Come with Me by Erin Flanagan is a highly recommended thriller.
Gwen Maner, thirty-two, is a widowed single mom of Whitney, eight. She is broke and needs a job ASAP, so she decides to apply to the media agency she was an intern at ten years earlier, before she married and was in college. Two other young women were interns with her and one of them, Nicola Kimmel, is one of the leaders at the company. Gwen calls her hoping for some advice but Nicola does much more than that and Gwen is offered a high paying job at the company. She'll have to quickly move from Colorado back to Ohio, where her mother still lives. This job will mean she can take care of her daughter comfortably.
As they settle in, Nicola inserts herself into their lives more and more, taking control of her and her daughter. At first all her help and support is welcome, but then Gwen begins to become increasingly uncomfortable. What does Nicola really want? What is the end game?
Come with Me is well-written and will hold your attention with a steady pace. Chapters alternate between the point-of-view of Gwen and flashbacks to Nicola's difficult childhood. This literary device allows suspense to build and foreshadows future events. Gwen is able to share her thoughts while Nicola's background allows insight into her character. Following the increasing creepy behavior of Nicola, a woman who wants to be in charge of everything, is entertaining.
The entertainment factor is very high because what reader of thrillers doesn't enjoy a novel where a character becomes increasingly menacing. Alternately, several of the twists are predictable and even the big twist at the end will be figured out by some readers. Also, some strong suspension of disbelief needs to be employed and it was a stumbling block for me. Gwen even thinking about applying for a job in another state somewhere she was an intern ten years ago is not credible especially after not working for ten years. 3.5 rounded up.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley.