Amy Whey’s sins come back to haunt her when she’s extorted for money by a beautiful stranger in Jackson’s (The Almost Sisters, 2017, etc.) first thriller.
It was supposed to be book club as usual: a group of suburban mothers gathering to talk over a glass of wine or two and then going home to bed. But when new neighbor Angelica Roux shows up at hostess Amy’s door, it doesn’t take long for all hell to break loose. The booze flows freely, and soon the women are engaged in a game: What is the worst thing you did today? This week? This month? In your life? There are many women in the gathering with secrets to protect, but none more than Amy, who, as a teenager, committed a terrible crime that almost destroyed her. Saved by her love for diving, and then by meeting her husband and stepdaughter, Amy has worked hard to build a normal, stable life; she even has a new baby. Angelica has come to threaten all of this; she clearly knows about Amy’s past and will expose her to her loved ones if Amy doesn’t pay her. As Amy tries desperately to outscheme Angelica, she also realizes just how much she has to fight for—and what she might be willing to do to keep her family safe and her secrets buried. Jackson’s novel is chock-full of dramatic reveals and twisty turns, but she paces them out well, dropping them like regularly spaced bombshells. Just when the reader thinks they know what might lie at the heart of the novel, the ground shifts seismically, and the truth removes again to a distance. It’s skillfully done. Amy herself is an openly flawed and relatable character fighting to keep sacred the one thing she values most: her normal, loving, messy life.
Be warned: It's a stay-up-all-night kind of book. Compulsively readable.