By Ekta R. Garg
March 4, 2020
Release date: March 3, 2020
Rated: Binge it! / 5 stars
In the aftermath of a horrible incident, a woman tries to pull herself together. She stumbles upon a new circle of friends who she believes were tailor-made for her. The more time she spends with them, however, the more she realizes that she might be headed for danger herself. Co-authors Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen follow up their smash hits The Wife Between Us and An Anonymous Girl with the superlative novel You Are Not Alone.
Shay Miller lives in New York City but certainly doesn’t live the glamorous NYC lifestyle. She’s a data analyst, and recently she was let go from her permanent position in a company restructure. Now she’s temping, looking for another job and a way out of her life.
She lives with Sean, her former boyfriend-turned-roommate. The two get along really well, although Sean’s new girlfriend isn’t thrilled with the living situation. Shay knows it’s only a matter of time before the two will want place all to themselves.
The worst happens one day while Shay’s waiting for the subway. Just before the train arrives, Shay notices a young woman standing too close to the tracks. Before Shay can think, the woman jumps in front of the oncoming train. Reeling from the event, Shay spends the following days inventing new ways to get around the city so she can avoid the subway and trying to force the image from her brain.
She can’t let go of it, though, and finds a way to insert herself into the former life of the suicide victim. Shay meets the Moore sisters, Cassandra and Jane, and is drawn to them instantly. They’re everything she’s not: well-dressed, meeting high-profile clients through their PR firm, going to the best restaurants and bars in town. Their relationship with one another makes her envious. She has a strained relationship with her mother and stepfather, and her best friend just gave birth to a beautiful baby and is MIA from Shay’s life.
Shay feels like she has no one to talk to, no one who understands her. Despite advice against it, she finds reasons to stay in touch with Cassandra and Jane. The women seem to reciprocate Shay’s friendship, and she thinks that meeting them has been the best stroke of serendipity to happen to her. Her love life starts looking up, her job prospects improve, and she’s even dressing better.
What Shay doesn’t know is that Cassandra and Jane have an agenda. They may have met Shay due to an accident, but they’re going to find a way to turn that accident into a fortuitous event. If it means Shay will have to give up everything, well, they’re ready to make the sacrifice.
Authors Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen prove once again that their writing team can produce thriller gold. Although Shay is obsessed with interesting bits of information, her work as a data analyst doesn’t make her out to be the stereotypical nerd. Hendricks and Pekkanen build Shay with enough complexity to make it seem like she could be anyone. Readers will identify with Shay’s faults and insecurities.
While at times she may come off as naïve, within the story world it makes sense for her to miss warning signals about Cassandra and Jane. By making Shay witness the subway jumper early in the book, Hendricks and Pekkanen guarantee that Shay’s so wrapped up in her grief and confusion about the event and life in general that she doesn’t see what might be obvious to anyone else in the cold light of day. Shay’s life is slowly falling apart; watching someone jump to their death brings her closer to the edge.
Readers will get bits of information about the woman who jumped off the tracks as well as Cassandra, Jane, and the other women who form their tight-knit circle of friends. Even as some pieces fall right into place throughout the novel, as always Hendricks and Pekkanen save some of the best revelations for the end of the book. Over and over, the authors reinforce and challenge the title with ease through their incredible prose. With masterful plotting, Hendricks and Pekkanen have another winner on their hands.
Anyone who enjoys a good, fun thriller will definitely want to check it out. I recommend readers Binge You Are Not Alone.