The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us
Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.
When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.
Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?
But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding.
Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?
As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.
Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?
From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.
Praise for The Wife Between Us:
"A fiendishly smart cat-and-mouse thriller" New York Times Book Review
"[A] seamless thriller that will keep readers on their toes to the very end...Readers will enjoy the dizzying back-and-forth as they attempt to figure out just who to root for and as the suspense ratchets up to one hell of a conclusion." Booklist
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
GREER HENDRICKS is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. Prior to becoming a novelist, she spent two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. She obtained her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.
SARAH PEKKANEN is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight previous solo novels and the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. A former investigative journalist and award-winning feature writer, she has published work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many others. She is the mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C.
Read an Excerpt
Friday, November 16
A lot of women want the world to see them a certain way. It's my job to create those transformations, one forty-five minute session at a time.
My clients seem different when I've finished helping them. They grow more confident, radiant. Happier, even.
But I can only offer a temporary fix. People invariably revert to their former selves.
True change requires more than the tools I wield.
* * *
It's twenty to six on a Friday evening. Rush hour. It's also when someone often wants to look like the best version of themselves, so I consistently block this time out of my personal schedule.
When the subway doors open at Astor Place, I'm the first one out, my right arm aching from the weight of my black makeup case as it always does by the end of a long day.
I swing my case directly behind me so it'll fit through the narrow passageway — it's my fifth trip through the turnstiles today alone, and my routine is automatic — then I hurry up the stairs.
When I reach the street, I dig into the pocket of my leather jacket and pull out my phone. I tap it to open my schedule, which is updated at least once a day by BeautyBuzz. I provide the hours I can work, and my appointments are texted to me.
My final booking today is near Eighth Street and University Place. It's for ninety minutes, which means it's a double — two clients. I have the address, names, and a contact phone number. But I have no idea who will be waiting for me when I knock on a door.
I don't fear strangers, though. I've learned more harm can come from familiar faces.
I memorize the exact location, then stride down the street, skirting the garbage that has spilled from a toppled bin. A shopkeeper pulls a security grate over his storefront, the loud metal rattling into place. A trio of students, backpacks slung over their shoulders, jostle each other playfully as I pass them.
I'm two blocks from my destination when my phone rings. Caller ID shows it's my mom.
I let it ring once as I stare at the little circular photo of my smiling mother.
I'll see her in five days, when I go home for Thanksgiving, I tell myself.
But I can't let it go.
Guilt is always the heaviest thing I carry.
"Hey, Mom. Everything okay?" I ask.
"Everything's fine, honey. Just checking in."
I can picture her in the kitchen in the suburban Philadelphia home where I grew up. She's stirring gravy on the stove — they eat early, and Friday's menu is always pot roast and mashed potatoes — then unscrewing the top on a bottle of Zinfandel in preparation for the single glass she indulges in on weekend nights.
There are yellow curtains dressing the small window above the sink, and a dish towel looped through the stove handle with the words Just roll with it superimposed over an image of a rolling pin. The flowered wallpaper is peeling at the seams and a dent marks the bottom of the fridge from where my father kicked it after the Eagles lost in the playoffs.
Dinner will be ready when my dad walks through the door from his job as an insurance salesman. My mother will greet him with a quick kiss. They will call my sister, Becky, to the table, and help her cut her meat.
"Becky zipped up her jacket this morning," my mother says. "Without any help."
Becky is twenty-two, six years younger than me.
"That's fantastic," I say.
Sometimes I wish I lived closer so I could help my parents. Other times, I'm ashamed at how grateful I am that I don't.
"Hey, can I call you back?" I continue. "I'm just running in to work."
"Oh, did you get hired for another show?"
I hesitate. Mom's voice is more animated now.
I can't tell her the truth, so I blurt out the words: "Yeah, it's just a little production. There probably won't even be much press about it. But the makeup is super elaborate, really unconventional."
"I'm really proud of you," my mom says. "I can't wait to hear all about it next week."
I feel like she wants to add something more, but even though I haven't quite reached my destination — a student housing complex at NYU — I end the call.
"Give Becky a kiss. I love you."
* * *
My rules for any job kick in even before I arrive.
I evaluate my clients the moment I see them — I notice eyebrows that would look better darkened, or a nose that needs shading to appear slimmer — but I know my customers are sizing me up, too.
