Renée Knight follows up her international sensation Disclaimer with this shivery tale of psychological suspense, featuring a character as disturbing and compelling as Mrs. Danvers in Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca.
From her first day as Personal Assistant to the celebrated Mina Appleton, Christine Butcher understands what is expected of her. Absolute loyalty. Absolute discretion. For twenty years, Christine has been a most devoted servant, a silent witness to everything in Mina’s life. So quiet, you would hardly know she is there.
Day after day, year after year, Christine has been there, invisible—watching, listening, absorbing all the secrets floating around her. Keeping them safe.
Christine is trusted. But those years of loyalty and discretion come with a high price. And eventually Christine will pay.
Yet, it would be a mistake to underestimate such a steadfast woman. Because as everyone is about to discover, there’s a dangerous line between obedience and obsession.
British author Knight follows 2015's Disclaimer, her well-received debut, with a decidedly creepy psychological thriller. Ambitious Mina Appleton, who becomes the head of a London-based supermarket chain upon her father's retirement, is finally able to execute her aggressive plan to increase the family-owned business's market share. For this, she needs more than a secretary. She wants someone who will make sure no detail falls through the cracks, either at the office or at home. Perfectionist Christine Butcher fills the bill. Devoting herself to anticipating Mina's every need, she personifies the secret in secretary. Whether it's reciting meeting minutes and business phone numbers from memory, picking up dry cleaning, or baking cookies for Mina's children, Christine does it all, invisibly, discreetly. Their mutual trust far exceeds the norm as long as Christine, who will remind many of Mrs. Danvers in Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, remembers her below-stairs place. But, after 18 years of Mina's demands costing Christine her husband, her child, and more, a bitter betrayal spirals into a chilling comeuppance. Readers are sure to be left breathless.