cover image The End of Her

The End of Her

Shari Lapena. Viking/Dorman, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-1-9848-8051-2

Dysfunctional marriages provide the backdrop for this workmanlike domestic thriller from Lapena (Someone We Know). Erica Voss blows into Aylesford, N.Y., from Creemore, Colo., intent on disrupting the lives of wealthy Stephanie Kilgour and her husband, Patrick, a partner in a successful business. A blackmailer and seducer, Erica also targets Patrick’s business associate Nick Foote and Nick’s wife, plus another couple. However, Erica saves her most devastating threats for Patrick, whom she knew intimately nine years earlier in Creemore. As the mother of colicky baby twins, Stephanie, in her fragile, sleep-deprived state, is easy prey for Erica’s manipulations. But is the woman lying when she suggests that the death of Patrick’s first wife was no accident? Even with tangled backstories, some characters come across as one-dimensional, while others make illogical choices. (Why, for example, doesn’t Stephanie hire a nanny?) Despite these flaws, the fast pace will keep those fond of mischief and murder in suburbia turning the pages. Agent: Helen Heller, Helen Heller Agency. (July)