"Pahigian has constructed a complex thriller, filled with engaging and eccentric characters."
-- Allen Adams, The Maine Edge
"The novel's short, action-packed chapters flip-flop between characters, making for a quick read. Just when the reader figures out one puzzle, another is presented."-- Aislinn Sarnacki, The Bangor Daily News
"Pahigian has a sure hit."--Bill Bushnell, The Kennebec Journal
" It's an impressive debut. This suspenseful thriller, imbued with local flavor (settings include Old Orchard Beach landmarks such as The Brunswick and Beach Bagels), is a page-turner with short, snappy chapters that often end in cliffhangers. It would make a great beach read, come to think of it."
--Deirdre Fulton, The Portland Phoenix
"Pahigian employs a few classic tricks, as well as some original red herrings. Most of the chapters are quite short, and work like a series of Dan Brown or Michael Crichton cliff-hangers, providing quick-paced reading and cinematic qualities."
--Tim Gillis, Portland Daily Sun
Publishers Weekly has selected Strangers on the Beach as one of its Indie Sleepers Titles to Watch for Fall 2012. --Publishers Weekly
The story goes deeper as people struggle to make sense of the madness that Sevigny has seemingly brought to Old Orchard Beach. Residents of the town find themselves entangled in the web of conspiracy surrounding the mysterious Australian. There are forces at work that none of them truly comprehend, with people finding themselves serving as pawns in a game that is far vaster and far more inscrutable than any of them could possibly know. Pahigian has constructed a complex thriller, filled with engaging and eccentric characters. The story unfolds gradually, but it never feels slow-moving. His Old Orchard Beach is populated by fully-realized characters, people whose motivations never feel anything but honest. As we watch these people being enveloped by circumstances whose ramifications they don t fully understand, Pahigian pulls us along with them, slowly building to a climax that is unexpected in the moment, yet seems almost inevitable after the fact. --The Maine Edge
About the Author
Josh Pahigian was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of a high school biology teacher and a long-time elementary school secretary. He moved as youngster to Charlton where he won his first writing contest as a second grader. Pahigian earned a BA in English from The College of the Holy Cross in 1996. While at Holy Cross, a love of sports and writing led him to part-time work at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. After a short break to work, Pahigian headed to grad school, enrolling at Boston's Emerson College where he earned an M.F.A in Creating Writing in 2001. After graduation, he remained at Emerson working in the development office. It was there that he and Kevin O'Connell conceived of the idea that became The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip (The Lyons Press, 2004). A looming baseball strike in 2002 threatened to derail the book, but when the strike was averted, he immediately headed out to visit half of the nation's major league parks. The following spring, he visited the rest. "We were ecstatic to have a first book contract and for two guys just out of college, traveling to ballparks on the publisher's dime, it kind of felt we were living the dream." That first book also led to six additional baseball-related books for Pahigian. Meanwhile, he kept his hand in fiction by writing short stories, many published in national and international literary journals. Pahigian, who has Armenian roots, wrote some stories based on the experiences of a great uncle who, as a child, had fled with his family from Armenia to Russia to escape the Armenian Genocide during the final days of the Ottoman Empire. He also started and abandoned several novels, but his lifestyle and experiences were planting the seeds for success. Just before starting his first book, Pahigian had moved to Maine. To help pay the bills, he worked a part-time job at the Old Orchard Beach Recreation Department, which helped him get to know that famed beach town. Then one summer he and his wife, Heather, both educators, spend more than 40 days on Old Orchard Beach. During that long summer, Pahigian developed an even better feel for the rhythms of the area and gained an understanding of the local beach scene, all helping him develop the confidence necessary to write a book. Finally, during a brief vacation in Camden, inspiration struck and he wrote the opening scene and developed the central ideas that would become his debut novel, Strangers on the Beach.