Available now in a Kindle and paperback edition.

Audiobook read by Scott Thomas.


They first met in boarding school–Alex, shy and nervous, and Darren, constantly scribbling in his journal. They became best friends in college. Alex always knew Darren was a little odd. He didn’t know his friend was murderously insane until Darren asked Alex to join him in his blood-soaked fun. They could be a team, hunting and slaughtering human prey. Alex doesn’t want any part of it. He’s no monster. But Darren is twisted, deadly…and determined. And he won’t take no for an answer.


“Marvelously creepy reading…the horror in this tale of twisted friendship is relentless.”

—Publishers Weekly

“An outstanding novel of nail-biting tension. Strand’s debut in the genre of suspense is about as top notch as it gets.”
—Insidious Reflections

“Nail-biting, non-stop suspense seldom seen in the small (or large for that matter) press. This one forced my heart into my throat for more than half of it! I can’t say enough good things about PRESSURE, a novel that you’ll find very difficult to put down. Jeff Strand has left an unforgettable mark here; you’ll be thinking about this one for days.”
—The Horror Fiction Review

“A tight running noose of a nightmare, 237 pages of excruciating tourniquet-taut tension. The characters are believable and the action compelling. PRESSURE catches you by the throat and won’t let go.”

“PRESSURE is one of the best-written thrillers in recent memory. It doesn’t rely on ancient codes or terrorist threats for its intrigue. Instead, Strand captivates us by pitting one good man — a regular guy — against a human monster. PRESSURE is a novel that demands to be read in one sitting, followed by staying up all night, listening for any unusual sounds outside.”
—Horror World

“PRESSURE is a masterpiece. The pressure of the book’s title is the pressure the reader feels, knowing the entire time that all the happiness and good things that happen to Alex [the protagonist] are only fleeting. The ferocity with which these things are taken away from him is the only variable in question, which is what will keep the reader on edge for the entire novel. It’s all made somewhat tolerable, so the strain isn’t quite enough to kill you, because Jeff Strand also has a fantastic ability to make light of the situation. As a character, Alex is a bit of a smartass, [and releases] just enough pressure to keep you moving forward. I think without this perfectly timed humor, this book might be too oppressive for some readers. You do not want to miss this book under any circumstances. 5 out of 5 Bloody Daggers.”
—Dread Central

“PRESSURE is a deeply unsettling psychological thriller that probes the darkest recesses of the mind — as expressed in the disturbing relationship between two childhood friends who grow up to be more than enemies…. Relentless, gripping, and frightening. An outstanding novel, impossible to put down.”
—Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling co-author of RELIC and DANCE OF DEATH

“Jeff Strand’s PRESSURE is an ominous, disturbing study of two lives closely interwoven from childhood onward in an elaborate tapestry of vengeance, paranoia, and death. A chilling, flesh-crawling experience. I read it in one sitting and haven’t been the same since!”
—Michael Prescott, New York Times bestselling author of MORTAL FAULTS

“Jeff Strand’s PRESSURE is a remarkable book. As I read it, I kept thinking … ‘Oh no. You’re not going there!’ … but he did — and then some! A frightening mix of TOM BROWN’S SCHOOLDAYS meets LORD OF THE FLIES, this is a great story all the more remarkable because of the light it shines into the darkest corners of the human psyche and soul. I highly recommend this book.”
—Rick Hautala, author of OCCASIONAL DEMONS and FOUR OCTOBERS

“Brilliant, unflinching, and unforgettable. PRESSURE will blow you away.”
—J.A. Konrath, bestselling author of RUSTY NAIL

“This dark and mesmerizing novel left me shaking. From its amazing opening line to its nerve-wracking final chapters, PRESSURE is a raw nerve, an open-wound of a narrative wherein Strand deals with some of the bleakest and most disturbing aspects of the human psyche. One of the richest, most compelling, and memorable novels I’ve read in the past 5 years.”
—Gary A. Braunbeck, Stoker Award-winning author of PRODIGAL BLUES

“Harrowing, disturbing…Jeff Strand’s PRESSURE is the closest I’ve come to having a nightmare with my eyes still open. If Brett Easton Ellis had written CAPE FEAR, you might approach the primal suspense of Strand’s lean and mean novel. A crackling, buzzing hornet’s nest of psychological terror spanning two decades in the lives of two extremely dysfunctional friends. I could not put this one down. Highly recommended.”
—Jay Bonansinga, bestselling author of TWISTED and FROZEN.

“I believe Jeff Strand channeled the ghost of Richard Laymon for this one. I know for sure he would have loved it.”
—Jack Ketchum, author of THE GIRL NEXT DOOR

“Jeff Strand continues to amaze me. Every time I decide his writing can’t get any better, he pulls another story out of his hat and proves me wrong. From the first time I read him his blend of wit and brutality have caught my attention and kept it. With PRESSURE, Stand turns down the humor and ups the suspense to lethal levels. Electrifying and intense, disturbing and even a touch nostalgic, PRESSURE is the sort of book one should savor. Just remember to check the doors when you’re reading. Unexpected noises could be hazardous to your health. Simply put, PRESSURE is a masterpiece.”
—James A. Moore, author of BLOOD RED and SERENITY FALLS

“PRESSURE is superb. I read it over a feverish twenty-four hours, snatching it up whenever I got the chance in order to devour just those few pages more. On this evidence, Strand should be up there with the likes of Joe Lansdale. His characters are achingly, touchingly real, his dialogue laugh-out-loud witty and his horror almost impenetrably black.”
—Mark Morris, author of THE IMMACULATE

“Jeff Strand is an excellent writer and PRESSURE is an elegant, dazzling showcase for his talents, clever and funny and dreadfully cruel. I loved it.”
—Christopher Golden, author of WILDWOOD ROAD and THE MYTH HUNTERS

“PRESSURE showcases Jeff Strand is at his best—a terror-filled roller coaster ride that doesn’t let up until the final pages. Strand redefines what horror is all about!”
—Steve Gerlach, author of RAGE, LAKE MOUNTAIN, and LOVE LIES DYING

“PRESSURE is a well-written coming-of-age tale, with a wicked twist that will leave the reader turning the pages well into the night. There are sicknesses felt and experienced here that will affect the reader for days to come.”

“In PRESSURE, Jeff Strand writes with an enviable deftness whether he’s depicting the perils of childhood or the agonies of adulthood. Be glad you’re not in his narrative crosshairs.”
—Matthew Warner, author of THE ORGAN DONOR

“Strand gets serious and follows the antagonistic (to say the least) friendship of two boarding-schoolmates throughout their lives. The characters are fully-drawn with strengths and flaws on both sides. With the right marketing, this could be a mainstream best-seller—it’s that good and that accessible to the general reader.”
—Craig Clarke, Craig’s Book Club

25 Responses to “Pressure”

  1. Sam Says:

    I have to say that the beginning really caught me and I was hooked from the first two sentences: “That’s all you’ve gotta do. Steal the condoms and you’re in the club.”
    The book is amazingly detailed and made me really want to attack some of the characters myself. The plot twists drove me crazy but in turn made me read faster and faster just to see what happens. Some parts even took my breath away as I was just trying to force myself to keep going and cheer for Alex through his struggles and conflicts (major conflicts) between Darren and himself.
    I have to say that no other book has ever made me this nervous or crazy while reading it. I couldn’t put it down for a break no matter how hard I tried.
    The last few chapters basically made me go insane and reading the last paragraph of the book was like a huge sigh of relief. There is so much I want to say about this book but I can’t put it in words.
    Overall, it was excellently written and I loved it! Keep writing more thrillers and I’ll keep reading them! Good luck with future books and sales!


  2. Karen Wiesner Says:

    Can’t tell you how proud I am of you, Jeff. I’ll be buying the book as soon as I can get to a bookstore. Best of luck with your career.


  3. Mom Says:

    Got it — looks fantastic. You have worked hard! Love ya. M
    P.S. It is a deep scary good book.


  4. Mizzbett Says:

    Wow, this book was absolutely addictive. It’s the first book I’ve read by you and I already have Benjamin’s Parasite on the way. I read Pressure over last weekend; I could barely put the thing down! It reminded me of long ago when I first discovered Stephen King’s The Stand and walked around my parent’s house reading, even bringing the book to the dinner table – which could be at times very unappetizing – not wanting to miss a single word. It’s fantastic to get so absorbed in a story.

    Your writing style is great; it reads very easily and the humor is inserted in just the right places; I was smiling and chuckling one minute and gasping the next because the story itself is not funny, at all. In fact, it can be gut-wrenching and gruesome, and it is told with finesse and with great attention to every gory, nasty detail. I could see the events unfolding in my mind’s eye as I read.

    I really got invested in the four kids’ lives; the way you wrote them was poignant and tender (and funny), and they were very real. I liked how you went through each phase of Alex’s life in segments and then brought it all together in the end. Truth be told, I was hooked from the Prologue! Darren Rust is a bad, bad, BAD boy.

    All in all, I was very impressed. I suggest that anyone reading this pick the book up and give it a try – bet you can’t read just one chapter!

    Great work Jeff and I hope you beat the crap out of Mr. King at the Stokers this weekend.


