cover image If She Were Dead

If She Were Dead

J.P. Smith. Poisoned Pen, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4926-6903-6

Popular author Amelie Ferrar, the protagonist of this taut, twisted thriller from Smith (The Drowning), is always thinking ahead, envisaging her next plot twist. Though Amelie has relied tangentially on her personal life for inspiration, she finds herself at a crossroads: she thought she was happy—immersed in a two-year affair with a married man, Ben—but she wants more. Her daughter’s in college, her ex-husband’s new wife is expecting, and she feels untethered and alone. Unfortunately, Ben doesn’t feel the need for any changes and has no intention of leaving his wife. Stranger still, Ben’s wife has reached out to Amelie as a friend and confidant. Is it coincidence, karmic comeuppance, or perhaps something more sinister? As Amelie plots the future, on the page and off, she begins to lose control of her narratives with such unexpected and dangerous results as betrayal and death. Smith does a masterful job blending multiple story lines. Readers will find plenty of action, intrigue, and surprises. Agent: Claire Roberts, Claire Roberts Global Literary Management. (Jan.)