A twisty thriller that packs lies, domestic drama, and dirty little secrets into a whirlwind murder mystery.
Good to know
Lizzie Kitsakis is working late when she gets the call. Grueling hours are standard at elite law firms like Young & Crane, but they’d be easier to swallow if Lizzie was there voluntarily. Until recently, she’d been a happily underpaid federal prosecutor. That job and her brilliant, devoted husband Sam—she had everything she’d ever wanted. And then, suddenly, it all fell apart.
No. That’s a lie. It wasn’t sudden, was it? Long ago the cracks in Lizzie’s marriage had started to show. She was just good at averting her eyes.
The last thing Lizzie needs right now is a call from an inmate at Rikers asking for help—even if Zach Grayson is an old friend. But Zach is desperate: his wife, Amanda, has been found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their Brooklyn brownstone. And Zach’s the primary suspect.
As Lizzie is drawn into the dark heart of idyllic Park Slope, she learns that Zach and Amanda weren’t what they seemed—and that their friends, a close-knit group of fellow parents at the exclusive Grace Hall private school, might be protecting troubling secrets of their own. In the end, she’s left wondering not only whether her own marriage can be saved, but what it means to have a good marriage in the first place.
A Good Marriage
I never meant for any of this to happen. That’s a stupid thing to say. But it is true. And obviously, I didn’t kill anyone. Would never, could never. You know that. You know me better than anyone.
Have I made my share of mistakes? Definitely. I’ve lied, been selfish. I’ve hurt you. That’s what I regret most of all. That I caused you pain. Because I love you more than anything in this world.
You know that, right? That I love you?
I hope so. Because that’s all I think about. And solitary gives you lots of time to think.
(Don’t worry—I talked my way into “the box.” That’s what they call solitary. It’s too damn loud out there in the general population. All night long, people talk and scream and argue and mumble nonsense. If you don’t come in here insane, you’ll end up that way. And I’m not insane. I know you know that, too.)
Explanations. Would they make a difference? I can at least start with the why. Because this is so much harder than I thought it would be—marriage, life. All of it.
It’s so simple at the beginning. You meet someone gorgeous and smart and funny. Somebody who’s better than you—you both know it, at least on some level. You fall in love with them. But you fall even more in love with their idea of you. You feel lucky. Because you are lucky.
Then time passes. You both change too much. You stay too much the same. The truth worms its way out, and the horizon grows dark. Eventually all you’re left with is somebody who sees you for who you really are. And sooner or later, they hold up a mirror and you’re forced to see for yourself.
And who the hell can live with that?
So you do what you can to survive. You start looking for a fresh pair of eyes.
Why I love it
All rise: Book court is now in session, and, WOW, do I have a tremendously fun thriller to tell you about today! It starts off as an open-and-shut murder case but turns into a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. And it is AWESOME.
Present-day Park Slope: The body of Amanda Grayson has been found, and the main suspect, her millionaire husband Zach, has been arrested. Attorney Lizzie Kitsakis is surprised when she learns Zach, an old friend from law school, is a potential killer, and even more surprised when he insists she defend him. As Lizzie starts searching for evidence to prove Zach’s innocence, she, too, privately begins to suspect that he’s guilty. Did she agree to defend a murderer?
From almost the first page, McCreight cuts the brakes on the story and the book speeds along at a breakneck pace. Readers are treated not only to Lizzie’s story, but to the wife Amanda’s secret past, the moneyed lives of her friends, and the scandal that threatens to topple everything. Each of these threads are fascinating, and in the end, McCreight pulls them all together at the last minute in a truly explosive conclusion. VERDICT: Run, don’t walk, to this book. *Bangs gavel*
Member ratings (27,981)
Newport Beach, CA
Im between “loved” and “liked” with this book; only because it took me awhile to get hooked, but once I did I really enjoyed the mystery and guessing game! I had a lot of “oh I know who did it” moment
North Bethesda, MD
I never grow tired of a “people are not who they seem,” “whodunit” plot line! I always enjoy seeing how moving parts come together in a way I didn’t quite expect. Devoured this one in less than 24hrs!
You know you’re in for a treat when chapter after chapter you’re saying “oooh, THIS person did it” or “well, it could be THIS person”, the inner dialogue never stopped. Damn good writing and read!
Great read, quick & engaging. Some excellent twists kept me guessing until the end. I enjoyed the grand jury testimony sprinkled throughout. I did find the “Amanda’s best friend” story line confusing.
Roslindale , MA
I love a “who did it” type of book. Throughout my reading, I kept on guessing “who” it may be. I could not put this book down and when I wasn’t reading I definitely was thinking/talking about it.