fbpx

Books

Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

The Wonder Test

by Michelle Richmond

New York Times bestselling author Michelle Richmond introduces a tough and spirited new protagonist, FBI Agent Lina Connerly, in this exhilarating race to save Silicon Valley teens from their own parents’ ambition and greed

  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 448
  • Publication Date July 06, 2021
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-5850-5
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $26.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Publication Date July 06, 2021
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-5851-2
  • US List Price $26.00

Escaping New York City and the espionage case that made her question everything, recently widowed FBI agent Lina Connerly returns home to sell the house she has inherited in tony Greenfield, California. With her teenage son Rory, Lina hopes to reassemble her life, reevaluate her career, and find a clear way forward. Adrift and battling insomnia, she discovers that her father’s sleepy hometown has been transformed into a Silicon Valley suburb on steroids, obsessed with an annual exam called The Wonder Test.

When students at her son’s high school go missing, reappearing under mysterious circumstances on abandoned beaches, Lina must summon her strength and her investigative instincts, pushing her own ethical boundaries  to the limits in order to solve the crimes. Meanwhile, an old espionage case called Red Vine keeps calling her back into the fold. While Lina struggles to balance her new role as a single mother and the complex counterintelligence puzzles she is so adept at solving, Greenfield’s shadowy dangers creep closer to her own home.

A searing view of a culture that puts the wellbeing of children at risk for advancement and prestige, and a captivating story of the lengths a mother will go for her son.

Praise for The Wonder Test:

“Ms. Richmond maintains a creepy sense of dread throughout, even as she explores Rory’s coming-of-age and Lina’s coming-to-terms. Readers may need to suspend a pinch of disbelief to fully enjoy this chilling but heartwarming tale, but that’s a fair price to pay.”—Wall Street Journal

“Richmond, whose previous books include The Marriage Pact, has an engaging, fluid writing style that makes even the preposterous seem plausible.”—New York Times

“A madcap suspense novel with a clever premise…high-spirited, riveting. It combines the relentless, competitive pressure of growing up in affluent Silicon Valley suburbs with a future already coming round the bend. By blending the speculative and the familiar, Richmond makes us believe.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“A witty blend of satire and thriller, The Wonder Test targets the win-at-all-costs ethos of Silicon Valley education culture and the harm it does to kids. The action gets increasingly nutty in the latter part of the book—you may wish you could unread one foray into the bizarre predilections of the bored and privileged—but the grounding presence of Lina and her son keeps the story on track as it speeds to a conclusion that’s both harrowing and hilarious.”—Air Mail

The Wonder Test engages in various ways. The social satire of life and child-raising in Silicon Valley is either entertaining or appalling, depending on the reader. The description of the art of detective surveillance is convincing and seems well grounded. If the villain of the piece seems a bit over the top, he is the more engaging because of it. And the presence of two characters struggling to cope with loss provides emotional weight. Most readers will find, as I did, quite enough here to satisfy.”—Reviewing the Evidence

“Richmond’s latest is a two-in-one winner: a gripping thriller set in a Stepford-esque California suburb, and a story of surviving loss and building family bonds. With a realistic protagonist, well-described setting, and an uber-creepy villain, it will please readers who like their stories with action and heart in equal measure.”Library Journal, starred review

“Richmond’s latest thriller’s light-touch appearance masks a gripping blend of danger and sharp social commentary on high-stakes education, the 1%, and suburban tropes: imagine a coffee date with Lisa Lutz’s Spellmans and Tom Perrotta’s suburbanites in a sun-drenched Twin Peaks… Richmond crafts a satisfying ending, while her gifted storytelling and Lina’s compelling self-discovery will spur readers to root for more Lina Connerly adventures.”—Booklist, starred review

“Sharply written, subtly satirical …Vividly sketched characters, escalating stakes, and evocative prose distinguish Richmond’s latest, which explores themes of grief and greed. Minor mysteries and assorted absurdities complement the thorny central puzzle, adding texture and tension. Susan Isaacs fans will be well pleased.”—Publishers Weekly

“The overlay of international spycraft on suburban California, whose shiny facade conceals the most heinous of sins and vanities, is surprisingly effective… The plot is sound, the action exciting, and the characters resoundingly human.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Richmond’s latest thriller’s light-touch appearance masks a gripping blend of danger and sharp social commentary on high-stakes education, the 1%, and suburban tropes: imagine a coffee date with Lisa Lutz’s Spellmans and Tom Perrotta’s suburbanites in a sun-drenched Twin Peaks… Richmond crafts a satisfying ending, while her gifted storytelling and Lina’s compelling self-discovery will spur readers to root for more Lina Connerly adventures.”—Booklist, starred review

The Wonder Test deftly explores the underbelly of San Francisco, the pressures of Silicon Valley, and the love between a mother and her teenage son. I was captivated by the novel’s simultaneously tough and tender protagonist, FBI agent Lina Connerly, and the plot twists kept me riveted until the small hours of the morning. After this, I’ll read anything Michelle Richmond writes.”—Vendela Vida, author of We Run the Tides

The Wonder Test is fast-paced and smart, thoughtful and full of heart. I never thought a book could combine the thrilling twists of a Sue Grafton novel and the literary complexity of the best Tana French, but Michelle Richmond has done it. The Wonder Test is a triumph and a joy.”—Amanda Eyre Ward, New York Times bestselling author of The Jetsetters

The Wonder Test is a fast-paced, moving exploration of motherhood and money, danger and deception, privilege and pretense. Michelle Richmond delivers the perfect thinking person’s page-turner: smart, suspenseful, layered. I couldn’t put it down.”—Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Mother May I

The Wonder Test paints a rich, complex picture of the San Francisco Bay Area that both resonates with its natural beauty and captures the darker aspects of being the extremely privileged cyber capital of the world.”—Alice LaPlante, New York Times bestselling author of A Circle of Wives

The Wonder Test features a terrific, clever, and timely concept, and Lina Connerly, a loving mother, is also exactly the kind of tough-as-nails heroine to chase down the truth. Gripping, frightening, swift as a bullet. The last hundred pages could give you whiplash.”—Dean Koontz, internationally bestselling author of The Night Window

Praise for Michelle Richmond:

“A fun, can’t-stop-eating-the-potato-chips kind of premise.”—The New York Times, on The Marriage Pact

“A smart, searing and frightening look at modern love.”—Today, on The Marriage Pact

“A high-concept, fast-moving thriller…a gripping and intriguing read.”—Sunday Mirror, on The Marriage Pact

“Involving, heartrending and immediately readable.”—San Francisco Examiner, on The Year of Fog

“Gripping.”—People, on The Year of Fog

“GRADE: A.”—Washington Post, on The Year of Fog

“Michelle Richmond’s encore to The Year of Fog is an equally addictive read.”—Denver Post, on No One You Know

“Richmond sets out to create not a straight-up thriller, but a novel that explores love, family, work, guilt and the responsibility of the writer to his or her subject, all within the framework of a murder mystery.” —San Francisco Chronicle, on No One You Know

“Intelligent, emotionally convincing…Michelle Richmond never strikes a false note in No One You Know.”—Boston Globe, on No One You Know

“Beautifully written.”—Seattle Times, on No One You Know

“Another enjoyable blend of mystery and domestic fiction…Quietly captivating.”—Publishers Weekly, on No One You Know