I think I had thriller fatigue last year; I felt as though everything I read was either a rehash of an earlier (better) book, or a formulaic police procedural. Thank goodness 2019 is already off to a great start, with character driven thrillers like The Flower Girls and The Suspect released this month. Another great character driven thriller I recently read was Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott.
From the blurb:
Kit Owens harbored only modest ambitions for herself when the mysterious Diane Fleming appeared in her high school chemistry class. But Diane’s academic brilliance lit a fire in Kit, and the two developed an unlikely friendship. Until Diane shared a secret that changed everything between them.
More than a decade later, Kit thinks she’s put Diane behind her forever and she’s begun to fulfill the scientific dreams Diane awakened in her. But the past comes roaring back when she discovers that Diane is her competition for a position both women covet, taking part in groundbreaking new research led by their idol. Soon enough, the two former friends find themselves locked in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse that threatens to destroy them both.
I really liked that the main protagonist and villain were women. The rivalries were professional and academic, and the characters weren’t fighting over a man. I thought that the representations of working in a mostly male environment were fair. There was a lot of jealousy and petty squabbles.
My only niggle was that Kit kept making stupid decisions; these were explained by the circumstances, and the character herself reflected that she’d acted idiotically, but it still felt a bit too convenient. At times it felt like the character made bad decisions purely to move the plot forward.
Overall I gave Give Me Your Hand 3.5/5 stars. I really enjoyed this book,it was fast paced, and nice to read a story with professional, educated women as the central characters.