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A gripping debut domestic suspense novel, Nora Murphy's thrilling The Favor explores with compassion and depth what can happen when women pushed to the limit take matters into their own hands.
"A thrilling debut—I couldn’t put it down!"—Shari Lapena, #1 internationally bestselling author of Not a Happy Family and The Couple Next Door
Leaving would be dangerous. Staying could be worse.
Leah and McKenna have never met, though they have parallel lives.
They don’t—ever—find themselves in the same train carriage or meet accidentally at the gym or the coffee shop.
They don’t—ever—discuss their problems and find common ground.
They don’t—ever—acknowledge to each other that although their lives have all the trappings of success, wealth and happiness, they are, in fact, trapped.
Leah understands that what’s inside a home can be far more dangerous than what’s outside. So when she notices someone else who may be starting down the same path she’s on, she pays attention. She watches over McKenna from afar. Until one night she sees more than she bargained for. Leah knows she can’t save herself, but perhaps she can save McKenna.
Leah and McKenna have never met. But they will.
Lawyer Leah Dawson and pediatrician McKenna Hawkins, the protagonists of Murphy's claustrophobic debut, appear to have idyllic lives, but both are trapped in abusive marriages. Nine months earlier, Leah's husband, Liam, got her fired so she could concentrate on being a perfect wife. McKenna's husband, Zack, made her quit working after she miscarried so she could focus on starting the family she no longer wants. Leah and McKenna are strangers, but when Leah sees McKenna in the liquor store one afternoon, she senses a kinship and tails McKenna home to an upscale neighborhood near her own. Liam is away, so Leah spends several evenings watching through windows as Zack menaces McKenna. Leah's anonymous 911 call accomplishes nothing, so when Zack's threats turn to violence, Leah intervenes, altering both women's fates. Though the men in Murphy's story lack dimension, Leah and McKenna are fully realized characters whose anger, fear, and despair are palpable. A kaleidoscopic narrative amplifies tension and imparts nuance by examining the two households from inside and out. Murphy paints a powerful portrait of domestic abuse. Agent: Helen Heller, Helen Heller Agency (Canada).