Author: Lindsay Cameron
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Publication Date: July 27, 2021
Book Description: Eyes aren’t the windows to the soul. Emails are.
Cassie Woodson is adrift. After suffering an epic tumble down the corporate ladder, Cassie finds the only way she can pay her bills is to take a thankless temp job reviewing correspondence for a large-scale fraud suit. The daily drudgery amplifies all that her life is lacking—love, friends, stability—and leaves her with too much time on her hands, which she spends fixating on the mistakes that brought her to this point.
While sorting through a relentless deluge of emails, something catches her eye: the tender (and totally private) exchanges between a partner at the firm, Forest Watts, and his enchanting wife, Annabelle. Cassie knows she shouldn’t read them. But it’s just one look. And once that door opens, she finds she can’t look away.
Every day, twenty floors below Forest’s corner office, Cassie dissects their emails from her dingy workstation. A few clicks of her mouse and she can see every adoring word they write to each other. By peeking into their apparently perfect life, Cassie finds renewed purpose and happiness, reveling in their penchant for vintage wines, morning juice presses, and lavish dinner parties thrown in their stately Westchester home. There are no secrets from her. Or so she thinks.
Her admiration quickly escalates into all-out mimicry, because she wants this life more than anything. Maybe if she plays make-believe long enough, it will become real for her. But when Cassie orchestrates a “chance” meeting with Forest in the real world and sees something that throws the state of his marriage into question, the fantasy she’s been carefully cultivating shatters. Suddenly, she doesn’t simply admire Annabelle—she wants to take her place. And she’s armed with the tools to make that happen.
Rating: 3 stars
Review: At the start of this story we meet disgraced attorney Cassie Woodson. She was a star in her law firm but an incident with a man that she was dating at the firm drove her to madness and she was immediately fired. She receives a temp job to review files for a large case at another law firm where nobody knows her.
As she starts to review correspondence she comes across Forest Watts who is a partner at the firm. Though she knows she should not be reading personal emails she can’t help reading as he appears to have the ideal relationship with his wife, something she longs for.
As she continues to read correspondence in later emails, it appears things might have gone awry with Forrest and his wife and Cassie now his eyes set on him.
This is a classic stalker story with a pretty huge twist. For most of the book, I was going through the motions of reading, but the last quarter of this book, left me fulfilled for a story of this genre. If you like a good psychological thriller, this might hit the spot, but just know it has a pretty slow start with a fast finish.
Thank you NetGalley and Ballentine Books for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.