For a multi-narrative story, for an enticing puzzle to try to figure out, for a domestic thriller with some legal court action
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 Brooklyn Country Day 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.
The most striking feature of this book, besides the manner of Amanda’s death, is the multiple timelines and narrators this is told through. We alternate from pre-death Amanda navigating her new life, to current-day Lizzie trying to defend Zach from murder charges against his (dead) wife. There are also some court transcripts sprinkled in, and brief memo updates from a company doing investigation. I loved these latter two elements as multi-genre additions, but the alternating narrators weren’t my favorite.
Court and legal dramas are definitely not my interest, so the parts of this story that focused on Lizzie the Lawyer were kind of a drag for me. Most often when I stopped reading for a session, it was at one of those parts because I just couldn’t be bothered to read them anymore. At times they were interesting, and by the second half of the book I pretty much plowed through it, but man when it got heavy into lawyer talk, I was boooored.
Zach is a fascinating character. And of course the point of reading a book where someone has turned up dead is trying to figure out WHODUNNIT? Well I absolutely did not guess it in this one, so those are some plus points. I think it was a genuine surprise, but the kind where you look back and can see the clues along the way once revealed. There were some things I guessed at and had little sparks of satisfaction at being correct, but besides that I think the mystery aspect of this is well done and would satisfy most readers.