Invisible Womanby Katia Lief
In Invisible Woman, a dangerous secret held for too long between estranged best friends rises to the surface, and a long marriage comes apart with devastating consequences
Other people kill their husbands. Not her.
Joni Ackerman’s decision to raise children, 25 years ago, came with a steep cost. She was then a pioneering filmmaker, one of the few women to break into the all-male Hollywood club of feature film directors. But she and her husband Paul had always wanted a family, and his ascending career at a premier television network provided a safety net. Now they’ve recently transplanted to Brooklyn, so that Paul can launch a major East Coast production studio, when a scandal rocks the film industry and forces Joni to revisit a secret from long ago involving her friend Val.
Joni is adamant that the time has come to tell the story, but Val and Paul are reluctant, for different reasons. As the marriage frays and the friends spar about whether to speak up, Joni’s struggles with isolation in a new city, and old resentments about the sacrifices she made on her family’s behalf start to boil over. She takes solace, of sorts, in the novels of Patricia Highsmith—particularly the masterpiece Strangers on a Train, with its duplicitous characters and their murderous impulses—until the lines between reality and fantasy become blurred.
Invisible Woman is at once a literary thriller about the lies we tell each other (and ourselves), and a powerful psychological examination of the complexities of friendship, marriage, and motherhood.
“Part domestic thriller, part psychological mystery, this is a tight, well-paced novel, and it hangs on the complex and flawed character of Joni herself. Rediscovering Patricia Highsmith’s novels, Joni begins to lean into the darkness of her own soul . . . Caught in the nefarious web of the patriarchy at every turn, she finds in Highsmith a way to fight back and reclaim some of her own agency. . . Absolutely a novel of its time–and a novel of women’s stories across time.”—Kirkus (starred review)
“What follows is a journey through secrets and lies, and Joni will stop at nothing to unravel them all. Lief tells Joni’s story with lyrical energy while slowly ratcheting up the suspense, blending shocking twists with literary nuances to create a compelling, introspective narrative.”—Booklist
“Katia Lief’s Invisible Woman is a stunning achievement: it’s not only a taut thriller with a jaw-dropping twist, but also a literary exploration of the complexities of marriage and friendship, and a timely tribute to women who were silenced for all too long. The novel will stay with you long after you finish the last page.”—Alex Finlay, bestselling author of Every Last Fear
“Attention, suspense readers: get ready to gasp. Attention, book clubs: get ready to argue. Invisible Woman is a wily, provocative literary thriller—classic but timely, retro yet right-this-minute—with brains in its head and ice in its veins. High-tension, high-class, and highly recommended.” —A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestseller of The Woman in the Window
“From the first page to the last, Katia Lief’s Invisible Woman will seize you and never let go. Smart and spellbinding . . . and most certainly your next favorite thriller.”—Jennifer Hillier, award-winning and bestselling author of Things We Do in the Dark
“A beautifully rendered portrait of familial grief, loss, and decades-old demons wrapped inside a terrific race-against-time thriller starring a believably flawed heroine.”―Sarah Weinman
“One of the most compelling psychological thrillers I’ve read in a long time . . . I simply could not put it down.”―Alison Gaylin, USA Today bestselling author of What Remains of Me
“A terrific novel, wonderfully written, richly populated, and utterly gripping from start to finish.”―Chris Pavone, New York Times bestselling author of The Travelers
“Karen Ellis entwines complex storylines with breakneck precision. A must-read for fans of taut, unpredictable psychological suspense.”―Wendy Corsi Staub, bestselling author of Blue Moon