A roommate’s mysterious disappearance and the tale of a dead girl form a haunting confluence of circumstances in Kubica’s latest psychological thriller told from dual points of view.
Quinn Collins awakens one cold Chicago Sunday morning to the sound of her roommate Esther Vaughan's alarm clock going off. When Esther fails to hit the snooze button, Quinn struggles out of bed and turns it off herself, but all is not right in Esther’s room: the window on her fire escape is open, and Esther is gone. That night, Quinn is startled when Esther's phone starts ringing. She discovers that Esther left it behind when she disappeared, and further digging turns up even more mystery: why did Esther acquire a new name? Why did she place an ad for a new roommate? And what made her ask the super to change the apartment’s locks? Meanwhile, Alex Gallo, the smart kid who got left behind when everyone else in his town on Lake Michigan went off to college, struggles with his home life and crappy job working at a restaurant. The only bright spot to his day is when a mysterious woman comes in and drinks coffee, watching the office of the handsome psychiatrist across the street. Later, he sees her on the playground and watches her take most of her clothes off and walk into the frigid lake. He finds her behavior inexplicable. Kubica, skilled at building on the premise that things are not always what they seem, stumbles a bit in this one. With disjointed prose, the first part of the book isn’t her usual polished product, and the denouement isn’t as surprising as the author intended.
A master of suspense and dense plotting, Kubica still leads the pack when it comes to her genre even though this isn't her best work.