Summary (from the publisher): Cassie Woodson is adrift. After suffering an epic tumble down the corporate ladder, Cassie finds the only way she can pay her bills is to take a thankless temp job reviewing correspondence for a large-scale fraud suit. The daily drudgery amplifies all that her life is lacking–love, friends, stability–and leaves her with too much time on her hands, which she spends fixating on the mistakes that brought her to this point.
While sorting through a relentless deluge of emails, something catches her eye: the tender (and totally private) exchanges between a partner at the firm, Forest Watts, and his enchanting wife, Annabelle. Cassie knows she shouldn’t read them. But it’s just one look. And once that door opens, she finds she can’t look away.
Every day, twenty floors below Forest’s corner office, Cassie dissects their emails from her dingy workstation. A few clicks of her mouse and she can see every adoring word they write to each other. By peeking into their apparently perfect life, Cassie finds renewed purpose and happiness, reveling in their penchant for vintage wines, morning juice presses, and lavish dinner parties thrown in their stately Westchester home. There are no secrets from her. Or so she thinks.
Her admiration quickly escalates into all-out mimicry, because she wants this life more than anything. Maybe if she plays make-believe long enough, it will become real for her. But when Cassie orchestrates a “chance” meeting with Forest in the real world and sees something that throws the state of his marriage into question, the fantasy she’s been carefully cultivating shatters. Suddenly, she doesn’t simply admire Annabelle–she wants to take her place. And she’s armed with the tools to make that happen
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I love reading a thriller or two to break up my lighter-feeling, aka all the contemporary & romance, books that I tend to read in the summer. I recently read Lindsay Cameron’s Just One Look and highly recommend checking this one out if you’re in need of a suspense read that will hook you from the first page to the very end. The book follows Cassie’s transition into a temp law job, after losing her prestigious law job after a freak accident that made news headlines. While reading through company emails as part of her temp work, Cassie comes across emails between one of the firm’s partner and his wife, Forest and Annabel. What starts off as just one look at their email turns into a full-blown obsession as Cassie plans to meet Forest and replicate his marriage.
Although I haven’t yet read Caroline Kepnes’ You (I know, this was one of the very rare instances where I’ve watched the TV show without reading the book), I am obsessed with the Netflix adaptation and Just One Look gave me reverse You vibes. Cassie dives deep into Forest and Annabelle’s emails, buying the same celebratory wine as them, going to Forest’s juice bar in the morning, and even visiting their home.
I really liked that Cassie was almost an unreliable narrator, in that we spend so much of the book trying to figure out what went wrong at her old job and how that has influenced her perception of relationships. The book was so fact-paced, and is it bad to say that I loved the progression of Cassie’s hunting (aka stalking) and her relationship with Forest? While yes, a part of me does enjoy guessing the twists or ending of a good thriller, I really liked that I didn’t know what to expect from Just One Look’s climax and ending. I do admit that I was lost with some of the law lingo, especially in the beginning when Cassie begins the temp job, but it was so worth powering through to get to the main plot.
Overall, Just One Look was an addicting suspense read. I recommend checking this one out when you’re in the mood for a binge-read with psychological thriller vibes.
This review is based on a finished copy provided by the publisher. By no means did receiving this book affect my thoughts & opinions.
Is Just One Look on your TBR? What are some of your favorite suspense or thriller books? Share in the comments!