Thursday, January 17, 2019

Review: An Anonymous Girl - Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl
Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen
Published: January 8, 2019 St. Martin's Press

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.

Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding.

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

I enjoyed Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen's previous release, The Wife Between Us, and when I had heard they were releasing another novel, and so quickly, I knew I had to read it as soon as I could. The two know how to write, blending their unique voices together to create characters that are stunning, mysterious, and quite often, very unreliable. We meet Jess in An Anonymous Girl, a makeup artist struggling to make ends meet in New York City who has found an interesting way to make money by answer a research professor's questions. It's simple, she must honestly answer the questions on the screen, collect check, come back at another time and do it again. Except the questions become increasingly more invasive and soon Jess is concerned with just how much the person on the other end might now know about her. As the research becomes real life tasks, Jess becomes paranoid that Dr. Shields has gone too far, but just like secrets, obsessions too can take over your life.

With an incredibly unique premise, An Anonymous Girl takes readers on a suspenseful journey where one woman's obsession just might turn out to have deadly consequences. At first we see New York and the research from Jess' eyes, an innocent woman with secrets of her own desperate to help her family. As tensions increase the perspective shifts, allowing us a glimpse into the mind of Dr. Shields, a professor using the guise of research to make Jess do what she needs. Jess is not comfortable completing the twisted tasks, but her fear of Dr. Shields and the secrets she now knows forces her to ignore her morals. Soon Jess is questioning reality, unsure of what is real and what Dr. Shields has just made her believe. What was once prying questions is now a high stakes competition where Jess must complete the puzzle before Dr. Shields' own pieces are in place.

I was enthralled by this story, I pictured myself in Jess' shoes and as I read I felt the fear and the beginnings of distrust. She's a smart girl desperate for a solution and as we read on we realize that Dr. Shields just might have picked the wrong girl for the research. As Dr. Shields fights for power, Jess undermines her, and much like the battle between predator and prey, she must find a way to sneak away unharmed. This novel is twisted, a psychological thriller that will leave you unable to think of anything else. Pekkanen and Hendricks reveal things slowly, the puzzle pieces dropping into the story as Dr. Shields true nature is revealed. It is impossible to tell the truth, to know which character to place your trust into, and it only gets more intriguing as the novel's pacing picks up.

An Anonymous Girl was an all-consuming read for me, I couldn't put this book down for anything. I think the story line is appealing for readers, one that toes the line of believability and preys on our desires to understand human nature. It's fascinating, I've got no idea how they came up with this novel, but I loved it and cannot wait to see it come to life on a screen. Filled with secrets and deceit, An Anonymous Girl is a compelling psychological thriller that will hold readers' attention.

ARC provided.

About the Authors
GREER HENDRICKS is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. Prior to becoming a novelist, she spent two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. She obtained her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.

SARAH PEKKANEN is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight previous solo novels and the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. A former investigative journalist and award-winning feature writer, she has published work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many others. She is the mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C.

Post a Comment

© Carlene Inspired. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.