The Story: When popular podcaster Alix Summer meets Josie Fair, it seems like fate: both women share a birthday and, beyond this, both are deep believers in the power of reinvention. Alix because this is the subject of her podcast and Josie because this is what she wants more than anything else in the world: to leave her increasingly unhappy married life and start again. So Josie has a proposal - Alix should follow her as she begins the separation and reinvention process. It seems like a dynamite subject for a podcast and Alix agrees.
But all is not as it seems. Alix's picture-perfect life is flawed, but Josie's story... the deep Alix goes, the more she realizes that Josie is not at all what she seems either. The cat-and-mouse games begin as the two women begin to investigate each other, each learning more than they ever wanted to know. It's all perfect fodder for a top-rated podcast season - until the bodies begin to turn up.
The Review: Lisa Jewell is a master at the page-turner. The pacing here is terrific and I found myself unable to put this book down. The characters, especially the two leads (for they are very much both protagonists in this twisty little tale), are well-fleshed out and feel grounded in reality. Jewell also excels at family dynamics and, even when they are twisted (like they are here), you still find yourself saying, "Yeah, I've met people like this before."
I must confess, I guessed the major twist and the secondary twist pretty early on. But even so, this is immensely entertaining and surprisingly uplifting. Unlike a lot of modern thrillers, Jewell knows that there are good and decent people in the world and they are present and accounted for here. It's not a happily-ever-after book and it's definitely PG-13 rated for blood and domestic violence. But if you're after a very readable and relatable thriller, this is the one for you!
(Note about my reviews: As much as I love a well-written, witty critique or movie take-down (and I ADORE them!), I know all too well how badly it feels to be on the receiving end of a bad review. I will only post books here that I can speak well of - if I can't recommend it, I won't post a review of it!)