cover image Forget You Know Me

Forget You Know Me

Jessica Strawser. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-18446-7

Strawser’s masterful novel (after 2018’s Not That I Could Tell) begins with a chilling moment: Liza Green is video chatting with her lifelong pal Molly Perkins, when Molly briefly leaves the room; in the following moment, Liza sees a masked intruder who approaches the computer and ends the call. Fearing for Molly’s life, Liza alerts the police and makes the hours-long drive from Chicago to her friend’s house in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Molly inexplicably brushes off Liza’s concerns. Perplexed and furious, Liza returns to her building only to learn that it burned down during the night. Liza takes stock of her life and decides to move back to Cincinnati, where she finds new love and tries to repair her friendship with Molly. Meanwhile, Molly’s chronic pain has driven a wedge between her and her husband, Daniel, who thinks she’s exaggerating. She gets her emotional needs met by her neighbor Rick, who she initially believes was the man in the mask. After Rick makes it clear that the intruder wasn’t him, Molly worries that she’s being threatened by a shady loan company to which she owes a lot of money. It’s also possible that an unscrupulous colleague at Daniel’s job might be behind the prowler. Strawser’s novel expertly dials up the danger; it works equally well as an airtight thriller and a memorable depiction of an old friendship growing increasingly strained. Fans of well-written suspense are in for a treat. (Feb.)