Saturday, March 16, 2024

Everyone Is Watching

Everyone Is Watching by Heather Gudenkauf
3/26/24; 320 pages
Park Row Books

Everyone Is Watching by Heather Gudenkauf is a very highly recommended locked-room thriller that is absolutely riveting from start to finish.

Five contestants have been chosen to compete for ten million dollars on the game show One Lucky Winner which will be live streamed across the world. The competition is held on a secluded estate in California and the rules are strict - no contact with the outside world and you can't leave the property. The contestants are given the monikers of The Best Friend, The Confidant, The Senator, The Boyfriend, and The Executive. Quite quickly, two facts become clear: they were purposefully chosen for a reason and someone is out for blood.

Set all incredulity and disbelief aside and prepare yourself for a well-written, twisty, unrelenting, immersive, and dangerous locked-room thriller. The story is told through the point-of-view of three women:  Maire Hennessy, a 40-year-old single mother with a chronically ill child (The Best Friend); Camille Tamerlane, a 38-year-old therapist and popular podcast host; and Fern (Fernanda) Espa, the host of the show and assistant to the woman who is the demanding executive producer of One Lucky Winner. We also learn their backstories and gain valuable insight into how the seemingly random contestants are actually interconnected.

Everyone Is Watching is fast-paced, tension-packed and thoroughly compelling from start to finish. The stakes, ten million dollars, are high, but it soon becomes clear that the challenges are very dangerous and made for revenge. What is really on the line is their reputations and exposure of secrets they hold. Thanks to Park Row Books for providing me with an advance reader's copy via Edelweiss. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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