ALL THE WRONG PLACES by Joy Fielding

ALL THE WRONG PLACES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A serial killer stalks Boston, mostly unnoticed, as four women obsess over their personal crises.

Fielding’s latest seems unsure of its intentions. Breezy chick lit about stolen boyfriends, the search for commitment, and merry widowhood? Or a creepy thriller with a high-tech twist? An exceptionally handsome psychopath finds dating sites a rich lode of all too credulous—and, to him, contemptible—female victims. The novel opens with a scene depicting Mr. Right Now (the killer's dating-site alias) luring a woman back to his bachelor pad for a gourmet dinner only to bind her and perpetrate thankfully nondetailed atrocities before disposing of her body. Cut to three weeks earlier, as four women endure comparatively less fraught ordeals. Paige has caught her boyfriend, Noah, in flagrante delicto with her look-alike cousin, Heather. Laid off from her advertising job, Paige vacates Noah’s apartment to live with her widowed mother, Joan, age 70. Paige’s best friend, Chloe, is taking cautious steps to escape her abusive husband, Matt, but their two children adore him. Heather, by anonymously tattling to Chloe about Matt’s presence on dating sites, has provided Chloe with impetus and ammunition. Heather is the too-obvious scapegoat of this narrative. The spoiled daughter of Paige’s late father’s identical twin, Heather covets everything Paige has (Noah, a job in advertising), but once she's got it, she loses interest. Dipping into online dating, Paige is intrigued by Mr. Right Now’s profile, and predator and potential prey circle each other via text. The main driver of suspense is whether Paige keeps her date with destiny after many cancellations, most occasioned by Joan’s determination to redefine 70 as the new 60. Only one of Mr. Right Now’s victims is discovered during the plot's three-week time frame, but an extensive criminal investigation is, apparently, beyond this book’s purview. All the while, readers will harbor dread that Heather will, yet again, try to steal Paige’s love interest. Because, vain and silly though Heather is, hers is not the comeuppance we crave.

A sequel may be necessary to ensure public safety.

Pub Date: March 12th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-399-18155-9
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2019




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