cover image Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead

Everyone Who Can Forgive Me Is Dead

Jenny Hollander. Minotaur, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-89084-9

Hollander treads familiar ground with her so-so debut thriller about the discovery of dark secrets pertaining to a campus tragedy. Nine years ago, a mysterious event dubbed “Scarlet Christmas” by the press left six journalism graduate students in New York City “in serious or critical condition.” Three died at the hospital, including Cate Anderson, whose twin, Stephanie, was the first to discover the victims. In the present day, Stephanie, now a popular TV news anchor, plans to make a feature film about the tragedy timed to its 10-year anniversary. The announcement of her plans alarms narrator Charlotte Colbert, a Manhattan magazine editor who was present for the violence but doesn’t remember exactly what happened. All she knows is that she was not a victim on that fatal night, and that she’s fearful of what renewed focus on the case might turn up. Hollander doles out details about the central incident gradually, misdirecting even savvy readers as the truth about Scarlet Christmas comes to light. Unfortunately, the characterizations are thin and the reveals don’t land with the force they’re meant to. There’s not enough here to set this apart from the pack. (Feb.)