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To the Left of Death by Susan Quilty

To the Left of Death

She didn’t bring the gun. She didn’t pull the trigger. But she tried to stop the blood, and she held him as he died.

When an elementary school teacher witnesses murder, she’s left with painful memories and an inability to make peace with her experience. She now goes through the motions of daily life, sitting up night after night with her never-ending thoughts and everlasting bourbon. A return to her teenage love of drawing begins to revive her, but will her art be a salvation or a path back into the swirling mystery of that fateful day?

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Available in paperback and ebook editions, 292 pages.


Written in the first person, this contemporary novel uses a stream-of-consciousness approach to navigate the lingering effects of trauma. While this story explores dark, psychological themes, it also embraces the hope of healing. Note: To the Left of Death includes adult language and themes.


Day One – Not many people expect their day to include murder. Homicide detectives. Medical examiners. Judges or criminal lawyers. I guess hitmen and serial killers, too. But not most people. Not the ones who shy away from death. Not even those of us who already know its shadow.

There’s a finality to death. However it happens. Whether it comes as a welcome release, a choice, or an unexpected tragedy. There’s no second chance. There’s no coming back. That’s hard for those left behind to accept. Even harder to accept after murder. At least in my experience.

Murder hadn’t crossed my mind that morning. Not once. Or not that I remember. To be honest, I don’t know what I was thinking that morning. But I wasn’t thinking about murder. Looking back—recreating—I was probably thinking about clouds. (Read a longer excerpt here…)


In 2018, To the Left of Death was published exclusively through Amazon. In 2022, a second edition was released for wider distribution. The new edition includes an updated cover and interior layout. Both covers were designed by Susan Quilty.

Check back for bonus content and updates in To the Left of Death blog posts.