When psychology professor Sheila Tao decides to break off an affair with one of her graduate students because of a growing relationship with another man, she discovers that her student is unbalanced. As his threatening behavior escalates, Sheila finds herself, along with her friends and family, in real danger. Although there are some rough spots in this debut thriller—the subplot about a murdered student is clunky, Sheila’s sex addiction seems mostly unnecessary, and the killer attacks the private investigator with a knife but conveniently misses any major arteries—first novelist Hillier succeeds in building suspense and piling up nail-biting twists and turns for the reader. The ending indicates a possible sequel, but even if Sheila Tao doesn’t return, Hillier will likely have best sellers in the future thanks to her suspenseful plotting and solid character development.
VERDICT: This fast-paced page-turner will keep fans of Lisa Gardner and Chelsea Cain guessing.
Booya! I'll take it!