Anonymous Girl
by Hendricks, Greer; Pekkanen, Sarah

Participating in a psychological study under the mysterious Dr. Shields, Jessica endures intense, invasive sessions and oppressive behavioral restrictions before she begins to lose her grasp on reality.

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.

*Starred Review* The coauthors of the mega-best-selling The Wife between Us (2018) return with another spooky tale of psychological seduction. Two main characters (a makeup artist and a psychology professor) try to figure each other out, with the stakes growing ever higher, as in a David Mamet drama. Jessica struggles to make a living as a freelance makeup artist in New York. Her house calls all over the city give her some street smarts; her profession has made her skilled in sizing up people and what they need almost instantaneously. If she weren't so hard up, she probably wouldn't answer the ad from the psychology professor asking for volunteers to take a survey about morality and ethics. We meet the professor as she observes Jessica taking the survey and silently (and creepily) addresses her in the second person ("you"). The action moves from the psychologist's asking Jessica to take more surveys, with more intimate questions, and then instructing her to engage in real-time scenarios. Jessica's financial need propels her, along with the subtle manipulations of the professor, with whom Jessica slowly becomes obsessed. The movement here from small tests to bigger ones masterfully escalates the suspense. The juxtaposed points of view, with reactions of each protagonist to the other, keep the reader guessing until the end. A great follow-up to The Wife between Us. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

A Manhattan makeup artist signs up for a study about morality and ethics that takes her deep into the danger zone. Using the addictive split narration gambit deployed in their debut, Hendricks and Pekkanen (The Wife Between Us, 2018) tell another tense tale of two female characters. Jessica is struggling to get by in New York City with a job doing makeup sessions in clients' homes. When she overhears that some ditzy college girls she's working on have signed up to take a psychological survey for $500, she breaks into their voicemail while they're out of the room to get the information, then pretends to be one of them when she arrives at the appointment. (Why she didn't just ask them about it we'll never know.) Ironically, the survey contains questions like "Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?" and "Describe a time in your life when you cheated." Turn the page, and now we're watching Jessica from the other side, from the perspective of the immediately rather creepy res earcher, Dr. Lydia Shields, who is already aware of her subject's deception. "This test can free you, Subject 52," she is thinking. "Surrender to it." We quickly learn the survey is just a front for recruiting a susceptible young woman to act as bait in some nefarious schemes Dr. Shields has planned...schemes which may have already led to the death of a woman known as Subject 5. Almost nothing about this story or its characters is believable or makes much sense, from Jessica's naiveté to Lydia's sociopathic tendencies to the awful and life-changing bit of personal history they share. Leave that aside, though, and you can still have a bit of fun watching their game of cat and mouse play out. A harmless page-turner. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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