A young woman struggling with the aftermath of her husband’s murder finds herself in escalating danger in this novel of psychological suspense.
Unger (The Red Hunter, 2017, etc.) is adept at thrillers that turn on clever uses of point of view. Her 16th book is a worthy entry in the currently crowded field of unreliable-narrator mysteries. New Yorker Poppy Lang was devastated when her husband, Jack, was beaten to death during a run in Riverside Park. The couple ran a photography agency together, and the murder of likable Jack seems to be a random crime. A year later, the case is cold and Poppy is a hot mess. She has a new apartment, a solicitous therapist, supportive employees, and maybe a new romance. A determined police detective is still trying to solve Jack’s murder. The posh Central Park West apartment where her nurturing best friend, Layla, lives with her hedge fund manager husband and their kids is Poppy’s haven. But she’s haunted by her inability to recall what happened during her several days’ disappearance just after Jack’s death, by vivid nightmares that might be memories, by a figure in a hoodie who seems to be following her, and even on occasion by the apparition of Jack. Maybe it’s grief, or PTSD, or the alarming amount of prescription drugs and wine she downs seeking “chemical slumber,” but as her search for truth uncovers other crimes, she comes to doubt her judgment of almost everyone around her—and her own survival.
Unger brings the reader along as her narrator's grip on reality is tested and keeps the twists coming in this standout thriller.