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This is another book off WSJ reviewer Tom Nolan's Best Mystery Books of 2019 list. Eight down, and… we'll get to those last two eventually, I'm sure.

The first-person narrator is Anna McDonald, Scottish wife and mother. Except not really "Anna". That's a name she adopted, because she's in hiding from a past life, sort of a DIY witness protection program. And she's having a bad day. A true-crime podcast she listens to concerns the sinking of the yacht Dana. Which contains a surprising revelation: an old acquaintance, Leon Parker, and many of his family perished in the sinking. And the person held responsible, and jailed, was probably framed.

Probably framed, that is, by Leon's fabulously wealthy wife, Gretchen Tiegler. Who (it turns out) is also a major reason Anna felt forced to adopt her new identity.

And did I mention that Anna's having a bad day? Yes: by coincidence, her husband also announces that he's dumping her, and running off on vacation with Anna's best friend Estelle. Bummer!

Eventually, Estelle's soon-to-be-ex husband, Fin Cohen, shows up on Anna's doorstep. He is a famous musician, and also anorexic. Anna decides to take off on her own investigation of the Dana's sinking. Sort of a Jessica Fletcher deal, if Tom Bosley accompanied her. There's a lot of travel, perilous situations, revelations about Anna's past life, and (eventually) a grisly murder.

It's a page-turner, but the plot is ludicrous, the protagonist isn't particularly likeable. (Although she's had some bad breaks, admittedly.)

Last Modified 2024-01-23 2:06 PM EDT