In this edgy, dark psychological thriller, two women coincidentally meet at a local pub having been born on the same day, same hospital (“birthday twins”) and out celebrating their 45th birthdays. Alix Summers’, a popular podcaster who focuses on successful women’s stories of ascendancy, has a strong circle of friends, two close sisters, a handsome husband, 2 kids and an ideal home. Josie lives with her 27-years older husband and has 2 troubled children- one a gaming shut-in at home and another a teen runaway.
Josie seeks Alix out, enticing her to make a podcast about them being birthday twins and Josie’s embarking on a profound shift in her life as well as a painful, secret past. And that past either involves a past of sexual assault and manipulation, or something even more sinister. A dark cloud follows Josie as she stalks out Alix and slowly, inexorably and perniciously embeds herself in Alix’s life.
The podcast that emerges becomes one of true crime, as murdered bodies start piling up and the parts that a not true start unraveling. The novel alternates between Alix’s and Josie’s points of view, with interviews with friends and neighbors interspersed throughout.
Overall, a bit dark and sinister for me without much hope in sight for redemption.
But LOVED the clever twist by Jewell of writing the book as a script for a special Netflix murder mystery. And so, of course, we’ll just have to wait for the real Netflix adaption to arrive!
Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for an advanced reader’s copy.