The first rule: my unofficial uniform. I wear all black, which eliminates the need to coordinate a new outfit every morning. It also sends a message of subtle authority. I choose comfortable, machine-washable layers that will look as fresh at seven P.M. as they do at seven A.M.
Since personal space vanishes when you're doing someone's makeup, my nails are short and buffed, my breath is minty, and my curls are swept up in a low twist. I never deviate from this standard.
I rub Germ-X on my hands and pop an Altoid in my mouth before I ring the buzzer for Apartment 6D. I'm five minutes early. Another rule.
I take the elevator to the sixth floor, then follow the sound of loud music — Katy Perry's "Roar" — down the hallway and meet my clients. One is in a bathrobe, and the other wears a T-shirt and boxers. I can smell the evidence of their last beauty treatment — the chemicals used to highlight blond streaks into the hair of the girl named Mandy, and the nail varnish drying on the hands Taylor is waving through the air.
"Where are you going tonight?" I ask. A party will likely have stronger lighting than a club; a dinner date will require a subtle touch.
"Lit," Taylor says.
At my blank look, she adds: "It's in the Meatpacking District. Drake was just there last night."
"Cool," I say.
I wind through the items scattered across the floor — an umbrella, a crumpled gray sweater, a backpack — then move aside the Skinny Pop popcorn and half-empty cans of Red Bull on the low coffee table so I can set down my case. I unlatch it and the sides fold out like an accordion to reveal tray upon tray of makeup and brushes.
"What kind of look are we going for?"
Some makeup artists dive in, trying to cram as many clients as possible into a day. I take the extra time I've built into my schedule to ask a few questions. Just because one woman wants a smokey eye and a naked mouth doesn't mean another isn't envisioning a bold red lip and only a swipe of mascara. Investing in those early minutes saves me time on the backend.
But I also trust my instincts and observations. When these girls say they want a sexy, beachy look, I know they really want to resemble Gigi Hadid, who is on the cover of the magazine splayed across the love seat.
"So what are you majoring in?" I ask.
"Communications. We both want to go into PR." Mandy sounds bored, like I'm an annoying adult asking her what she wants to be when she grows up.
"Sounds interesting," I say as I pull a straight-back chair into the strongest light, directly under the ceiling fixture.
I start with Taylor. I have forty-five minutes to create the vision she wants to see in the mirror.
"You have amazing skin," I say. Another rule: Find a feature to compliment on every client. In Taylor's case, this isn't difficult.
"Thanks," she says, not lifting her gaze from her phone. She begins a running commentary on her Instagram feed: "Does anyone really want to see another picture of cupcakes?" "Jules and Brian are so in love, it's gross." "Inspirational sunset, got it ... glad you're having a rocking Friday night on your balcony."
As I work, the girls' chatter fades into background noise, like the drone of a hair dryer or city traffic. I lose myself in the strokes of different foundations I've applied to Taylor's jawline so I can match her skin tone flawlessly, and in the swirl of copper and sandy hues I blend on my hand to bring out the gold flecks in her eyes.
I'm brushing bronzer onto her cheeks when her cell phone rings.
Taylor stops tapping hearts and holds up her phone: "Private number. Should I get it?"
"Yes!" Mandy says. "It could be Justin."
Taylor wrinkles her nose. "Who answers their phone on a Friday night, though? He can leave a message."
A few moments later, she touches the speakerphone button and a man's voice fills the room:
"This is Ben Quick, Dr. Shields's assistant. I'm confirming your appointments this weekend, for tomorrow and Sunday from eight to ten A.M. The location again is Hunter Hall, Room 214. I'll meet you in the lobby and take you up."
Taylor rolls her eyes and I pull back my mascara wand.
"Can you keep your face still, please?" I ask.
"Sorry. Was I out of my mind, Mandy? I'm going to be way too hungover to get up early tomorrow."
"Just blow it off."
"Yeah. But it's five hundred bucks. That's, like, a couple sweaters from rag & bone."
These words break my concentration; five hundred is what I make for ten jobs.
"Gah. Forget it. I'm not going to set an alarm to go to some dumb questionnaire," Taylor says.
Must be nice, I think, looking at the sweater crumpled in the corner.
Then I can't help myself: "A questionnaire?"
