Dream Girl

Morrow. Jun. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9780062390073. $28.99. SUSPENSE
Gerry Andersen is a writer with three ex-wives, no kids, and a successful early novel, Dream Girl, that still makes him money. He’s hit a slow patch after moving back to Baltimore to care for his mother, who dies not long after his relocation. When Gerry breaks his leg in his cold and fabulous condo, he’s cared for by his assistant Victoria and by stolid night nurse Aileen. Stuck in a hospital bed, he drifts in a haze of painkillers. Things get weird when his clingy (almost)-ex-girlfriend Margot drops in from New York and threatens to blackmail him, and weirder when he receives phone calls from a woman claiming to be Aubrey, the “dream girl” of his novel. There is no Aubrey—Gerry made her up. He’s pretty sure Margot is bluffing, too. Then a dead body appears on his bedroom floor. Is he a killer? Who is calling him?
VERDICT Lippman (Lady in the Lake) nods at Stephen King and Alfred Hitchcock in this hair-raising tale, but makes it wholly hers and completely riveting. She conveys the horror of being housebound and reliant on strangers, as well as the fear of losing one’s mind. It’s a page-turning, plot-twisting masterpiece.
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