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Sunday, July 25, 2021

#ATBR2021 Review: Just One Look by Lindsay Cameron

Just One Look
by Lindsay Cameron

Thanks to Ballantine Books for these review copies.

Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publish Date: July 27, 2021
Hardcover
304 Pages
Standalone
Genre: Thriller, Suspense

A young woman's escalating obsession with a seemingly perfect man leads her down a dangerous path in this novel of suspense brimming with envy, desire, and deception.

Eyes aren't the windows to the soul. Emails are.

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 Review:

I LOVE obsession stories and goodness does JUST ONE LOOK show just how much we actually reveal about ourselves in emails, on social media, how easily someone an be manipulated based on the information they put out there and how there is probably at least one person out there obsessing about you and you have no idea. 😮

For me, this starts off a bit slow and took a little bit for me to get into.  Cassie is quite the interesting character and I did enjoy following her down her bat shit crazy path.  As the chapters progressed, I found myself so very curious on how things were going to unravel.  But oh my.  She is her own very unreliable narrator, binge drinking, not knowing entirely how some things occurred bc of said drinking and, as we know, completely obsessed with Forest.  Where it starts to unravel for me, is towards the end.  Things blow up as we expect but the *news flash* that comes with it seemed a bit abrupt and rushed.  I did groan a bit at this piece and roll my eyes because after all this build up,.. well, why did it need to go that far?  Also the epilogue felt a bit much though I did enjoy where it landed, even if slightly predictable.  

My first Cameron and will definitely be keeping an eye out for her next release.

★★★

Jessica's Review:


I'm all about stories of obsession but at the same time they freak me out. Some of these books make you realize how easy it truly can be for people to find out anything about your life thanks to the internet. Doesn't matter how private you think you have everything, there's always some way for a determined admirer to find the information they desire. JUST ONE LOOK by Lindsay Cameron shows us how a simple email can spiral into a full obsession for Cassie. 

Starting a new temp job, Cassie is tasked with going through files and emails for a large fraud suit. While it seems boring and monotonous Cassie stumbles across an email between husband and wife and she's immediately drawn to them. Forest and his wife, Annabelle, are everything Cassie wishes she was and could have. She knows it's wrong to read through personal emails but she can't stop herself.

While the pacing was a little on the slow side to start there was just enough craziness happening to keep me interested. How far was Cassie going to take this obsession? Is she going to cross more lines than just reading personal emails? While this didn't completely work for me, this will not be the last book by Cameron that I pick up! 

3 stars


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