Charming, literature-loving psychopath Joe Goldberg, who dispatched his last lover plus three others, returns with his eyes on a new prize in this darkly humorous follow-up to You (2014).
Amy Adam is everything Guinevere Beck—the girl who stole Joe's heart and whom he in turn buried in upstate New York—was not: she's completely off the social media grid. The pair enjoy a delirious romance after Amy goes to work for Joe at Mooney Books, but things sour quickly when she dumps him and high-tails it to Los Angeles, stolen first editions of Portnoy's Complaint in hand. Despite his dislike of all things LA, Joe follows—or more accurately stalks, the way a lion tracks its prey—Amy to the West Coast, where he's soon immersed, much to his dismay, in the vapid lifestyle of Hollywood wannabes. He finds work at a used bookstore and instantly regrets sleeping with a clingy girl at his apartment complex who's a quasi–investigative reporter for a gossip site. Things turn around when he meets quirky Love Quinn, heiress to a local organic grocery chain and dabbler in the Hollywood machine, and her coke-snorting twin brother, Forty. As Joe and Love's relationship deepens, Kepnes expertly tosses up roadblocks to keep her murderous antihero busy and the reader constantly guessing whether Love will become his next victim or his salvation.
With its scathing social satire and loathsome yet strangely charming leading man, Kepnes' sophomore effort is well worth the read.