamy thriller laced with heady questions about control and shame.” —Daniel Nieh, The New York Times Book Review
"A wildly entertaining thriller with twists and tension to spare."—Entertainment Weekly
“Terrifying.”—The New York Post
“The tension builds to unbearably claustrophobic levels. To say more would rob readers of the 'no, he didn’t' suspense that makes “Bath Haus” an unexpectedly twisted, heart-pounding cat-versus-mouse thriller." —Los Angeles Times
“This is the perfect novel for those looking for the proverbial 'beach read’. . .Suspenseful, sensual, and exceedingly clever, this thriller is the literary equivalent of sipping a glass of white wine while listening to your neighbors have a lovers’ spat . . . before one of them picks up a knife. Vernon has an electric style that leaps off the page.”—The Washington Post
“What makes Bath Haus so engaging is that Vernon gives Oliver many layers. He’s not superficial or hedonistic or merely foolish. You can’t write him off…Vernon knows how to grab you from the first line and not let go; he also knows that plot means nothing without a character we can root for, even when he’s making terrifyingly dangerous choices." —Lambda Literary
"[An] adrenaline-soaked pulse-pounder." —The New York Times
“It’s refreshing to see a man on the sharp end of the casual sex has its consequences stick, but Vernon is not just making a sociological point. He has presented us with an enticingly dark and twisted set up, and boy does he play it out.” —CrimeReads, Best Psychological Thrillers of 2021
“Absorbing and exciting. . .Bath Haus is not just excellent gay fiction . . . [It’s] a deftly written suspenseful thriller. It is also a brilliant character study of a disastrously dysfunctional couple.” —The New York Journal of Books
“[Vernon’s] pulse-pounding story of secrets and lies and twists grabbed us from the first page and never lets go.” —Barnes & Noble
“[An] addictive cat-and-mouse thriller.” —Palm Beach Daily News
“Gone Girl with gays and Grindr. Come on, with a pitch like that, how can you NOT be intrigued? . . . [Bath Haus] absolutely delivered.” —Jezebel
“This book is not fooling around. . .Things come to a head in a finale that initially feels like a collision between The Boys in the Band and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? but quickly spirals into genuine nail-biting terror. Don’t miss Bath Haus. It’s intricate, speedy and scary." —BookPage
“Gripping from its opening scene, and it tightens with each new plot twist. . . A sleek, sexy queer thriller.” —Library Journal
“Bath Haus is utterly brilliant. It’s perfectly paced, gripping from go, and its clean, elegant prose goes down like scotch on the rocks. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t stop. It’s one of the best thrillers I’ve read in a very long time.” —Christina Alger, New York Times bestselling author of Girls Like Us
“Bath Haus is riveting: a gripping thriller about how quickly a life can unravel after a single bad decision. P. J. Vernon deftly reminds us that the terrifying traumas from childhood are often but a prelude to the nightmares we will walk into as adults. This book is stylish, smart, and scary as hell.”—Chris Bohjalian, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant and Hour of the Witch
"P. J. Vernon has crafted a thriller that is dark, gripping, and addictive. Reading Bath Haus is like eavesdropping on the disintegration of a beautiful lie. You think you know how it's going to end but you have NO IDEA." —S. A. Cosby, author of Blacktop Wasteland
"Bath Haus starts out as a cat-and-mouse thriller, but by the end you’ll realize that everyone is both cat and mouse. You’ll also be a breathless wreck, because this book is not fooling around. . .Things come to a head in a finale that initially feels like a collision between The Boys in the Band and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? but quickly spirals into genuine nail-biting terror. Don’t miss Bath Haus. It’s intricate, speedy and scary." —BookPage
"Bath Haus is an electrifying, addictive, and terrifying thriller that lodged my heart in my throat from the first line. The gorgeous writing and masterful, enthralling plot dug into my skin, not letting go until the explosive ending. P. J. Vernon is a spectacular talent with a brilliant voice that will hypnotize you." —Samantha M. Bailey, USA Today bestselling author of Woman on the Edge
“What a ride! Taut as piano wire prose, propulsive plotting. Breathlessly twisty. Brilliantly addictive.” —C. J. Tudor, author of The Burning Girls
"Sexy, twisted and sharp—reading Bath Haus is like reaching for a man's fly and discovering it's made of razor wire." —John Fram, author of The Bright Lands
“Bath Haus is a highly unique, taut, thrill ride with relatable characters, stunning twists, and startling depth. I was absolutely riveted from the first to the final shocking page. A tour de force!” —Robyn Harding, international bestselling author of The Swap
“PJ Vernon’s Bath Haus grabbed me by the throat (pun intended) from the opening lines. Dark, gritty, not to mention completely terrifying, the tension builds chapter after chapter, to the point where you can’t help but gasp out loud. You know bad things are coming. You know people will get hurt. But you can’t stop yourself from greedily binge-reading the pages until you reach the epic conclusion. Booklist may have called P. J. Vernon “a name to watch in the thriller genre” but I say, “Look out, world” – because he has arrived, and I, for one, am riveted. Sinister, explosive and utterly addictive, Bath Haus is a thriller on steroids.” —Hannah Mary McKinnon, bestselling author of Sister Dear
"I read Bath Haus in one sitting and I absolutely loved, loved, loved it! I stayed up until 2am to finish it and skipped my home workout also, so that tells you everything you need to know. The best aspect for me is that Bath Haus feels completely authentic. Both as a thriller and as a gay story." —North Morgan, author of Into?: A Novel
“This book stole my breath. With edgy narration and exquisite—almost painful—suspense, Bath Haus will hit your bloodstream like a tumbler of fine bourbon. A masterpiece among thrillers.” —Kimmery Martin, author of The Queen of Hearts and The Antidote for Everything.
“Bath Haus gave me non-stop anxiety and thrills, and I unraveled while watching Oliver weave webs of lies and deceit. There’s a new domestic suspense thriller joining the pantheon of all time greats. You won’t be able to stop reading, but you’ll also be terrified of what comes next. Utterly brilliant.” —Amina Akhtar, author of #FashionVictim
"Clear your schedule and mute your phone. Bath Haus is a sexy-turns-sadistic fun house that will grab you by the throat and keep you in its clutches till its delicious, twisty end." —Kelly J. Ford, author of Cottonmouths