10 May 2019

Review: Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott book cover
* Copy courtesy of Pan Macmillan Australia *

A psychological thriller set in a research laboratory? Featuring two highly successful and ambitious women? I'm in!

Kit and Diane were best friends in high school, but after Diane shared a deeply personal secret with Kit they drifted apart. Both girls were driven and ambitious and each pursued careers in medical research.

Kit is now working for one of the best female bosses I remember coming across in fiction, and it isn't long before Diane pops up in her life again; headhunted and recruited by her boss.

The novel is told from Kit's perspective with 'flash backs' to her teenage years and friendship with Diane. I thought Give Me Your Hand was going to be a thriller about Kit and Diane duking it out for a position or promotion, viciously competing with each other with dire consequences for one of them. Give Me Your Hand wasn't this and in fact was so much more.

Research at the laboratory is being conducted into Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), which is a severe form of PMS that includes physical and behavioural symptoms. I'd never heard of PMDD, so you could say this thriller was also educational.

I will say that the cover art doesn't adequately convey the setting of the novel in my opinion. I'd have preferred a white cover with out of focus laboratory and perhaps a smashed beaker with blood spattered around. Knowing they're researching PMDD, the blood has a double meaning. Furthermore, so much of the novel takes place in and around the lab that this was my mental image of the novel as I was reading it.

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott is a gripping psychological thriller and I really enjoyed it.

My rating = ****

Carpe Librum!

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