A woman deals with mental illness and a shady new friend in this thriller.
Nina Taylor had money, success, and a happy family. Or at least she thought she did. When she suffers a mental breakdown, her family and career are put through the ringer. Her husband, Rodney, bans her from their home and takes thousands of dollars from her earnings as a software engineer. The parents at school shun her, labeling her a threat to the safety of their kids. Worst of all, her new medications make her slow, lethargic, and unable to work, allowing her to dwell often on the suicide of her older brother. One of the few bright spots in her life is a new friend, Deja, a mom at her kids’ school who is similarly ostracized for being a young single parent. Unbeknown to the protagonist, her friend has a dark past that threatens Nina’s family and safety. A runaway who got involved with a violent pimp, Deja managed to escape with her young son, establishing a cushy career as a small-time wedding planner. But she had to steal money from her ex, Kevin, in order to live a better life and he’s come back to collect. Harris’ (Blaming the Wind, 2016) thriller gets off to a slow but intriguing start as she offers weighty clues that foreshadow turns the book takes later. The pair’s friendship is tested when Nina walks in on Kevin getting violent with Deja and a moment of self-defense changes everything. Nina and Deja try desperately to raise enough money to get themselves out of their jam with Kevin. But around the same time, a mysterious black sedan seems to be tailing Nina, hellbent on terrorizing or killing her. The author delivers twist after twist in this pulpy story. Harris expertly navigates the line between Nina’s dire new reality and the vestiges of her mental illness, allowing readers to revel in tense uncertainty—a dynamic that extends all the way to questions of trust involving Deja and the duo’s deadly secret.
The author has a number of tricks up her sleeve, making this tale of complicated women facing the unthinkable all the more compelling.