Dana Diaz is an aspiring stand‑up comedian—a woman in a man’s world. When she meets a tough computer programmer named Amanda Dorn, the two bond over their struggles in boys’ club professions. Dana confides that she’s recently been harassed and assaulted while in L.A., and Amanda comes up with a plan: they should go after each other’s assailants, Strangers on a Train–style. But Dana finds that revenge, however sweet, draws her into a more complicated series of betrayals. Soon her distrust turns to paranoia, encompassing strangers, friends—and even herself. At what cost will she get her vengeance? Who will end up getting hurt? And when it’s all over, will there be anyone left to trust?
This modern day take of Strangers on a Train had potential but came up short, in my opinion. The subject matter is certainly current, but the story lacks the creepy feel I expected and even hoped for. Part of that could be due to the slow start. It's not a particularly long book, but it sure felt that way, considering things didn't start to pick up until past the halfway mark. I actually set it aside several times for something more engaging and only finally pushed through out of sheer determination. Things do pick up in the last forty percent or so, and there are some twists, but most of it is predictable. There are several potential triggers as these women discuss why they want revenge, and there is some rather graphic violence. The idea of a main character who is a stand-up comedian was interesting to me and while I realize that this book is not supposed to be funny, I would've expected Dana's act to draw at least a few chuckles. Maybe it's just me, but I didn't find anything funny about the so-called comedy. That aside, I think this could be a good story with some tightening up, but as it stands, it was decidedly underwhelming for me.
❃❃Reader copy provided by NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt