cover image Look Closer

Look Closer

David Ellis. Putnam, $27 (464p) ISBN 978-0-399-17092-8

This byzantine thriller from bestseller Ellis (The Last Alibi) opens the day after Halloween 2022 with the discovery of the hanged body of Lauren Betancourt in her suburban Chicago house. Flashback to May 13, 2022, when pompous law professor Simon Dobias bumps into Lauren on the street. Simon and Lauren, who last saw each other 19 years earlier, embark on an affair about which Simon keeps a journal. Meanwhile, Simon’s wife, Vicky Lanier, a former sex worker, seduces aggressive financial adviser Christian Newsome with a scheme to steal her husband’s $21 million trust the day she gets access to it: their 10th wedding anniversary on November 3. Christian, a lonely-hearts scammer on his seventh victim, plots to get the money for himself. Vicky discovers the journal revealing Lauren’s pressure on Simon to divorce Vicky before their anniversary, and she encourages Christian to take drastic action. Ellis jumps between the tangle of relationships and the police’s unraveling of Simon’s questionable past. Though Simon’s personality is off-putting, the serpentine revelations will surprise even the cleverest mystery readers. This complex tale of triple-crossings and devious revenge should win Ellis new fans. Agent: Susanna Einstein, Einstein Literary Management. (July)