R.J. JACOBS | Mystery Author

Coming September 12, 2023

Campus is empty, a winter storm is blowing in, and someone is lurking in the shadows, waiting for their chance to kill again.

Shepard, North Carolina. Under the instruction of enigmatic Professor Joe Lyons, five graduate students are studying the tedious science behind the acts of lying. But discovering the secrets of deception isn’t making any of the student’s more honest though. Instead, it’s making it easier for them to guard their own secrets – and they all have something to hide. 

When a test goes awry and one of them is found dead, the students find themselves trapped by a snowstorm on an abandoned campus with a local detective on the case. As harbored secrets begin to break the surface, the graduates must find out who’s lying, who isn’t, and who may have been capable of committing murder. It turns out deception is even more dangerous than they thought… 

A foreboding new dark academia thriller of deception and suspense, This is How it Ends follows the unraveling of a close group of students as they contend with what it means to lie, and be lied to.

Always the First to Die

For fans of Riley Sager with a classic slasher twist, Always the First to Die follows a former horror movie actress as she returns to the set of her most iconic film, only to find that the strange circumstances begin to resemble the plot of her most famous film.

Exploring lives on the brink of disaster, R. J. Jacobs returns with another compulsively readable novel of suspense for fans of B. A. Paris and Mary Kubica.

Do the mistakes of the past mark us as guilty for life?

Praise for Somewhere in the Dark:

“Jacobs immediately hooks the reader…Fans of Amy Engels and Mindy Mejia will be delighted.”
Publishers Weekly

“A novel that draws readers in with its shocks and touches them deeply with its raw emotions and fully realized characters.”
Nashville Scene

“A great and emotional read worth your time.”
San Francisco Book Review

“In this thrilling high-stakes read, Somewhere in the Dark will wind around its reader’s hearts…[A] must-read.”
Independent Voice Newspaper

“A superb story, it is such wonderfully told, gripping, edge-of-your seat stuff. I really rooted for Jessie. The ending was truly moving, too. This book deserves to fly off the shelves!”
Melanie Golding, author of Little Darlings

“This pulse-pounding thriller, [with an]unforgettable heroine, as heartbreaking as she is chilling, and Jacobs’s evocative writing makes you feel like you’re breathing in the sweltering Nashville air. Somewhere in the Dark is expertly plotted, emotionally satisfying, and not to be missed!”
Layne Fargo, author of Temper

“A beautifully written page-turner with one of the most fascinating characters I’ve read in a long time. Filled with deep psychological insights into the nature of obsession and trauma, Somewhere in the Dark is a heartbreaking and heartwarming portrait of a damaged young woman trying to remake her life.”
Angie Kim, national bestselling author of Miracle Creek

For fans of B. A. Paris and Mary Kubica comes a propulsive, twisting psychological thriller that asks, 

How can you save someone else if you can’t save yourself?

Praise for And Then You Were Gone:

“Jacobs, a psychologist himself, delivers a compulsively readable yet complex thriller, filled with red herrings, plenty of action, and an appealing but deeply flawed protagonist. This psychological thriller takes hold and won’t let go.”
Publishers Weekly

“A stellar, psychological thriller with twists and turns you don’t see coming… R. J. Jacobs is one to watch for years to come.”
Red Carpet Crash 

“The strongest plot element is Jacobs’s sympathetic understanding of Emily’s mental condition, how it contributes to her stress and mania, and how she comes to rely solely on her determination to survive… A disturbing, fully satisfying drama.”
Mystery Scene Magazine

“No matter who picks up the book, they will undeniably find a part of themselves inside of it somewhere… Be prepared to sit down until finishing it.”
The Battalion 

“A steep-dive roller coaster ride with an at-risk, sometimes unreliable heroine at the helm, one who is endangered but also dangerous. It’s hard to believe this gripping psychological thriller is by a debut author. Get on board but hang on!”
Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of Silent Scream

“A gripping psychological thriller filled with suspenseful twists and turns!”
Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bSpymaster

And Then You Were Gone is a high-stakes, disorienting thrill ride
Sarah Bailey, international bestselling author of The Dark Lake

“R. J. Jacobs cleverly combines a tightly plotted thriller with a who-can-you-trust cast of characters in this sensational debut.” 
Dawn Eastman, national bestselling author of Unnatural Causes 

“And Then You Were Gone captivates readers…pulling you headfirst into a terrifying disappearance that quickly derails the life of an irresistible and freshly-drawn main character. It will keep you turning page after page, with racing heart, toward the satisfying finish. Highly recommended!”
E. C. Diskin, author of Amazon bestseller Broken Grace

“Compelling, satisfying, and clever, this book has all the elements of a good mystery, plus a wonderfully complicated, flawed protagonist. And Then You Were Gone will keep you reading–and leave you wanting more!”
Wylene Dunbar, author of My Life With Corpses

“Rich characterizations, exquisite language, and a subtle thrum of tension . . . In Emily Firestone, Jacobs has created not just a heroine, but a fully realized person whose bipolar disorder is sensitively and realistically handled. I was riveted from the very first page.”
Jaden Terrell, author of the Jared McKean mysteries

“Cruel and compulsive, Jacobs has crafted a live-wire of a debut. Fever-pitch prose reveals the untrustworthy nature of our perceptions, and a taut, unflinching plot makes putting this book down absolutely impossible.”
P. J. Vernon, author of When You Find Me

“A thrilling ride that kept me guessing until the end… Exceptional!”
Rena Olsen, author of The Girl Before

R.J. Jacobs


R.J. Jacobs has practiced as a psychologist since 2003. He maintains a private practice in Nashville, focusing on a wide variety of clinical concerns.

After completing a post-doctoral residency at Vanderbilt, he has taught Abnormal Psychology, presented at numerous conferences, and routinely performs PTSD evaluations for veterans.

His novel, titled: And Then You Were Gone, was published in 2019 by Crooked Lane. His second novel: Somewhere In the Dark, will be available Fall 2020.