My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A twisty turny masterpiece.
Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanan are not coy; they masterfully set the reader on edge from the moment Jessica agrees to be Subject 52 in Dr. Shields’ psychological study. As soon as Jessica sat in front of a blank computer screen and began answering the faceless researcher’s intimate questions, I got the urge to yell “Don’t do it, Jess!” but couldn’t look away. That is the mark of a great book. From that first encounter between Jessica and Dr. Shields we are pulled through a maze of lies and deception that have less and less to do with the research subject than the people manipulating the conditions of the experiment.
Dr. Lydia Shields is a powerhouse character. Is she a villain or is a woman driven mad by her need to control the people she loves? We are never quite sure. Right from the beginning, Jessica knew that “sometimes the people who seem the most accomplished and together are the ones who can hurt you the deepest.” Boy oh boy, was she right!
I loved this Hendricks and Pekkanan’s first collaboration, the hugely successful The Wife Between Us, so I jumped on the opportunity to read an advanced copy of An Anonymous Girl. As much as I liked the first book they wrote together, this one was even better. Who wouldn’t love a novel where you lose track of who is the mouse and who is the cheese?