cover image Survivor’s Guilt

Survivor’s Guilt

Robin Gigl. Kensington, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4967-2828-9

In Gigl’s stunning sequel to 2021’s By Way of Sorrow, the shooting death of businessman Charles Parsons at first looks like suicide, until a voice recording surfaces in which Parson identifies the shooter as his adopted daughter, Ann, who subsequently confesses to the crime. But transgender New Jersey lawyer Erin McCabe becomes convinced she should help Ann, who’s also trans, withdraw the plea and go to trial after Erin becomes aware of Parsons’s monstrous behavior and of the pressure put on Ann to confess by Parsons’s colleagues, who made threats to someone Ann cares about. These threats extend to Erin and her loved ones once she becomes involved in the case. Erin’s fear that her new romantic partner, Mark, will leave her over his family’s rejection of her identity adds personal stress. Meanwhile, the actual killer skillfully continues her vigilante justice campaign against Parsons’s organization’s systematic child abuse and greed. Gigl delightfully flips the usual terms of the genre with a murder victim readers are quickly drawn to hate and a murderer whom they will be rooting for. Her takes on big questions of justice, revenge, and the nature of victimhood will resonate with many. Agent: Carrie Pestrito, Laura Dail Literary. (Feb.)