cover image The It Girl

The It Girl

Ruth Ware. Scout, $28.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-9821-5526-1

This exceptional psychological thriller from Ware (One by One) probes how much one can trust others—and one’s self. Hannah Jones’s Oxford University roommate, April Clarke-Cliveden, is everything Hannah isn’t: wealthy, sophisticated, sexually adventurous, and occasionally cruel. The two become best friends despite their differences and the unspoken attraction between Hannah and April’s boyfriend, Will. Moments after Hannah sees college porter John Neville leaving their residence building, she finds April strangled. Though Neville is later convicted of the murder, the crime, trial, and subsequent media furor upend Hannah’s life. Ten years later, she’s living in Edinburgh, married to Will, and pregnant. Days after Neville dies in prison, a journalist emails her with evidence that calls the porter’s guilt into doubt. Fearing her testimony helped convict an innocent man, Hannah feels compelled to revisit the murder with the three Oxford friends that knew April best. The memories shared by mild-mannered doctor Hugh, mathematician Emily, and Ryan, who has suffered a stroke since their college years, call most of what she’s believed about April and her death into question. Alternating past and present chapters build toward a gripping denouement as nicely chosen details bring each character vividly to life. This showcases Ware’s gifts to the fullest. Agent: Eve White, Eve White Literary (U.K.). (July)