Plot: Florence is an editorial assistant at a publishing company who one day sort of accidentally-on-purpose blows up her unfulfilling life. Soon after, she’s given the chance to work as an assistant for the celebrated pseudonymous author, Maud Dixon. She soon learns that Maud Dixon is in fact a woman named Helen, an unbearably pretentious (my interpretation, not Florence’s) woman living in upstate New York. Helen is working on a novel that takes place in Morocco, and so the two travel there together for her to do some research. One night after drinking too much, Florence causes a car accident that kills Helen–but when she wakes up in the hospital everyone thinks she IS Helen, and the temptation to exchange her dull and unsatisfying life for that of an acclaimed author is too big a temptation. Complications (and murders!) ensue.
What I liked: This story moves right along, and I appreciate the skill that Alexandra Andrews has to keep me invested in a story in which I deeply hated both of the main characters. This book is very exciting. Once Florence assumes Helen’s identity the plot twists keep coming–some predictable, sure, but still with so much going on, it held my interest.
What I didn’t like: Florence and Helen are truly in a competition to see who is The Worst. Helen is insufferable and manipulative. Florence is miserable and manipulative. They are both such terrible people. I know that’s on purpose, but is it too much to ask for a thriller to have at least one likable person in it? It’s not impossible–Louisa Luna manages it, for example, but it’s so rare in this genre.
Also, the ending of this book is utterly ludicrous. The more the bodies pile up, the less any of this makes sense, and the final murder is so unnecessary–and would be so easily solved and tied back to the killer–that it negated a lot of my enjoyment of the book beforehand.
As far as thrillers go, this is absolutely fine–a quick read, interesting, exciting–but not something I’ll remember having read in a few months time.