cover image Safe and Sound

Safe and Sound

Philippa East. HQ, $12.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-00-834404-7

British author East follows her debut, 2020’s Little White Lies, with another solid psychological thriller. When housing manager Jennifer Arden finds the “crumpled, shrunken” body of 26-year-old Sarah Jones in the tenant’s London flat, the police estimate Sarah died 10 months earlier before a dinner party, as evidenced by the table set for guests. Jennifer, who feels guilty for failing to complete an annual inspection of Sarah’s flat, becomes obsessed with figuring out what happened. She first discovers the next of kin listed on Sarah’s housing application is wrong, and later succeeds in tracking down relatives, a former coworker, and an ex-boyfriend. They all describe a woman who came from a happy family with many friends, but those friends prove elusive. Jennifer’s investigation also triggers old anxieties, and she must summon the courage to confront her own demons before she loses touch with reality. The tension mounts until Jennifer finally finds a person with answers. Fully developed characters who behave realistically complement the twisty plot. East is a writer to watch. [em]Agent: Sarah Hornsley, Bent Agency (U.K.). (June) [/em]