A widowed FBI agent grows suspicious of her son’s new school in this thriller by the New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage Pact.
Lina is on leave from her job in New York at the FBI in order to clean out her father’s home in Silicon Valley. As though letting go of her father isn’t hard enough, Lina has also recently lost her husband in a freak traffic accident. Still reeling, she and her teenage son Rory must make their way through this strange new town and the high school around which it all seems to revolve. Rory soon starts coming home with reports of the upcoming “Wonder Test,” a general aptitude assessment that appears increasingly inane, and Lina is shaken out of her grief by a sense that something is amiss in Hillsborough.
When she discovers that a student disappeared last year and was found weeks later walking on a beach, shaved and traumatized, Lina can’t help but be sucked into an impromptu investigation. Another kidnapping hits closer to home and reveals a sinister link between the Wonder Test and the rampant wealth of Silicon Valley’s elite. A searing view of a culture that puts the wellbeing of children at risk for advancement and prestige, and a captivating story of the lengths a mother will go for her son, this is The Wonder Test.
Praise for The Marriage Pact
“A fun, can’t-stop-eating-the-potato-chips kind of premise.” —The New York Times
“A smart, searing and frightening look at modern love.” —Today
“A high-concept, fast-moving thriller . . . a gripping and intriguing read.” —Sunday Mirror
Lina Connerly, the narrator of this sharply written, subtly satirical thriller from bestseller Richmond (The Marriage Pact), errs in her work as an FBI foreign counterintelligence agent after her husband dies, prompting a self-imposed leave. New York City is too full of memories, so Lina and her 15-year-old son, Rory, decamp to her recently deceased father's home in the wealthy Silicon Valley suburb of Greenfield, Calif. Rory enrolls in Greenfield's posh public high school, whose curriculum revolves around an avant-garde exam called the Wonder Test. Meanwhile, a local cop solicits Lina's help in ascertaining why teenager Gray Stafford disappeared for two weeks last year, only to turn up naked, bald, and mute on a remote beach. When Rory's girlfriend goes missing under similar circumstances, Lina and Rory team up to find her before she suffers Gray's fate. Vividly sketched characters, escalating stakes, and evocative prose distinguish Richmond's latest, which explores themes of grief and greed. Minor mysteries and assorted absurdities complement the thorny central puzzle, adding texture and tension. Susan Isaacs fans will be well pleased. \n