Originally published: 28 November 2019
Author: Amy Heydenrych
Published by: Zaffre
Length: 480 pages
Newly graduated Freya arrives at her dream job at one of San Francisco’s hottest start-up company’s, Atypical. A talented coder, Freya has had to work hard to get through college, having no parents to help her out financially. Luckily, she has a loyal and loving friendship group.
She is quickly welcomed into her new role. CEO Julian seems to know everything about her and has added finishing touches to her work space to make her feel welcome. And she makes an instant connection with fellow coder, Jay who she starts to fall for from day one. The only problem is another female member of staff, Nicole who does her absolute best to make Freya’s life a living hell, keeping up a constant stream of bullying. She takes credit for Freya’s work, damages her property and is generally unkind, encouraging other female staff to exclude her.
One evening, at an office party, Freya and Jay decide to play a prank on Nicole. But the next day, Nicole is found dead at her apartment, killed by a head injury inflicted by a bronze statue, and Freya can’t help but wonder if their prank was the cause.
Isla is a journalist with a good relationship with the police who is first on the scene of the murder. Having being attacked herself, she has a special affinity to women who have been hurt. Working with the police, she is determined to find out who killed Nicole.
Freya and Jay agree a pact, to keep secret what they did. But before long, Freya herself feels threatened. Does someone know what she did? Could she be next?
You certainly need to have your wits about you while reading this book. Told from both Freya’s and Isla’s point of view, the book skips through multiple timelines moving before and after the murder at almost dizzying speed. It is a real page turner though…I had my suspicions about what happened to Nicole but of course I was completely wrong!
I felt really sorry for Freya – the workplace bullying by the other women is just horrible. After the murder, she also starts gets threatening and sexual messages, and I can’t imagine what that must be like!
The ending was one of those that left me scratching my head a little. It made me want to start again from the beginning to see if I’d missed some clues. A great thriller, the perfect book to break those reading slumps we sometimes find ourselves in.
Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me on the blog tour and to Orbit for sending me a copy! Be sure to checkout the other stops below:
About the author:
Amy Heydenrych is a writer and book blogger based in South Africa. She has been shortlisted twice for the acclaimed Miles Morland African Writing Scholarship. Her short stories and poems have published in multiple anthologies including Brittle Paper, The Kalahari Review and the Short Sharp Stories anthologies. When she is not writing her own fiction, she ghost-writes books and columns for global tech and financial companies. Her debut thriller, SHAME ON YOU, was published in the UK by Bonnier Zaffre, January 2018. Her second novel, THE PACT, publishes in November 2019.