In Jones’ debut psychological thriller, a bestselling novelist’s book comes back to haunt her.
Eden Cain is a woman of many accomplishments: she’s a scientist, a successful businesswoman, and the author, under the pseudonym “Brooke Chamberlain,” of the hit thriller My Legal Guardian, in which a “bad boy billionaire” plays Fifty Shades of Grey–style mind games on a female protagonist. Eden is married to a rugged, devoted Navy SEAL, Daniel Cain, and she’s the legal guardian of Kylie West. Eden took her in when they were both at low points in their lives, and she firmly believes her guardianship of Kylie saved her from herself. When Kylie moves from California to New York City’s Columbia University, Eden spares no expense, paying four years’ rent in advance on a Manhattan apartment. When Kylie goes missing, Eden travels to New York to investigate. There, she meets Nolan Kline, a charismatic lawyer who seems fascinated by “Brooke Chamberlain,” and learns about the characters in Kylie’s life, including a star football player, an attractive young professor, and many young women who carry around dog-eared copies of My Legal Guardian. As her inquiries continue, Eden attracts a psychopath who calls himself “XXX,” but the deeper she delves into Kylie’s disappearance, the more factors point to her own book. Overall, Jones writes in a simple, easy-to-read narrative style that offers skillfully done, periodic jolts of action over the course of the story. Although most of the characters come off as one-dimensional, the tale still reliably creates an atmosphere of suspense that keeps the story fluidly moving forward. A protracted, climactic confrontation is the highlight of the book—a pointedly thrilling sequence of psychological revelations packed into 20 pages. This story will be a good choice for fans of thrillers by Tess Gerritsen or Joseph Finder.
A well-done wheels-within-wheels thriller about life imitating art.