cover image Friends like These

Friends like These

Kimberly McCreight. Harper, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-306156-9

In this busy psychological thriller from bestseller McCreight (A Good Marriage), Jonathan Cheung and three friends who attended Vassar College gather at Jonathan’s Catskills getaway to stage an intervention for a fifth friend, New York City gallery owner Keith Lazard. Ten years earlier, the five classmates concealed their role in a tragedy at Vassar. Shortly thereafter, Keith’s guilt-stricken girlfriend jumped off a bridge. Jonathan and the others hope to talk a still-spiraling Keith into rehab before he loses his gallery, but then Keith’s star artist shows up, scotching their plan. Additional complications include menacing contractors owed money by Jonathan’s fiancé, impatient mobsters to whom Keith is indebted, and anonymous threatening emails. Then the police find the crashed car of one of the classmates. The driver’s seat is empty, and the dead passenger’s injuries preclude easy identification. McCreight builds the suspense by shifting among a police detective’s investigation and the perspectives of the five friends. Not all the myriad plot twists hold water, but sinuous storytelling, escalating stakes, and an avalanche of bad decisions propel the tale to a gratifying if far-fetched conclusion. B.A. Paris fans will be pleased. Agent: Dorian Karchmar, WME. (Sept.)