cover image The Split

The Split

Kit Frick. Atria/Bestler, $27 (256p) ISBN 978-1-6680-2247-4

YA author Frick (The Reunion) makes an auspicious adult debut with this knotty Sliding Doors–esque thriller about two sisters who share a dark secret. Jane Connor has moved back to her Connecticut hometown to help care for her dementia-stricken mother. She’s surprised when her impulsive sister, Esme, calls during a storm one night and says she’s left her wealthy husband and needs Jane to come pick her up in Manhattan. The request paralyzes Jane, who immediately flashes back to the last time she drove Esme in inclement weather­—a trip that ended with Esme severely injured. From there, the narrative fissures into two timelines: in one, Jane picks Esme up and their relationship implodes; in the other, she refuses, and Esme goes missing. As the parallel stories swerve into murder, betrayal, and exhumed family secrets, Frick keeps readers deliriously off-balance, tossing out just enough breadcrumbs to make the truth seem obvious only in hindsight. The format gives new life to the unreliable narrator trope, and Frick is excellent at establishing a plausibly lived-in dynamic between Jane and Esme. It’s an exhilarating puzzle. Agent: Erin Harris, Folio Literary. (Feb.)