In some murder mysteries, we struggle to figure out who the killer is because everybody’s alibi seems so darn plausible — we keep looking for holes. But in Sara Shepard’s newest novel Reputation (Dutton), nobody’s story rings true. 

Even Kit, the character who pretty much launches the whole plot, begins to doubt her own story. Further, more than one character looks like he or she has a reasonable motive.

This may be why Reputation can easily be a one-sitting read. Shepard is genius at dropping one sticky sentence at the end of each chapter to snag her readers into reading just a little more. 

The hacking of a prestigious university’s email accounts uncovers reprehensible secrets, sad longings, lust, regrets and weakness. The ensuing stories, told through the eyes of five women whose lives are bewilderingly entwined, fall together in unexpected ways. Experienced lovers of mysteries may pick up on clues, but some clues are hidden so carefully that Reputation can’t be one of those books you tear through, skipping whole paragraphs in order to find out who the killer is.

Furthermore, the entanglements are complicated, love and power are juggled with ugly results, the women tug at heartstrings, and readers may find themselves rooting for the killer — whoever it is.

Just when it looks like all men are philanderers, sexual deviants or pedophiles, Shepard drops a couple heroes in to save the day, even though one man’s heroism is the telling of a horrific lie.

The women swan through the book dressed in Tory Burch, wearing Christian Louboutin heels, and carrying, perhaps, a Celine handbag. It’s high crimes in high society, and all the men, by the way, are dead ringers for sexy Hollywood actors.

It’s also a swing through another world with the same basic nastiness all humans are prey to; and when it’s all over, readers may think, “How did they get away with all that?”

Learn more about purchasing Reputation here and check out our story about Shepard’s previous adult novel, The Elizas, here.

Sara Shepard is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars series. She has also written other young adult series and novels, including The Lying GameThe Heiresses and The Perfectionists. Sara now lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband, sons and dogs.