This entertaining twisty novel focuses on two strong women, both who overcome trauma in late teens and early twenties to have a jaded view on the world of men, and what to do about that.
Meg Williams, among her many aliases, cons men by precise planning and building a tight trusted relationship with them, their friends and family before taking their money and running. With guises from real estate agent to impoverished community college student, Meg morphs and then insinuates herself deeply into the lives of her soon to be victims. Con-woman or justice seeking vigilante for women? It’s complicated and the lines blur in this fast paced thriller Turns out Meg and her mother lost their treasured family estate and had to live on the streets in a van based on a man who conned them, and the nuances of Meg’s psyche and motivation unfurl as the plot thickens.
Then there’s her nemesis Kat Roberts, rising journalism star who has encountered an early version of Meg while on a huge story for her newspaper. Following the side story of Meg, Kat gets badly traumatized in process, quits her journalism job, and dedicates the next decade of her life to tracking and exposing Meg. Kat’s also dealing with an untrustworthy boyfriend who has a gambling addiction. As things go wrong for Kat, she struggles to separate who’s the bigger source of her woes.
As the two women inadvertently develop an unlikely friendship in the midst of Meg’s latest con, their assumptions about the other start to crack and eventually implode. And our assured assumptions about each of them erode in turn.
Prepare to stay up late turning the pages as the plot gallops along to a deeply satisfying ending, and the astute writing delights!
Thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for an advanced reader’s copy. All the candid views expressed here are entirely my own.