Thursday, August 25, 2022

Please Join Us

Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie
8/23/22; 320 pages
Atria Books

Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie is a highly recommended psychological thriller.

Nicole Mueller has just learned that her law career is taking a dive and that she and her husband Dan are going to be forced out of their apartment, when she receives an invitation to join Panthera Leo, a networking retreat exclusively for women in Colorado. While Nicole sees this as an opportunity to reclaim her career, Dan thinks it sounds like a cult. Nevertheless, Nicole proceeds to attend the retreat and joins the group. Since it is composed of professional women, she is sure it will benefit her career.

At first Nicole appreciates the four other women who will compose her Pride: a CEO, an actress, a finance whiz, and a congresswoman. Their existence is based on the need for a women’s club in a men’s club world. At first she sees all sorts of benefits and billable hours that result from joining a Panthera Leo Pride. She has an impressive new client, a new apartment, and a new group of supportive friends. But she is soon called in to help with something that is a crime and her involvement means she is involved.

Nicole is an interesting character. As a lawyer, she questions everything and everyone. Her curiosity and willingness to confront and question events is what propels the novel forward to greater levels of excitement and tension. Everything must extract some kind of price, so the question is really what is Nicole willing to pay for her curiosity. As the plot advances, Nicole becomes increasingly suspicious and aware of the problems and aftermath that are looming overhead.

This is a well-written, complex, fast paced legal psychological thriller that will hold your attention to the end. There are plenty of twists, especially in the second half of the novel. Please Join Us ties into the MeToo movement. There is some suspension of disbelief which must be applied while reading, but beyond that the narrative is totally entertaining. I believe that I have encountered a very similar plot before.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Atria Books via NetGalley.

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