MYSTERY

Pretty Guilty Women

Sourcebooks Landmark. Sept. 2019. 336p. ISBN 9781492694069. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781492694083. M
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Nearly 16 years after graduation, three friends from college attend the wedding of their fourth roommate at a California luxury resort. Emily, Kate, and Ginger haven’t been in close contact with one another or with bride-to-be Whitney. The first night, they each separately bond with the groom’s stylish aunt Lulu and eventually a young mother named Sydney and her baby, Lydia. Old tensions among the friends surface, and there’s something odd about Sydney’s story, but when a man threatening baby Lydia is murdered, they close ranks. A detective called to the scene gets four confessions, with Lulu, Emily, Kate, and Ginger all claiming sole responsibility. Murder is a crime with serious jail time, so why are they determined to prove themselves guilty? This smart, layered story built around relationships and public perceptions slowly reveals past and present conflicts from fertility to financial struggles to domestic abuse. More than one twist will shroud the truth of the man’s death in mystery until almost the very end; the actual end offers another jolt.
VERDICT Readers searching for their next binge read or book club selection will want to seek out this title from “Hex Files” series author LaManna.

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