An Anonymous Girl
by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Length: 375 Pages
Release date: 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.
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.
“In every lifetime, there are pivot points that shape and eventually cement one’s path.”
I was really hesitant to pick this up because I wasn’t crazy about The Wife Between Us, from the same authors, but I’m glad I gave into the hype. An Anonymous Girl is a fast paced and super fun and twisty thriller which follows the story of Jessica, a young and struggling 20-something makeup artist who worms her way into a psychological study after she hears they’re offering a suspiciously high compensation for participation. What does she have to lose?
The nature of the experiment is a bit foreboding from the very beginning. Jessica is prompted by a computer to respond to various questions about her personal history and sense of morality. Some of her more superficial answers are rejected as she is urged to dig deeper. Jessica’s answers hint at a dark secret in her past that the reader is not yet privy to. Meanwhile, her entanglement with the experiment and the psychologist in charge of it becomes more and more involved as the story progresses.
As with a lot of thrillers, it’s difficult to say much without giving away plot points which are best discovered organically. Suffice it to say that An Anonymous Girl has a healthy balance of foreshadowing and surprise, a protagonist who is flawed without being ridiculously unlikable, and a villain who, despite being just as over-the-top as one comes to expect in a thriller, has a believable backstory and motivation. An Anonymous Girl is a roller coaster ride that will keep you speeding through pages to the end.
“How do you know if you can really trust someone?” I finally ask.
“If you need to ask that question, then you probably already know the answer,” he says.
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