cover image Jar of Hearts

Jar of Hearts

Jennifer Hillier. Minotaur, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-15419-4

High school cheerleader Georgina “Geo” Shaw, the heroine of this engrossing psychological thriller from Hillier (Wonderland), never dreamed that falling for charismatic older dropout Calvin James would dramatically change the trajectory of her life, much less cause others to lose theirs. But now, 14 years after the drunken night when her BFF, Angela Wong, disappeared, the stoic Geo waits in a Seattle courtroom to testify at the murder trial of her high school love—who is better known of late as the Sweetbay Strangler. And things are about to get much worse. Hillier skillfully maintains the suspense through well-timed extended flashbacks and plenty of shocking, if sometimes improbable, twists. She’s less successful in creating convincing characters; Geo’s unhappily platonic high school bud turned Seattle PD detective Kaiser Brody functions as little more than a plot facilitator. Despite these issues, there’s no denying her page-turner’s grab-you-by-the-throat power. 75,000-copy announced first printing. Author tour. Agent: Victoria Skurnick, Levine Greenberg. (June)