cover image None of This Is True

None of This Is True

Lisa Jewell. Atria, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-1-982179-00-7

In this edgy thriller from bestseller Jewell (The Family Remains), meek housewife Josie Fair and true crime podcaster Alix Summers meet by chance in a pub where both are celebrating their 45th birthdays. Immediately obsessed with her more successful counterpart, Josie engineers several “chance” meetings with Alix—including one outside her children’s school—in order to forge a friendship. Instead of feeling threatened, Alix decides to feature Josie on a podcast about the lives of ordinary women. Before long, though, Josie divulges that beneath her modest middle-class home life lie instances of pedophilia, child abuse, and even murder. But are any of Josie’s stories true? As Alix digs deeper, she begins to question her new friend’s motives for meeting her in the first place, and through a series of reversals, comes to fear she’s been set up in a twisted game of cat and mouse. Jewell devotees who love the author’s signature twisted characters and acidic cultural commentary—here focused on the travails of internet celebrity—will be satisfied by this pitch-black outing and its shocking climax, but readers with a lower tolerance for nastiness should turn elsewhere. Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins fans, this one’s for you. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider. (Aug.)