Book Review: An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl was February’s Criminally Good Book Club pick, after enjoying this duo’s previous novel, The Wife Between Us, I was looking forward to reading this one.

Book Description

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. 

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money and leave. 

But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive, and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr Shields may know what she’s thinking . . . and what she’s hiding. 

As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what is real in her life, and what is one of Dr Shields’s manipulative experiments. 

Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

My Thoughts

An Anonymous Girl is the fantastic second novel from writing duo, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, these ladies are so in sync, you’d truly think one author penned this novel. It reads fluidly, there’s no distinct change in writing style or plot direction at any point, no feeling of ‘separateness.’ Instead, this is a dark, intriguing tale of misguided love and obsession, jealousy and deceit.

This novel centres around Jess, who is a participant in a study on ethics and morals. We all have a moral compass that guides us, and Hendricks and Greer tapped into that in such a thrilling way. You’ll find yourself answering the questions Jess was asked, questioning if you’d do as she did, but most importantly, you’ll enjoy having your mind thrilled. Oh, the manipulation, the lies, the skewed morality! Jess finds herself so deep in a situation, the lines between the study and real life are blurred, and that’s when paranoia sinks its teeth in!

“Uncertainty is an excruciating state in which to exist”

Dr Shields was a great character, she really gets under your skin, but in the best way – in a way that shows the authors had a vision for her character and executed it so well. She has these moments of inner- soliloquy, and they were some of my favourite parts of this novel – the psychology of the psychologist – yes please!

An Anonymous Girl is an addictive read, it’s an understated thriller in the sense that it is ‘quietly dramatic’ – there’s no explosive unbelievable event, and this novel doesn’t rely on any one twist, instead it thrills you all the way through. You can see how the characters are faced with impossible decisions, and how they handle these decisions, and situations, is what makes this novel such a success. 

It perhaps didn’t need to be quite as long as it was, but it had direction, and purpose. It had underlying tension, and a darkness running through the plot. It had menace, and the deceit and manipulation to grab your attention. I absolutely recommend this novel, and will, for sure, read whatever Hendricks and Greer write next.

This book is available to buy from: Amazon UK / Book Depository

*My thanks to the publisher (Macmillan) for granting me access to a digital copy of this title via Netgalley*

19 thoughts on “Book Review: An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

  1. Wonderful review, Janel! I loved this one too and enjoyed how dark and tense it was. It’s amazing how inSync this duo is because you really can’t tell it’s two authors. Dr. Shields was a great character. I couldn’t help but liking her. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! She did! I’ve heard it’s being made into a series by the same people who did Sharp Objects, so I hope it’s good! And they’re busy writing book 3, so yay!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m always a little hesitant when it comes to fictionalised accounts of psychologists and research in psychology – I’ve got a background in those fields and find I can’t help thinking “BUT THAT WOULDN’T HAPPEN!” or “THEY’VE MISREPRESENTED THAT THEORY!” as I read, which kind of ruins it for me. But the blurb you’ve provided here and your review is really intriguing… might just have to give it a go anyway and try and turn off my psychology-brain 😉👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I get that! Funnily enough I know someone studying psychology who says the same thing. I’m currently studying to be a mental health nurse and I love reading book focused around mental health, or thrillers set in an Asylum or MH ward , because I love looking for accuracies and inconsistencies – also seeing the liberties the author had taken and was able to get away with (like The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides), and then they’re some incidences where it’s so ridiculous, it just doesn’t work 🤷🏾‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

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