I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen
Published by St. Martin's Press on January 8, 2019
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. 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. 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.
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.
When I got the email that I was eligible to get an eARC of An Anonymous Girl if I wanted one, I almost fell out of my chair. The Wife Between Us is towards the top of my “top 5 books of the year” list, and I couldn’t sing its praises more if I tried. I read mostly YA and middle grade, as you might have gathered by now, so for me to pick up a “grown up” book it’s got to be something special. Luckily the miracle combination of Hendricks and Pekkanen has this in spades.
How I’d Describe This Book to a Friend
Let me introduce you to Jess Farris. She’s like a lot of us – a struggling twenty-something, trying to make ends meet in her crappy studio apartment with her dog, perpetually single, and working as a freelance makeup artist for a company called Beauty Buzz. She’s bored, and she’s poor. So when a college student she’s giving a makeover to bemoans having to go to campus early the next morning for a paid study and ultimately decides against attending, Jess makes a life-altering judgement call: she picks up the girl’s phone and gets the information for the study. She shows up the next day, claims that the girl in question was unable to make it so she was sent in her place. Seems normal.
Jess is situated in a large lecture hall, alone with just a computer. She’s given questions – morality questions, honesty questions. When she’s called back for a second survey, she’s thrilled to bring in the extra cash. But suddenly, the researcher asks her to come to her office for further study – and further pay. And that’s where things get a bit … hairy.
I’d also like to introduce you to Dr. Lydia Shields. Lydia is a no nonsense woman who keeps her home immaculate, her clothing on trend, and her brows on fleek. (probably). She has been running this morality study for a while now, but she’s taken a shining to participant #52, a certain young woman named Jessica … she might be just what the doctor ordered (pun not intended but I’m leaving it here).
You see, Dr. Shields thinks her husband is cheating on her. And Jess? Jess is the perfect pawn to put into play on the chessboard to see if this theory holds any water. But what’s the harm in asking her to do these innocuous tasks for good money, right? What’s the worst that could happen?
The Bottom Line
I was sucked into An Anonymous Girl just as quickly as I was into The Wife Between Us. They both feature people who are absolutely despicable, and twist and turn you more than Primeval Whirl at Disney World.
If you enjoy a good domestic thriller that keeps you on your toes, and also makes you really ponder your own morality (I spent a lot of time wondering what I’d do in these situations – it’s never as cut and dry as it seems when you’re not the one in them), I can’t recommend this book enough. Unfortunately any more information than what I’ve already said will start to wander into spoiler territory, and you need to go into this as untainted as possible. Trust me when I say this: it’s worth the ride. As long as that ride is not Primeval Whirl.
“Everyone has a price. Yours has yet to be determined. You are staring at the therapist. The carefully constructed facade is working. It is all you see. It’s all you will ever see.”