Taylor shrugs. "Some psych professor needs students for a survey."
I wonder what sort of questions are on the survey. Maybe it's like a Myers-Briggs personality test.
I step back and study Taylor's face. She's classically pretty, with an enviable bone structure. She didn't need the full forty-five-minute treatment.
"Since you're going to be out late, I'll line your lips before I apply gloss," I say. "That way the color will last."
I pull out my favorite lip gloss with the BeautyBuzz logo on the tube and smooth it along Taylor's full lips. After I finish, Taylor gets up to go look in the bathroom mirror, trailed by Mandy. "Wow," I hear Taylor say. "She's really good. Let's take a selfie."
"I need my makeup first!"
I begin to put away the cosmetics I used for Taylor and consider what I will need for Mandy when I notice Taylor has left her phone on the chair.
My rocking Friday night will consist of walking my little mixed terrier, Leo, and washing the makeup out of my brushes — after I take the bus home to my tiny studio on the Lower East Side. I'm so wiped out that I'll probably be in bed before Taylor and Mandy order their first cocktails at the club.
I look down at the phone again.
Then I glance at the bathroom door. It's partly closed.
I bet Taylor won't even bother to return the call to cancel her appointment.
"I need to buy the highlighter she used," Taylor is saying.
Five hundred dollars would help a lot with my rent this month.
I already know my schedule for tomorrow. My first job doesn't begin until noon.
"I'm going to have her do my eyes kind of dramatic," Mandy says. "I wonder if she has false lashes with her."
Hunter Hall from eight to ten A.M. — I remember that part. But what was the name of the doctor and his assistant?
It's not even like I make a decision to do it; one second I'm staring at the phone and the next, it's in my hand. Less than a minute has passed; it hasn't locked out yet. Still, I need to look down to navigate to the voice mail screen, but that means taking my eyes off the bathroom door.
I jab at the screen to play the most recent message, then press the phone tightly to my ear.
The bathroom door moves and Mandy starts to walk out. I spin around, feeling my heartbeat erupt. I won't be able to replace the phone without her seeing me.
I can pretend it fell off the chair, I think wildly. I'll tell Taylor I just picked it up.
Dr. Shields's assistant ... eight to ten A.M. ...
"Should I make her try a darker lip color?"
Come on, I think, willing the message to play faster.
Hunter Hall, Room 214.
"Maybe," Mandy says.
I'll meet you in the lob —
I hang up and drop the phone back onto the chair just as Taylor takes her first step into the room.
Did she leave it faceup or facedown? But before there's time to try and remember, Taylor is beside me.
She stares down at her phone and my stomach clenches. I've messed up. Now I recall that she left it with the screen facing down on the chair. I put it back the wrong way.
I swallow hard, trying to think of an excuse.
"Hey," she says.
I drag my eyes up to meet hers.
"Love it. But can you try a darker lip gloss?"
She flops back onto the chair and I slowly exhale.
I re-do her lips twice — first making them berry, then reverting to the original shade, all the while steadying my right elbow with my left palm so my shaking fingers don't ruin the lines — and by the time I'm finished, my pulse has returned to normal.
When I leave the apartment with a distracted "Thank you" from the girls instead of a tip, my decision is confirmed.
I set the alarm on my phone for 7:15 A.M.
Saturday, November 17
The next morning, I review my plan carefully.
Sometimes an impulsive decision can change the course of your life.
I don't want that to happen again.
I wait outside Hunter Hall, peering in the direction of Taylor's apartment. It's cloudy and the air is thick and gray, so for a moment I mistake another young woman rushing in my direction for her. But it's just someone out for a jog. When it's five minutes past eight and it appears that Taylor is still asleep, I enter the lobby, where a guy in khakis and a blue button-down shirt is checking his watch.
"Sorry I'm late!" I call.
"Taylor?" he says. "I'm Ben Quick."
I'd correctly gambled on the assumption that Taylor wouldn't phone to cancel.
"Taylor is sick, so she asked me to come and do the questionnaire instead. I'm Jessica. Jessica Farris."
"Oh." Ben blinks. He looks me up and down, examining me more carefully.
I've traded my ankle boots for Converse high tops and slung a black nylon backpack over one shoulder. I figure it won't hurt if I look like a student.
"Can you hang on a second?" he finally says. "I need to check with Dr. Shields."
