It’s no secret that Domestic Suspense is a juggernaut of a genre right now—and Jessica Strawser’s Forget You Know Me (St. Martin’s Press) exemplifies why this genre is so appealing. The story takes relatable characters living common lives and pulls one thread on the fabric of their lives to set in motion a catastrophic series of events.
The story opens when our lead, Liza, is having a long overdue video chat with her longtime best friend Molly. Liza, single, has moved to Chicago for business opportunities, leaving Molly, married with two kids, behind in Cincinnati. Their lives are on separate tracks, but they are trying to re-establish their once-close friendship.
During the call, Molly is called away by one of her children (again, realism at work here, dear readers) and Liza notices a masked intruder breaking
Molly responds to Liza’s pleas for an update with a quick text but Liza isn’t convinced that all is well. She hops in the car, with her good friend Max as her co-pilot, and drives through the night to check on Molly in person. They arrive on Molly’s doorstep in the early morning
Baffled by Molly’s unfeeling reaction, Liza and Max return to Chicago only to find that a devastating fire has gutted her entire apartment building. Liza quickly learns that if she had been home, there is a very high probability she would have died in the fire.
This lays the scene for a twisty, multi-layered story that explores the surface mysteries of the masked intruder and the horrific fire as well as deeper themes like marital communication, supporting a spouse through chronic illness, coping with post-disaster anxiety, and a host of others.
Strawser’s prose is deft and her pacing is flawless. I was immersed in the story and felt a great deal of sympathy for the characters, and wasn’t able to guess the final outcome until the pivotal scene where the truth is revealed. It’s a fun rollercoaster ride of a book, and one I highly recommend!
Forget You Know Me is available for purchase.
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ABOUT JESSICA STRAWSER:
Jessica Strawser is the editor-at-large at Writer’s Digest, where she served as editorial director for nearly a decade and became known for her in-depth interviews with such luminaries as David Sedaris and Alice Walker. She’s the author of the book club favorites Almost Missed You, now new in paperback, and Not That I Could Tell, a Book of the Month selection and Barnes & Noble Best New Fiction pick for March 2018 (both from St. Martin’s Press). Her third novel, Forget You Know Me, released early 2019. She has written for The New York Times, Modern Love, Publishers Weekly