Jane Doe

6 CDs. Brilliance Audio. Aug. 2018. 7:50 hrs. ISBN 9781543682229. $34.99. F
OrangeReviewStarStone (Half Past), who also writes as Victoria Dahl, plots a darkly irresistible double cat-and-mouse game: middle manager Steven Hepsworth targets new hire Jane as a workplace conquest, oblivious that she is stalking him. Steven's mental cruelty instigated the suicide of Jane's best friend Meg; now, in the guise of a fluttery data entry clerk with low self-esteem (precisely Steven's type), Jane is on leave from her high-paying legal career and swank apartment in Kuala Lumpur just long enough to exact revenge. As Jane embeds herself into Steven's smug Minneapolis life, collecting evidence to devise the most agonizing retribution, Nicol Zanzarella's spot-on narration flips adeptly between the apologetic cooing of Jane-in-disguise and the real Jane's candid, acid-tinged running commentary. Stone invests the psychologically scarred, complex Jane with such an unsparing assessment of humanity—herself included—that Jane diagnoses her own sociopathy. Yet while both characters are, in fact, weaponizing façades of harmlessness, Jane seeks a single act of justice; Steven casts his career of ego gratification and sexual aggression as gender entitlement. Thus licensed to judge, readers will race through the chapters all the more avidly.
VERDICT Enthusiastically recommended, especially for fans of psychological suspense and admirers of steely protagonists such as Taylor Stevens's Vanessa Michael Munroe.

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