"Sure." I aim for the slightly bored tone Taylor used last night.
The worst thing that'll happen is he'll tell me I can't participate, I remind myself. No big deal; I'll just grab a bagel and take Leo for a long walk.
Ben steps aside and pulls out his cell phone. I want to listen to his side of the conversation, but his voice is muted.
Then he walks over to me. "How old are you?"
"Twenty-eight," I respond truthfully.
I sneak a glance at the entrance to make sure Taylor isn't going to saunter in at the last minute.
"You currently reside in New York?" Ben asks.
Ben has two more questions for me: "Where else have you lived? Anywhere outside the United States?"
I shake my head. "Just Pennsylvania. That's where I grew up."
"Okay," Ben says, putting his phone away. "Dr. Shields says you can participate in the study. First, I need to get your full name, address, and social security number. Can I see some ID?"
I shift my backpack into my hand and dig through it until I find my wallet, then I hand him my driver's license.
He snaps a picture, then takes down the rest of my information. "I can Venmo you the payment tomorrow at the conclusion of your session if you have an account."
"I do," I say. "Taylor told me it's five hundred dollars, right?"
He nods. "I'm going to text all this to Dr. Shields, then I'll take you upstairs to the room."
Could it possibly be this simple?CHAPTER 2
Saturday, November 17
You aren't the subject who was expected to show up this morning.
Still, you meet the demographic criteria of the study and the slot would otherwise be wasted, so my assistant Ben escorts you to Room 214. The testing space is large and rectangular, filled with windows along the eastern-facing side. Three rows of desks and chairs line the shiny linoleum floor. At the front of the room is a SMART Board, its screen blank. High on the back wall is an old-fashioned round clock. It could be any classroom in any college campus in any city.
Except for one thing: You are the only person here.
This venue has been selected because there is little to distract you, facilitating your ability to concentrate on the task ahead.
Ben explains that your instructions will appear on the computer that is being provided for your use. Then he closes the door.
The room is silent.
A laptop waits on a desk in the first row. It is already open. Your footsteps echo across the expanse of the floor as you walk toward it.
You ease into the seat, pulling it up to the desk. The metal leg of your chair grates against the linoleum.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "An Anonymous Girl"
Copyright © 2019 Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed." The plot for this story is incredibly original and is what initially piqued my interest in this book. But that's where it ends for me. I already know that I'll be in the minority with my opinions as this book will no doubt appeal to the masses. Told in two points of view, that of Dr Shields, the alluring, manipulative therapist conducting a survey on ethics and morality, and Jess, the unlucky participant that has drawn the attention of Dr Shields. Dr Shields finds Jess is most suitable for a personal agenda and begins the process of grooming and manipulating her. Its clear that the chapters narrated by Dr Shields are meant to have a creepy feel but the atmosphere falls flat. Jess is likeable enough, devastatingly flawed and a victim of her own secrets. I'm all for a slow burn but this book burns so slow it extinguished itself by the 40% mark and never really becomes engaging throughout. The synopsis for this book paints a picture of a story more psychologically frightening than is actually between the pages. The story is totally implausible, which I could forgive if only the narrative had been told in a more captivating way. There are no twists in this book, no gasping moments, no real sense of mystery. The ending is just blah and completely farfetched. I found the story to be pretty lackluster throughout. I would be remiss in not mentioning that clearly the authors are fans of fashion because nearly every scene includes a detailed description of what the characters are wearing down to the tiniest of details. These details lend nothing to the storyline and become laughable at points because of the absurdity of their inclusion in the book. I'm giving this one 2.5 ? rounded up for plot originality and the fact that I was able to finish the book despite it's failings. I was provided an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this book! This book sucks you in right from the opening pages. At first we believe that the survey, although a little odd, is innocent. A professor questioning students about circumstances and what their reaction would be. I could believe an ethics professor might want to see what the modern day, liberal minded, college age female might do in any given situation. I could even envision a book or at the very least a published paper on the results of the survey.. Never in my wildest imaginings did I forsee how this would play out. It was a thrilling read, and I know how cliche it sounds, but I could not put this book down. The characters are crafted very well. The plot is perfect, each twist is perfectly timed for maximum effect. If you enjoy a good thriller, you will love this book.
