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 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.
Last year, I read and deeply enjoyed The Wife Between Us. The twist caught me completely by surprise and I loved the way it was written: in a smart, yet super entertaining style. I didn’t hesitate when I saw the glowing reviews for An Anonymous Girl. And the book was equally engaging from the beginning: I was intrigued and I felt the plot was quite original. In the end, though, it wasn’t as shocking as I expected it to be.
This is the story of a young woman, Jessica, who is struggling with money as she works as a professional make-up artist. When she hears about a paid study on morality, she decides to take part, even though she wasn’t invited. And the mysterious and enigmatic Dr Shields gets a bit obsessed with her… and forces her to participate in her little experiment.
I think the reason I didn’t love this as much as TWBU is merely a matter of expectations. There’s nothing wrong with this book. The novel is superbly written, the characters were multi-layered and it was a fine psychological thriller. But being the same two authors, I guess I expected to be shocked multiple times, something that never happened. Here, you know from the beginning who’s the villain and what they want, so I kinda missed the excitement of the twists. And I know it’s my fault, because I shouldn’t expect every book to deliver shocking twists, as sometimes they even feel unnecessary.
An Anonymous Girl is an original and smart psychological thriller about marriage, lies, blame, and honesty. If you’re interested in complex relationships and manipulation, I believe this could be a great book for you. I can’t wait to read another book by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.