Book Preview: AN ANONYMOUS GIRL by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
St. Martin’s Press; On-Sale January 8th, 2019
In the market for a buzzy psychological thriller to add to your winter reading list? The newest release from Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen might be just what you’re looking for! On the heels of their blockbuster bestseller THE WIFE BETWEEN US, Hendricks and Pekkanen are back with AN ANONYMOUS GIRL, coming January 8th. I’ve gotten lots of questions about this book from CBTB readers, and thanks to the team at St. Martin’s Press, I’m so excited to give you the inside scoop on this buzzy suspense novel! In this post, you’ll have the chance to read an early excerpt from AN ANONYMOUS GIRL - and to learn all about the book and the writing team behind it. Plus, if you follow Crime by the Book on Instagram, be sure to enter for a chance to win a hardcover of AN ANONYMOUS GIRL, a bookplate signed by the authors, and a paperback edition of THE WIFE BETWEEN US!
Without further ado, let’s dive into this preview for AN ANONYMOUS GIRL!
Crime by the Book is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. All opinions my own.
About the Book:
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.
Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?
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.
Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?
As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.
Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?
From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.
Early Praise for An Anonymous Girl:
Cosmo's "Best New Books of 2019"
Bookish's "Must-Read Books of Winter"
"Slickly twisty [with] gasp-worthy final twists...major league suspense." ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Masterfully escalates the suspense...keep[s] the reader guessing until the end. A great follow-up." ―Booklist (starred review)
"For those who relished the creepy stalking in Hendricks and Pekkanen's The Wife Between Us, this unnerving tale will have them rethinking what secrets are safe to share and if moral and ethics really matter when protecting the ones you love." ―Library Journal (starred review)
About the Authors:
GREER HENDRICKS is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. Prior to becoming a novelist, she spent two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. She obtained her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.
SARAH PEKKANEN is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight previous solo novels and the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. A former investigative journalist and award-winning feature writer, she has published work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many others. She is the mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C.
Excerpt: AN ANONYMOUS GIRL
by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Saturday, November 24
You have no idea how eagerly your third session has been anticipated, Subject 52.
You look as lovely as ever, but your manner is subdued. After you enter Room 214, you slowly slip out of your coat and place it on the back of your chair. It hangs unevenly, but you don’t adjust it. You sit down heavily and hesitate before you touch the enter key to begin.
Were you lonely on Thanksgiving, too?
Once the first query appears and you open your thoughts, your true nature asserts itself and you grow more animated.
You are learning to enjoy the process, aren’t you?
When the fourth question emerges, your fingers move across the keyboard swiftly. Your posture is excellent. You do not fidget. This all indicates that you have especially strong and clear feelings on this particular subject.
You see your friend’s fiance kiss another woman a week before the wedding. Do you tell her?
What I’d do is this, you type. I’d confront him and say that he has 24 hours to confess, or I’ll tell her myself. It would be one thing if he were with his buddies at a bachelor party at a strip club and he put a twenty in a G-string. A lot of guys do that sort of stuff for show. But outside of a situation like that, there isn’t any excuse. I couldn’t look the other way and pretend I didn’t see it. Because if a guy cheats on you once, you know he’s going to do it again.
After you write those words, you stop typing, hit enter, and wait for the next question.
It doesn’t immediately appear.
A minute passes.
Is everything okay? You type.
Another minute passes.
A response is crafted: Just a moment, please.
You look puzzled, but you nod.
Your answer is absolute: It seems you believe humans are incapable of reshaping their innate natures, even when their urges lead to pain and destruction.
Your furrowed brow and slightly narrowed eyes illustrated the depth of your convictions.
Because if a guy cheats on you once, you know he’s going to do it again.
You are waiting for the next question. But it isn’t forthcoming.
Your responses have formed an unexpected connection; when linked together, they create an epiphany.
The vital lines in your previous answers are reviewed:
I’m not looking for a serious relationship. You typed this in your second session.
You twist around and peer at the clock on the wall behind you, then you look toward the door. From every angle, you are enchanting.
I hope it’s okay if I break the rules. You wrote these words before you confided that this study is reshaping your relationship with your own morality.
You fiddle with the silver stacking rings on your index finger as you frown at the computer screen. This is one of your habits when you are being thoughtful, or experiencing anxiety.
I really need money, you wrote in your first session.
Something extraordinary is occurring.
It is as though you are now guiding the study into a different realm. You, the young woman who wasn’t supposed to be a part of it at all.
You are presented with two more questions. They are out of sequence, but you won’t know this.
You reply to them both confidently. Flawlessly.
The final query you will receive today is one no other subject will ever see.
It has been developed expressly for you.
When it appears, your eyes widen as they fly across the screen.
Answer it one way, and you will walk out of this room and you won’t return.
But if you answer it another way, the possibilities are endless; you could become a pioneer in the field of psychological research.
It is a gamble, posing this query.
You are worth the risk.
You don’t reply immediately. You push back your chair and stand up.
Then you disappear.
Your footsteps rap against the linoleum floor. You briefly come into view, then you vanish again.
You are pacing.
Now the roles have been upended: You are the one causing a delay. You are also the one who will decide whether this study will undergo a metamorphosis.
You return to your seat and lean forward. Your eyes flit across the screen as you read the question once more.
Would you consider expanding your participation in this study? The compensation would be significantly higher, but significantly more would be asked of you.
Slowly, you lift your hands and begin to type.
I’ll do it.
From AN ANONYMOUS GIRL by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. Copyright © 2018 by the authors and reprinted by permission of St. Martin's Press, LLC.
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (January 8, 2019)
Crime by the Book is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way affects my opinion of the above book.