I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.
Another implausible thriller I nonetheless felt compelled to keep listening to, despite constantly thinking, "This is not the way actual humans would behave." Two stars instead of one because of that compulsion to find out how everything resolves. Disappointing, since I enjoyed The Wife Between Us, by the same authors.
Jessica Farris is a 28-year old freelance makeup artist living in NYC, struggling to make ends meet while helping her parents care for her younger sister, who at age seven suffered permanent disability from a traumatic brain injury. During a make-up session with a couple of NYU undergraduate girls, Jess catches wind of a psychological study that pays $500/participant, just for completing a series of questionnaires. Unable to resist the lure of that payout, she sneaks her way into the study, "on ethics and morality."
After Jess's three questionnaire sessions, the psychiatrist conducting the study finds something in Jess's responses compelling enough to suspend the study and create a side-study. This side-study involves face-to-face meetings between Jess and the psychiatrist, Dr. Shields, and a series of assignments where Dr. Shields gives Jess instructions on what to say and what to do (under the auspices of testing ethics and morality in real-life situations). Almost immediately, the book strains credulity, and the idea that Dr. Shields is a highly intelligent, intuitive medical and psychiatric professional goes the way of informed attributes.
For the rest of this review, I will put up spoiler tags, because there are a whole lot of specific elements I want to cover.