cover image Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever

Joshilyn Jackson. Morrow, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-285531-2

Diving instructor Amy Whey, the unreliable narrator of this entertaining, if flawed, thriller from bestseller Jackson (The Almost Sisters), enjoys a comfortable life as a devoted wife and mother in Pensacola, Fla. Then one night, a mystifying and charming new neighbor, Angelica Roux, arrives unannounced at Amy’s door to join her book club. Roux takes over the book club and shifts the focus to playing a scandalous version of the game Never Have I Ever, and that’s when Amy realizes that Roux knows her darkest secret. Nearly 30 years earlier, Amy was driving drunk and killed a neighbor, but a friend was convicted of the crime. Roux attempts to blackmail Amy, giving her five days to dissolve her trust and hand over the money. Determined to protect herself, Amy vows to dig up Roux’s own secrets. The stakes rise as this proves to be more difficult than Amy thought. Well-developed, memorable characters and an action-packed plot compensate only in part for some farfetched twists and an unconvincing ending. Hopefully, Jackson will do better next time. Agent: Caryn Karmatz Rudy, DeFiore and Co. (July)