Book: “You Are Not Alone” by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Publishing Info: St. Martin’s Press, March 2020
Where Did I Get This Book: I received an eARC from NetGalley.
Book Description: You probably know someone like Shay Miller. She wants to find love, but it eludes her. She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end. She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.
You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters. They have an unbreakable circle of friends. They live the most glamorous life. They always get what they desire.
Shay thinks she wants their life. But what they really want is hers.
Review: Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this novel!
Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen are a dynamic duo in the thriller writing world, as their previous novels “The Wife Between Us” and “Anonymous Girl” were both buzzworthy books that got a fair amount of attention. I enjoyed both of those books, enough so that I figure that any time they come out with another novel I’m going to be interested in picking it up. Hence, I requested “You Are Not Alone”, their newest thriller/mystery, from NetGalley. I expected an entertaining and very readable thriller, as that has what has been delivered in the past. I am happy to report that not only did it live up to those expectations, it is also their best work yet.
Like their other two novels, “You Are Not Alone” is told through multiple perspectives and multiple time periods. Our main focus is on Shay Miller, an insecure and high strung, lonely woman who witnesses another woman commit suicide by jumping in front of a moving subway. The other perspectives are generally from that of the Moore sisters, Cassandra and Jane, as well as the occasional chapter from the POVs of their friend group. The wide breadth of POVs gave us a very large and detailed picture of the story, and also of the various motivations that each character had that added to the mystery over all. We know that Cassandra and Jane want something from Shay, but we aren’t certain as to what that may be. I thought that all of the women had well done characterization, and that I got a good sense for all of them and why they were doing what they were doing. Shay is the kind of protagonist that we see in thrillers like this in that she’s incredibly flawed and neurotic, but she’s written in such a way that I really liked her and was genuinely concerned for what she was slowly being pulled into. And then there are the Moore Sisters, and how they are both incredibly engaging and gregarious, as well as being terrifying in how they know how to manipulate and insert themselves into Shay’s life without her knowing it.
The mystery was also very enticing, and it kept me guessing and completely enthralled the entire time. As I said, you know that the Moore Sisters want Shay for something, and Hendricks and Pekkanen slowly peel back all the layers, leaving breadcrumbs of clues within all of the perspective chapters. It was laid out and woven together intricately enough that I was genuinely surprised by almost every twist, and all of the twists were well earned by how they were set up sometimes hundreds of pages before. I found myself slowly building up in anxiety, my heart beginning to beat as I got closer to the end and the tension just kept building with little sign of release. By the time it had all come to a head, I felt the deep paranoia that Shay was feeling and completely believed it. I bought in to just about everything, and while I did feel like it wrapped up a little neater than it probably should have (as well as quickly; the ending felt hasty even if it came together well), overall I was definitely satisfied.
“You Are Not Alone” is the best story that Hendricks and Pekkanen have come up with yet, and they will remain a high reading priority for me in the future. If you haven’t read anything by them yet, this is where you should start.
Rating 8: An anxiety inducing and twisty thriller that barely lets up on the tension. “You Are Not Alone” will make you more than a little nervous about who may be keeping their eyes on you.
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