Dark Thrill Reviews: The Woman in the library by Sulari Gentill

I am a writer, a beta reader, and a thriller enthusiast; this book was written for me. A successful Australian writer is sending her new thriller, chapter by chapter, to Leo, her trusted American Beta Reader and author looking for an agent. She needs his help because her novel features four people that meet in a library and it is set in Boston. The pandemic has broken out, and everybody is stuck at home, but Leo is eager to do her research.

Leo is quickly engrossed in the mystery, ( as a beta reader I wish all my clients could write like this!) and who can blame him. Four people meet under the strangest circumstances, they hear a woman scream in the Boston library, and while the police investigate, they are ordered to stay put. And a bond is formed for life. Freddie, Winifred is also Australian and in the US on a scholarship. Marigold is a manic pixie girl covered in tattoos. Whit is a privileged Harvard Law student, and the last one is another author, a gorgeously mysterious man named Cain. 

Now the woman who screamed is found dead, and Freddie, our protagonist who is a writer (feeling the Droste effect yet?), starts penning her novel inspired by the people she met under these bizarre circumstances. But she can't help to start doing a bit of digging on the side into the murder.  

Like Leo, the beta reader, fears, Freddie soon falls for, according to him, the main suspect, Cain. Then people get stabbed, stalked, and murdered. 

It is a feat that the layers in this novel never get confusing; they complement each other deliciously, much better than the strange donut flavors in the hip place the characters frequent. No, this novel is the perfect dish, innovative, complex, and gratifying. It is an academia thriller that is utterly surprising, maybe it is more of a curl under the blanket and sip something warm kind of read, but with a pageturner this fun, the beach will do just fine.