cover image The Girls Weekend

The Girls Weekend

Jody Gehrman. Crooked Lane, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-64385-386-4

English professor June Moody, the narrator of this slow-burning psychological thriller from Gehrman (Watch Me), reluctantly decides to attend a weekend baby shower with four college friends—Em, Amy, Kimiko, and Sadie MacTavish—at Sadie’s opulent estate in Washington’s San Juan Islands. June is jealous of Sadie’s success as the author of a bestselling children’s book. Sadie resents that her husband proposed to her only after June turned him down. The first night at the main house, June, Em, Amy, and Kimiko all black out after being drugged. The next morning, they wake up to discover a mess of strewn clothes, scattered jewelry, and half-eaten meals around the house. The four women become distraught when they can’t find Sadie, and it becomes clear every one of them has a motive to want her dead. The drawn-out plot builds to a predictable ending. Gehrman does a good job delineating the women’s individual characters, but they’re basically stereotypes. Even those with a taste for tales about devious educated women may want to take a pass. Agent: Jill Mar, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. (June)