"Deliciously unputdownable." —The Washington Post
"A stunning, disturbing thriller that will have your mind and heart racing." —Samantha Downing
From the author of the acclaimed In My Dreams I Hold a Knife comes a pitch-black thriller about a woman determined to destroy a powerful cult and avenge the deaths of the women taken in by it, no matter the cost.
While in college in upstate New York, Shay Evans and her best friends met a captivating man who seduced them with a web of lies about the way the world works, bringing them under his thrall. By senior year, Shay and her friend Laurel were the only ones who managed to escape. Now, eight years later, Shay's built a new life in a tony Texas suburb. But when she hears the horrifying news of Laurel's death—delivered, of all ways, by her favorite true-crime podcast crusader—she begins to suspect that the past she thought she buried is still very much alive, and the predators more dangerous than ever.
Recruiting the help of the podcast host, Shay goes back to the place she vowed never to return to in search of answers. As she follows the threads of her friend's life, she's pulled into a dark, seductive world, where wealth and privilege shield brutal philosophies that feel all too familiar. When Shay's obsession with uncovering the truth becomes so consuming she can no longer separate her desire for justice from darker desires newly reawakened, she must confront the depths of her own complicity and conditioning. But in a world built for men to rule it—both inside the cult and outside of it—is justice even possible, and if so, how far will Shay go to get it?
In this disturbing psychological thriller from Winstead (Fool Me Once), there's no hiding from the past for Shay Deroy, who has been running for eight years from the trauma she and her two closest friends at New York's Whitney College suffered at the hands of the charismatic older man who initially captivated them, then held them captive. Alarm bells sound for Shay, now a Dallas trophy wife, when she learns that her surviving bestie, gentle Laurel Hargrove, has been found hanging on the Whitney campus, eerily echoing the scene at other bestie Clem Jones's apparent suicide her senior year. Coincidence? True crime podcaster Jamie Knight, Shay's friend since childhood, doesn't think so and he makes a public plea for her help investigating. Still feeling guilty about failing to protect Clem, Shay agrees to join forces with Jamie. Back at Whitney, she runs up against some of the same malevolent forces that seduced her before. Winstead offers insight into the masochistic psychology that can set up vulnerable women to be recruited into cults, but readers should be prepared for ugly scenes of self-harm, suicide, rape, and misogyny. This dark suspense novel may be too grim for some.
Too much hype
This was an interesting story. Not very believable and the conversations between characters were awkward. Lots of belt whipping but nothing like 50 Shades level of sex. Just fell flat to mr
This is by far one of the best books I have read in a long time. The characters are so complex and the writing is perfectly detailed without being drawn out. You feel like your in the room as this story unfolds. 10/10
There are a lot of trigger warnings so you way want to google them before reading.