Just One Look by Lindsay Cameron, 3.5 Stars

Cassie Woodson is adrift. After suffering an epic tumble down the corporate ladder, Cassie finds the only way she can pay her bills is to take a thankless temp job reviewing correspondence for a large-scale fraud suit. The daily drudgery amplifies all that her life is lacking—love, friends, stability—and leaves her with too much time on her hands, which she spends fixating on the mistakes that brought her to this point.

While sorting through a relentless deluge of emails, something catches her eye: the tender (and totally private) exchanges between a partner at the firm, Forest Watts, and his enchanting wife, Annabelle. Cassie knows she shouldn’t read them. But it’s just one look. And once that door opens, she finds she can’t look away.

Every day, twenty floors below Forest’s corner office, Cassie dissects their emails from her dingy workstation. A few clicks of her mouse and she can see every adoring word they write to each other. By peeking into their apparently perfect life, Cassie finds renewed purpose and happiness, reveling in their penchant for vintage wines, morning juice presses, and lavish dinner parties thrown in their stately Westchester home. There are no secrets from her. Or so she thinks.

Her admiration quickly escalates into all-out mimicry, because she wants this life more than anything. Maybe if she plays make-believe long enough, it will become real for her. But when Cassie orchestrates a “chance” meeting with Forest in the real world and sees something that throws the state of his marriage into question, the fantasy she’s been carefully cultivating shatters. Suddenly, she doesn’t simply admire Annabelle—she wants to take her place. And she’s armed with the tools to make that happen.

Praise for Just One Look:

“Fresh, fun, and totally wicked . . . a sharp, modern thrill ride with a witty heroine.”Entertainment Weekly

“Lindsay Cameron’s thriller will appeal to fans of You, in that readers get a glimpse inside the head of someone willing to go to extreme lengths for what they want. . . . Nothing and no one are as they seem in this thriller about envy, obsession, class, stalking, and revenge.”Oprah Daily

“Will leave you chilled to the bone.”PopSugar

“A highly entertaining narrative that positively sparkles with wit and insight . . . This is the author’s suspense debut, and it succeeds wildly. Highly recommended for all collections.”Booklist (starred review)

“[An] entertaining, seamless story about obsession, stalking, and revenge . . .”Publishers Weekly

My Review:

Cassie’s life has taken a terrible turn. Once an aspiring partner at a law firm, she’s now relegated to a temp job in a dingy room that’s got to be depressing as hell. She doesn’t even have her own desk, but rather just a chair at table. She’s a nameless face in a sea of worker bees. She used to be a rising legal star, now she sifts through emails looks for ammo for a fraud case the firm she’s temping at is handling. It’s tedious and boring. Except for the fact that sometimes, she intercepts personal emails. And those can be juicy.

Cassie isn’t just down and out over work. She’s also suffered a mysterious breakup that the reader doesn’t know much about. Just that it basically shattered her hope for love in her life ever. So when she starts reading the emails of a partner who looks to have just about everything, including a wife that he adores, she starts obsessing a bit. First over how amazing his relationship with his wife is, and when that turns out to be less than completely true, how she can insert herself into his life.

It’s an age-old tale and it never ends well. Maybe this time will be the exception? Just One Look is a great tale of how longing for a better life and success can lead to jealously, obsession, and worse. Special Thanks to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out now!


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