This is an advanced copy that I won from St Martin's Press. This book comes out on Jan 9 #AnAnonymousGirl Everyone should get it and read it! I loved it. It is a very intriguing read. Jess is trying to work at BeautyBuzz to give money to her parents for her sister and she is also trying to become the woman she should be but she has so much guilt and everything that is going on in her life. She is doing the makeup of one of her clients when she sees a message about a study that Dr Shields is doing and you get paid a lot of money for answering some questions. Jess decides to take her client's place since she is pretty sure she won't show up and Jess needs the money. This is what starts the snowball effect of things that happen to Jess. You will have to read it to find out what happens.....
“An Anonymous Girl” by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen is a psychological thriller that follows Jessica Farris, a make-up artist Readers immediately get to know Jessica. She is dedicated and harried. She wants to be organized, and is driven by rules and more rules. Most of all, she is in desperate need of money. She stumbles upon an opportunity to make quick money by participating in a research project. “Seeking women aged 18 to 32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality conducted by a preeminent NYC psychiatrist. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. Call for more details.” Thus, Jessica’s unusual and frightening journey begins. In a casual, conversation-style first-person narrative, she talks to friends; she talks to herself; and she talks to readers. She shares her past, her present, her regrets, her dreams, her guilt, and her fears. She finds that an impulsive decision can change the course of one’s life. Many things that were ordinary in the past are somehow no longer run of the mill activities and people; now that she in in the survey group, now that she is “Subject 52.” The study begins as a computer-driven question and answer session about ethics and morality as described. Of course, Jessica has already lied to get into this study, so her situation is compromised at the start. Money is money, but how far will she go to get that money? Lies pile up one on top of the other, and the study of “ethics and morality” mutates into something very different and very sinister. The construction of the narrative itself contributes to the menacing tone of impending doom. The account switches from Jessica’s first person present tense narrative to another narrative, this one a second person present tense as if the narrator is speaking directly to Jessica. “You are the only person here. This venue has been selected because there is little to distract you, facilitating your ability to concentrate on the task ahead.” The tone throughout is tense and foreboding. Without giving away information, this book filled with deception, treachery, and subterfuge. The plot is complex and develops over time, one puzzle piece at time. And, like a puzzle, the pieces eventually fall into place but not without missteps, variations, and unexpected turns. I received a copy of “An Anonymous Girl” from Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen, St Martin’s Press, and NetGalley. It is the quintessential psychological thriller, and one that readers will find hard to put down.
What a ride An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen has been. There is nothing quite as galvanizing as a well-drawn anti-hero. Jessica Farris, a freelance makeup artist, signs herself up for a psychology study being held at a local college because she needs the money offered. The study takes place in an empty room with only a laptop submitting the questionnaire. Jessica knows that a Dr. Shields is in charge of this study but has not met the professor. Soon Jessica is contacted to continue a more intense psychological evaluation while being well-paid. She agrees and soon starts thinking that all is not well. The rest you must read for yourself. Nothing will be as it seems. The story is fascinating and keeps up the tension till the last page. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys unpredictable psychological thrillers. Thank you to St. Martin's Press, NetGalley and the authors for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I spent the afternoon relaying to one of my nonreader friends the entire plot of this book. She was literally on the edge of her seat, eating her salad like it was popcorn in a movie theater, gasping at just the right moments and putting off a bathroom break so that I could finish. That's how good this book is. Every page was just like that. Me reading with my eyes wide open, waiting for a gotcha moment. I could practically hear the ominous movie soundtrack throughout. The back and forth between Jessica Farris and Dr. Shields is perfect. The character development is perfect. The trail of breadcrumbs is perfect. I'm not a scary movie or horror book kind of girl. Creepy books creep me out too much. But this was just the right amount of suspense to keep going and loving it.
I received a netgalley of An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen, in exchange for an honest review. Jessica is in desperate need of extra cash so she lies her way into a morality study. As she gets more deeply involved in Dr. Shields study, she begins to wonder if this was all worth it. This book has many twists and turns. It keeps the reader's attention and you do not know what will happen next. I enjoyed this read and I highly recommend.
