Genre: Psychological Thriller
Rating: 3.0/5.0 stars
Publication Date: January 8th, 2019
Main Takeaway: A slow start, and a thrilling ride that had me second guessing myself, but ultimately one leading to the end I suspected.
**I received this novel from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, in advance of publication in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation for this review, and the opinions expressed are in no way influenced by this transaction.**
When Jessica Farris, a freelance makeup artist, enters a psychological study, she thinks she will just answer a few question, collect her payment, and move on. But when Jessica is invited back for further study by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she finds that the questions and tasks involved in this study demand more involvement of her. Quickly the manipulative and controlling Dr. Shields has a vice grip on Jessica’s life. As Jessica becomes wrapped up in a web of lies and jealousy, she must determine who she can trust to save herself from deadly obsession.
When I read Hendricks’ and Pekkanen’s debut novel, The Wife Between Us, I was in awe of its purposeful, masterful creation, the suspicion and confusion, the plot twists and shock. Naturally, I jumped on the bandwagon for the duo’s sophomore novel, requesting my review copy more than half a year before its publication, and patiently waiting until the month before publication to read and review.
The beginning of An Anonymous Girl was slow, and it took a while for the novel to pull me in to the mystery. But once the mystery got going, I lived and breathed An Anonymous Girl. The character development is incredibly strong (if you’re someone who loves to psychoanalyze, like me, PICK THIS BOOK UP!), the details of the mystery and how they all come together are impeccable, and Hendricks and Pekkanen make sure you second guess your suspects the entire time.
However, if you’ve been following my reviews for a while you will know my final opinion of a book always lies with the ending. As much as I love trying to figure out the big reveal while I read mysteries and thrillers, what I love even more is an ending I never saw coming. I love to be surprised, totally duped by a masterfully crafted mystery. Unfortunately, this is where I diverge from the overwhelming number of fans already expressing their adoration for this book. For how much I loved this story, and for how often I second guessed myself in how I thought this book would end, my suspicions were correct. I saw the ending coming a mile away.
That being said, I really enjoyed reading this novel, and if you like a good thriller, you will too. You will root for Jessica, and question her at times. You’ll get caught along with her, and feel her distrust, fear, and desperation as she does. If you love digging into the psychology of a thriller, An Anonymous Girl, full of fear, manipulation, and obsession, will be just the book for you.