Title: An Anonymous Girl
Author: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Pub Date: February 7th, 2019
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆
View on Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us.
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.
An Anonymous Girl is a second book by a female writing duo – Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen. I haven’t read their first book The Wife Between Us, but I’ve seen plenty of good reviews, so I was curious to read a book by them. This new release introduces us to Jess, a make-up artist that hoping for easy money sneaks into a psychological study claiming to be a replacement for her friend. She peaks interests of the psychologist running the study, and we’re presented with creepy and worrying notes of a said psychologist. The relationship between them tightened, and Jess is asked to perform strange tasks in the name of the mortality study.
I appreciate the first ‘twist’ of the story, the reveal that Dr Shields who Jessica was absolutely sure was male, turns out to be beautiful, sophisticated women. For many readers, the strong highlight on the fact that Jennifer refers to Dr Shields as male even though at the beginning we don’t know who Dr Shields is will be a tip-off that the doctor is probably a woman. What I found interesting about this twist is the exploration on how main characters perspective on the whole even changes, she starts to doubt her answers and worries that this woman is judging her, she feels intimidated by her. Somehow it wasn’t comforting for her to see that she shared all her intimate secrets with women, she felt scared by it. And what impacts her the most is that is not just any women, she’s a successful, sophisticated, beautiful women.
Overall I’m really disappointed with the story, it hooked me at the beginning but after some time I got bored. The ‘twists’ weren’t really groundbreaking, they were just natural progress of the story. Moments, when the truth was revealed for things I was led to believe, were different, were inconsequential. They didn’t bring much to the story. The narrative is made to keep the reader in suspense, but without any bits of twists and shocks delivered I got bored, it got repetitive and didn’t deliver. I could be good, the beginning is interesting and I was curious about what’s going on. But really, there wasn’t much going on and it ended on a very weak note. I was reading hoping to be shocked by some revelation, hoping that the authors purposely dimmed our vigilance and were planning to just drop a bombshell that will change everything. No such thing happens.