Who has the nerve to assume another's identity to participate in a psychological morality study? And, what sort of psychiatrist recruits study subjects under false pretenses? Does the overly generous compensation for the subjects' time recompense them for the risk they are taking ? In The Anonymous Girl, the authors of The Wife Between Us have created another first person, second person psychological thriller with serious creepiness and a myriad of twists and turns. I wanted to love this title; however, I feel that it droned on much too long and I lost interest about halfway through. I did finally finish the book; however, I would have preferred it with an editorial cut of 100 pages or so. I would recommend The Anonymous Girl for fans of The Wife Between Us and anyone who enjoys first person, second person narration. In the interest of full disclosure, I received a free digital copy of this title to review from Net Galley. #TheAnonymousGirl#NetGalley
The premise of this book was interesting, and the resulting story was quite suspenseful. Initially I found myself rooting for Jessica as I appreciated how she tried to take care of her family. I liked seeing the personal growth she made by the end of the book, though she still had some room to grow since some of her actions, even then, displayed questionable ethics. Dr. Shields was completely creepy which did make for exciting reading. However, some of the questions she had could have been answered far more easily by a private investigator. And the purpose of her so-called study, her test? It seems there was only one answer she was willing to accept, but such an expectation is neither scientific nor realistic. As a result, while I found the story fairly diverting, the character of Dr. Shields at times made it border on the ridiculous.
I agree completely with overhyped comment of the other reviewer. It has an interesting premise, but falls short on actual story. SLOW, SLOW, SLOW. Too much irrelevant detail. No real surprises or suspense. I did like the main character, Jess. Her backstory is unique, but the rest was PREDICTABLE.
"Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt? Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about? Should a punishment always fit the crime?" These are questions asked by Dr. Shields when Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study about ethics and morality. She is being paid for her answers and becomes Suspect 52. As the questions get more and more intense and invasive, Jessica's paranoia grows. I found this book to be very unique, intriguing and suspenseful. The plot rolls out slowly but keeps the pages turning. The book is well-written and the characters seem like real people. The point of view alternates between Jessica and Dr. Shields. Lots of twists and turns lead this psychological thriller to a very surprise ending. I'm looking forward to reading Hendricks/Pekkanen's first book, The Wife Between Us, as I really enjoyed this one. I would highly recommend this book to those who love to read about obsession and power. I would like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for a copy of this book for an honest review.
Crazy Plot! Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book revolves around Jess, who overhears a make-up client talk about a "study" that will pay $500 to be a subject. The client doesn't go, but Jess goes in her place. Unbeknownst to Jess, the woman in charge of the study, is using subjects in a way that they are not expecting. I don't want to say much more, because it would give away some of the twists and turns that kept me up all night reading! I enjoyed this book and would recommend to those that love books like Gone Girl and Girl on a Train.
I wanted to love this book. The premise sounded very interesting - Jessica enters a study on morality to make extra money to help make ends meet. What starts as something quite simple becomes more and more complex. When Jessica is invited by Dr. Lydia Shields to do a more in-depth study for even more money, she is thrilled that she has been "chosen." As the study moves forward, the expectations become more and more bizarre and the "mystery" winds itself up and takes the reader on a whirlwind ride of trying to figure out which character is actually the villain of the story. I wanted to love it but I didn't. It was well written and it did keep the reader guessing but for whatever reason, the story fell a little flat for me. I'm giving it 4 stars because I think that there is definitely an audience for this book. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book.
I really enjoyed this book, but not as much as The Wife Between Us, which led me to expect more twists in this. Still Pekkanen and Hendricks did it again. I enjoyed this suspenseful read and alternating narrators. I noticed that one of the dates was off - November 7th jumped to 9th the next day, I believe. Great book, and I'm looking forward to more by these authors. It was a great premise of a psychological study gone out of control
Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen are officially the dynamic duo of psychological thrillers! Hendricks and Pekkanen’s latest book, An Anonymous Girl is UNPUTDOWNABLE! I mean WOW! What a well-developed plot! An Anonymous Girl is a fast-paced psychological thriller that is well-written, boasts fully developed characters, as well as a well-developed, fantastically, frightening plot! Jessica Farris signs up for a psychological study on ethics and morality where jealousy, obsession, and manipulation (oh, and a lot of crazy) is ever-present. You won’t be able to sleep thinking about this book because: 1). it’s that good and you won’t be able to think of anything but this book; and 2). because it’s so wonderfully, wicked you’ll be dying to see what happens next. I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was unable to get into this book and I had the same problem with their previous book. I felt that the writing was contrived, the flow was terrible. I was confused from page one. There has been a lot of hype on this book but I, for one, so not see why! I hope others enjoy it though.
