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