Named one of 2022’s best and most-anticipated thrillers by Goodreads, CrimeReads, Motherly, Westport Magazine, and more!
A “propulsive thriller about secret organizations, hidden agendas, and the lengths one woman will go to reclaim her life” (Laura Dave, author of Reese’s Book Club Pick The Last Thing He Told Me) from USA TODAY bestselling author Catherine McKenzie.
At thirty-nine, Nicole Mueller’s life is on the rocks. Her once brilliant law career is falling apart. She and her husband, Dan, are soon to be forced out of the apartment they love. After a warning from her firm’s senior partners, she receives an invitation from an exclusive women’s networking group, Panthera Leo. Membership is anonymous, but every member is a successful professional. It sounds like the perfect solution to help Nicole revive her career. So, despite Dan’s concerns that the group might be a cult, Nicole signs up for their retreat in Colorado.
Once there, she meets the other women who will make up her Pride. A CEO, an actress, a finance whiz, a congresswoman: Nicole can’t believe her luck. The founders of Panthera Leo are equally as impressive. They explain the group’s core philosophy: they’re a girl’s club in a boy’s club world.
Nicole is all in. And when she gets home, she soon sees dividends. Her new network quickly provides her with clients that help her relaunch her career, and a great new apartment too. The favors she has to provide in return seem benign. But then she’s called to the congresswoman’s apartment late at night where she’s pressed into helping her cover up a crime. And suddenly, Dan’s concerns that something more sinister is at play seem all too relevant. Can Nicole extricate herself from the group before it’s too late? Or will joining Panthera Leo be the biggest mistake of her life?
Heading toward 40, New York City corporate lawyer Nicole Mueller, the narrator of this entertaining psychological thriller from McKenzie (Six Weeks to Live), is aware that her career has stalled. When she's invited to join Panthera Leo, a businesswomen's networking retreat in Colorado whose membership includes CEOs and top-ranking politicians, she happily accepts. Headed by a charismatic billionaire, Panthera Leo offers extreme team building exercises designed to create absolute loyalty among its members. Nicole returns to New York to find her luck has turned around: she attracts new lucrative clients to her firm and finds a stunning new apartment at a suspiciously low rent. Could some exchanges of Panthera Leo favors be responsible? When Nicole gets a desperate call for help from a newly elected congresswoman and member of her Panthera Leo team, she can't refuse. Soon her life becomes a swirling nightmare of blackmail, murder, and corruption. Readers will cheer the quick-witted Nicole all the way to the satisfying conclusion. This look at the realities women face working within a system predicated on boys' club rules will resonate for many. Agent: Stephanie Rostan, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary.