cover image Our Kind of Game

Our Kind of Game

Johanna Copeland. Harper, $30 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-332968-3

Former attorney Copeland stuns with this audacious debut thriller about the extremes to which some people will go to protect the ones they love. In 2019, Stella Parker is dissatisfied with the life she’s built for herself in the D.C. suburbs, having traded her law career for marriage and motherhood. Her ennui turns to terror after her neighbor, Gwen, drops her phone in Stella’s driveway while limping down the block one evening. When Stella picks it up, she sees messages suggesting Gwen may know one of her long-buried secrets. In a parallel story line set in 1987, high schooler Julie Waits hopes that making the cheerleading squad will provide a distraction from her mother’s string of abusive relationships and the chaos that ensues whenever she decides to end them. Gradually, Copeland teases out the connections between Stella and Julie and unveils the grisly truth about Julie’s mother. With expertly timed reveals and plenty of thorny insights into the causes and consequences of gender-based violence, this first-rate suspense novel thrills and provokes in equal measure. It’s a must-read. Agent: Christopher Schelling, Selectric Artists. (July)