This was a full 5 star rating for me! I loved this book! First off I would like to start by thanking Netgalley and the publisher St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 28 year old Jessica Farris is a makeup artist struggling to make ends meet in New York City when she overhears one of her clients talking to a friend about blowing off a study seeking women aged 18-32 for a study in morality. Seeing as how her very wealthy client seems to have no real interest in going Jess decides to go in her place. She could really use the five hundred dollars and what harm could it cause? Little does Jess know just how much her life will change by doing this one, little thing. Jessica is thrilled when she is not only accepted into the study but has intrigued the psych professor Dr. Shields so much the doctor wants to continue the study with her and not only that, she wants to pay her much, much more. Sure, some of the assignments seem a bit strange but Jess begins to feel such a strong connection to Dr. Shields she seems so kind and understanding., so willing to listen to all of Jessica's secrets, In fact it is required. Jessica also finds herself very intrigued by the stylish, cool Doctor. What Jessica doesn't know is that Dr.Shields psych psych professor is very intrigued by her. Lydia Shields has her own agenda and she most certainly does not have Jess' best interest at heart. This captivating physiological thriller is told from the point of view of both Jess and Dr. Shields as their twisted relationship grows and more secrets are revealed about both women we find ourselves falling deeper and deeper on each woman's spell. I love a good thriller and I have read a lot of fantastic ones this year but I would put this right up there with my favorite thriller of the year thus far "The Woman in the WIndow by AJ Finn. If you read and liked that then you will love this! I will be recommending this book to everyone of my thriller/mystery loving friends!
Book reviews, like everything else in life, are subjective. Readers are as different as the number of books you will find in bookstores and libraries. I read many reviews of AN ANONYMOUS GIRL and found an overwhelming majority of reviewers who had read Greer & Pekkanen’s first co-authored novel The Wife Between Us had given their second co-authored novel, AN ANONYMOUS GIRL 2-3 Star reviews. However, the majority of reviewers who had not read The Wife Between Us gave AN ANONYMOUS GIRL 4-5 star reviews. I have not yet read Greer & Pekkanen’s first novel, and therefore I had no expectations or biases. AN ANONYMOUS GIRL is unequivocally a 5 Star novel. The Wife Between Us received many accolades and praise from highly reputable reviews. I am confident AN ANONYMOUS GIRL will receive its accolades and praise from highly reputable reviews as well. I started and completed reading AN ANONYMOUS GIRL while on an Amtrak train from Chicago to St. Paul/Indianapolis. I was fixated from the first page and remained riveted through the last page. The only time I slowed down was when I came upon the initial alternate Point of View (POV) narration between the two main characters, Jess and Dr. Fields; however, once I realized the authors were writing using the alternate narration, I took off again, without any further. Had I not finished reading the book by the time my train rolled into St. Paul/Indianapolis, I may have very likely found myself further down the tracks than intended. The only time I slowed down was when I came upon the initial alternate Point of View (POV) narration between the two main characters, Jess and Dr. Fields; however, once I realized the authors were writing using the alternate narration, I took off again, without any further hesitations. I feel the need to point out that this style of writing is uncommon because it is, as far as I am concerned, the most challenging form of narration to pull off. I have a feeling that many readers that reviewed AN ANONYMOUS GIRL found themselves confused by the alternate narration style which resulted in their 2-3 star reviews. However, Hendricks and Pekkanen very cleverly did what many writers will avoid because the alternating narration style is difficult, but these co-authors did an exemplary job in their alternating narration style. It’s not my intent to offend the reviewers who found the alternating narration style a sticking point. However, I also believe that many readers think there are limited POVs in writing fiction, which is not the case, the POV possibilities are numerous. Hendricks and Pekkanen should be lauded for their first-rate talent in pulling off the alternating narration POV as superlatively as they did. I commend their character development which was also not simplified. Hendricks and Pekkanen took their writing to a new level when they wrote AN ANONYMOUS GIRL. They make a great team writing 5 Star novels. I recommend this book to ALL readers, regardless of preferred genre. And I also recommend this book to writers and authors as well. As writers, we read not only for the enjoyment we glean, but also to learn and to learn from proficient writers as well, or we should be if we wish to improve as writers. Hendricks and Pekkanen is a writing team we can all learn from when it comes to improving our writing. I wish to thank St. Martin's Press, Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. - D.B. Moone
I have never read this author before but I will read them again for sure! This is a very intriguing suspenseful book! Just as soon as you think you have something figured out, forget that thought because you are going to turn the page and things will change again! Great book! Thanks!
