cover image The Eden Test

The Eden Test

Adam Sternbergh. Flatiron, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-85566-4

At the start of this outstanding psychological thriller from Edgar finalist Sternbergh (The Blinds), seemingly picture-perfect Gotham pair Daisy, an actor, and Craig, a frustrated writer moldering as a “brand advocate,” are observing their second anniversary by heading to a remote cabin in Upstate New York to participate in a weeklong device-free program designed to help troubled couples repair their relationships. The premise of the so-called Eden Test program—“Seven Days, Seven Questions, Forever Changed”—couldn’t be simpler, though Craig and Daisy’s experience veers off-script almost immediately. Which may hardly be surprising since one of them has essentially been hoodwinked into participating, both are surreptitiously texting on forbidden phones—and neither has been anything approaching honest with the other concerning some explosive secrets, which the author skillfully teases to fan suspense. Toss in menacing locals none too fond of “citiots” (short for “city idiots”), firearms, a game-changer third-act curveball, and Gone Girl–level deception, and the result is one masterfully manipulative chiller just waiting for its close-up. Sternbergh has outdone himself. (Apr.)