author: Kimberly McCreight
published: 5 May 2020
genre(s): legal thriller
source: Book of the Month
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Goodreads
Big Little Lies meets Presumed Innocent in this riveting novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia, in which a woman’s brutal murder reveals the perilous compromises some couples make—and the secrets they keep—in order to stay together.
Lizzie Kitsakis is working late when she gets the call. Grueling hours are standard at elite law firms like Young & Crane, but they’d be easier to swallow if Lizzie was there voluntarily. Until recently, she’d been a happily underpaid federal prosecutor. That job and her brilliant, devoted husband Sam—she had everything she’d ever wanted. And then, suddenly, it all fell apart.
No. That’s a lie. It wasn’t sudden, was it? Long ago the cracks in Lizzie’s marriage had started to show. She was just good at averting her eyes.
The last thing Lizzie needs right now is a call from an inmate at Rikers asking for help—even if Zach Grayson is an old friend. But Zach is desperate: his wife, Amanda, has been found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their Brooklyn brownstone. And Zach’s the primary suspect.
As Lizzie is drawn into the dark heart of idyllic Park Slope, she learns that Zach and Amanda weren’t what they seemed—and that their friends, a close-knit group of fellow parents at the exclusive Grace Hall private school, might be protecting troubling secrets of their own. In the end, she’s left wondering not only whether her own marriage can be saved, but what it means to have a good marriage in the first place.
I could not put this book down. This was my first by the author, but now that I’ve discovered her, I need to read EVERYTHING! This was one of those books that just wouldn’t let me go.
I’m a sucker for legal thrillers, coming from a long line of attorneys, so this really fed that love of the genre. The legal feel of it was not just in the narrative but also in the snippets of testimony transcript between some of the chapters. There were also memos here and there between chapters, detailing an investigation into an incident at a posh day school in Park Slope. These two things set up the dual storylines throughout the book, storylines that the reader knows are connected. The question is how?
The entire book takes place over the course of barely more than a week, told through the alternating viewpoints of Lizzie and Amanda. Amanda’s story is in the past, told by her in the days leading to her death. Lizzie’s story is in the present, reluctantly investigating the death on behalf of a former friend from her own past.
There are so many twists, so much deceit, that it often feels like the pure, unvarnished truth may never be found. Adding to the mystery is the fact that the two narrators are rather unreliable, as are most of the other characters involved in the situation. It makes it impossible to get a handle on who is guilty, or of what. That makes the story completely unpredictable and utterly engaging.
If you love thrillers, legal dramas, and mysteries, this is definitely the read for you. It was so absorbing, so intriguing. A truly fabulous book!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 Alphabet Soup
- 2020 Diversify Your Reading Challenge
- 2020 Reading Challenge