4.5 Stars "Not everyone is brave enough to face their demons." I REALLY like an author who can spin a twisted tale, and Greer/Pekkanen do it again in AN ANONYMOUS GIRL. 28 year old Jessica Farris is a hardworking makeup artist who could sure use a few extra bucks to help her family back home....and pay her rent, so when she sees what seems to be an easy opportunity to make a fast $500 by just answering a few questions, she sneaks into a highly confidential morality and ethics survey that turns her life into a dangerous game of truth or consequences. The dual narration is fast moving with a constant underlying sense of danger that bring out a myriad of secrets and lies.
This book was one that kept me rapt from beginning to end. The author(s) were methodical with details that left the reader knowing exactly where we were going and where we were. It was wonderful not to have to flip flop back and say “ what did I miss?”, as in so many books I have read and reviewed lately. A true “page turner.” Written so very well.....intelligently and mesmerizingly. The characters were not easily figured out and they kept the reader wondering and listening. I do not want to spoil this intriguing read with details of the plot, as is my way of reviewing, but this book is one I have to say was one of the best I’ve read in a long time. I am a discriminating and avid reader and reviewer. Excellent! Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press, for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.
An Anonymous GIrl was a fun, twisty thriller that was refreshing after a sea of many other "thrillers" that seemed to read the same. Jessica, a young makeup artist in New York City, volunteers for a paid psychological study under false pretenses with the well-known Dr. Shields. She is tasked with answering questions on ethics and mortality, and is selected for a higher level of interviewing. Jessica gets mixed up in a very cat and mouse sort of way with Dr. Shields as the project quickly goes off the rails. This book nailed all of the necessary twists and turns to make a good psychological thriller, and I appreciated the gratuitous level of creepiness that didn't leave me afraid of the dark. I haven't yet read The Wife Between Us, but I'm definitely planning to pick up a copy in the near future. Thanks so much to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read this book early!
An Anonymous Girl will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. A psychological thriller that will have you guessing and wondering what is really the truth and who can you trust. Excellent book
I was so excited to see this book after reading "The Wife Between Us" last year, which I absolutely loved. "Was it all worth it, Jessica?" WOW, mind blown! This is exactly the type of book I love to read. Just when I thought I had something figured out, turns out I was way off base. And although I really didn't like Jessica, I really disliked her at the end. If you love psychological thrillers, then you really need to read these authors because they will blow you away also! Thank you to the authors and NetGalley for the chance to read this and offer my honest opinion.
Life can change on a dine. It can come in a phone call, a text, a word, or even an invitation. For Jessica Ferris, a young woman struggling to make ends meet as a free lance makeup artist, her change of life comes when she joins in on a study conducted by Dr Shields. Jessica had not been the intended study subject but had fallen into becoming a subject through a bit of deception on her part and the need for money. Dr Shields has it all. She is educated, beautiful, has a handsome husband, although he might be a philanderer, and yet there is something unnerving about her. Cool as a cucumber, she is a manipulator who entices Jessica to enter the study and become anything Dr Shields wants her to be. How to dress, who to see, where to go are all under the guise of a morality study. Little does Jess know that she is being trained to carry out the devious plans of Dr Shields that will consequently have disastrous results for Jessica. This was quite an unnerving thriller fraught with so many twists and turns that the reader didn't know who was a villain or who was a hero if even there was one. It built up the suspense preying on a person who was obviously out of her element. Would Jessica learn the game in time or would she succumb to the machinations of Dr Shields? I do heartily recommend this book to those of us who do like the working of a well written and performed psychological thriller. This one will keep the reader on their toes as they are taken along on a journey to control, compulsion, and manipulation. Have to say I did so enjoy the authors previous book, The Wife Between Us, as well! Keep em coming ladies! Thank you to Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, St Martin's Press and Net Galley for a copy of this riveting novel.