  5. megan Says:

    I loved this book so much! I was so into it I finished it in only 5-6 hours I did take maybe 5-10 min breaks.


  6. Jim Says:


    I cannot think of a more accurate description for this book. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

    I don’t remember ever being so invested in a character and his troubles, or feeling so helpless when the inevitable occurs.

    We know what Alex will find when he opens the bedroom door. He has to find it. And yet, when it finally happened, the impact was so overwhelming that despite being so close to the end of the book, I put it down. I spent the rest of the afternoon hugging and playing with my three-year-old daughter.

    Of course the minute she went to sleep I grabbed it up again and finished it off!

    I’ve read the Andrew Mayhem trilogy, some of the short stories I’ve been able to get my hands on, and even laughed my way through Suckers. Quirky and dark humor throughout it all. I ate it up.

    Pressure was SO not what I was expecting. It was more. MUCH more!

    And I hope there’s more to come.


  7. Susie Main Says:

    “Pressure” was my first J. Strand novel, and I enjoyed every page. I intend to read much more of your work! Keep on writing. -Susie


  8. Eric Says:

    This book really captured me with its bizarre and thrilling plot. Also, I could not tell whether this book had a happy ending or not which really left me hanging and eager to read much more of your work. This is the first off all of your books that I have have read, and will defiantly continue to read. -Thumbs up!


  9. jeffstrand Says:

    Thanks, Eric! I consider it a happy ending, but I’ve heard lots of people call it a downbeat ending, which surprised me. Glad you enjoyed it!


  10. Steve Says:

    Whatever happened to the lettered edition!?!?!


  11. Yvonne Says:

    I could describe this book in one word: WOW! I could not put it down, it was great. Move over Stephen King!
    Thank you.


  12. Zombie Dogs Says:

    Excellent book. You really had me worried toward the end; I thought that one of the characters from Alex’s past was going to realize his own murderous impulses and turn into the guy who Darren mistook Alex for.

    That would have turned out bad for Alex.


  13. Terry Says:

    Are there Kindle versions of Pressure and Dweller? Your site says there are, but they are no where to be found on Amazon.



    • jeffstrand Says:

      There were up until last month, but the rights reverted back to me. So right now they’re unavailable, but within the next few weeks there will be shiny new Kindle versions of both books!


      • Terry Says:

        Fantastic! I can’t wait to read them. Right now I’m trying to read Suckers….at work. But I keep laughing and getting funny looks from my co-workers. Maybe I should wait until I get home.

        Thanks for the reply!


  14. Kristof Says:

    What an amazing novel! I didn’t read any of your other books before and was expecting just another run-of-the-mill horror/thriller story… But from the first sentence I was sucked into it and experienced something that happened to me the last time when I was 12, reading “It”: Normally you read a horror novel hoping for scares and thrills. But Alex, Jeremy and Peter were such incredibly sympathetic, awesome guys that they immediately felt like old friends to me and I didn’t want any bad things to happen to them. When the mayhem started I almost wanted to stop reading, but of course I continued to find out what the crazy guy was up to. Thanks for this wonderful book. I’m going to buy “Wolf Hunt” now.


  15. Deeantha Says:

    This is honestly the best book that I have ever read. It had me on the edge throughout the whole novel and I don’t think I’ve read a book as captivating as this. And the fact that you were able continue the story through many years was so great ughh. I loved how we got to see Alex transition throughout the novel and the characters were so strong. This book is so good and talking about it gets me so excited and it was so good and I love your writing so much ughh I love you so much. Please keep writing really great books. I’m in love with your writing. I was expecting to write a review where I sounded smart but then I start rambling and getting excited. :))))


    • Deeantha Says:

      Oops I didn’t mean to reply to your comment sorry ahah


    • jeffstrand Says:

      Wow, thanks Deeantha! (Sorry about the delay in responding–I’ve been out of town for two weeks!) Glad you enjoyed it! If you liked the timeframe, I’ll mention that DWELLER follows the main character through his entire life, from childhood to old age!


      • Deeantha Naidoo Says:

        Oh I didnt think you would reply. I got really happy!! Dweller was the first book of yours that I read and I loved it so much. I told my friend (whos a library monitor at my school) to get some of your books and they recently got heaps and I’m so keen to start reading more !! You are my favourite author ❤ 🙂


  16. jeffstrand Says:

    Heaps? YEAH!!! Best school ever.


  17. An Interview with Mark Obmascik and More! – The Inside Flap: A Weekly Literary Podcast Says:

    […] Battle of World War II.  We also recommend:  The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard and Pressure by Jeff Strand.  Audiobook of the week is Meeting Evil by Thomas Berger read by the […]


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