A woman’s new friendship lands her in a coma—which turns out to be just the beginning of her problems—in this novel.
Lily Thornton leads a simple life working in her parents’ flower shop, but everything changes when she meets Jane Borokov, a highly connected and wealthy woman. Jane, rumored to have “betrayed a senator’s daughter,” yearns to escape the spotlight. The two friends are easily mistaken for twins, but their resemblance proves nearly fatal for Lily. A hit man sent to kill Jane carries out an attack on Lily instead. A shot to the head should have killed her, but after 14 excruciating months, she is able to make a miraculous recovery from her coma. A guilt-laden Jane has offered to pay for everything, from reconstructive surgery to a private security team. But with her mind sharp, Lily realizes the hit man has wormed his way into her inner circle, working on her security detail and even befriending her mother. This muddies the waters for Lily, who can’t tell if she can trust the rest of her security team, including Duff, the ruggedly handsome bodyguard who seems close with the hit man while genuinely caring about her recovery. But fully recovered is the last thing she wants, knowing that playing dumb is the only real way to keep her and her family safe. While the immediate—and more compelling—tension in Raine’s (A Shameless Little Bet, 2018, etc.) heart-pumping series opener comes from Lily’s constant proximity to her would-be killer, the action takes place against a backdrop of secret government scandals. The “screwed-up D.C.-insider scandal,” as it is clumsily summarized early on, is pleasingly twisty but often rushed. Fortunately, Lily’s voice is captivating, wry, and tough enough to sell this thriller. “I laugh because of course the president of the United States is involved in my shooting. Of course he is,” she muses. The novel ends with a cliffhanger that startles, if only because readers will have become so attached to Lily.
The intrigue and dark humor on display in this thriller enliven what could easily have become a clichéd plot.