For fans of We Were Liars, Gone Girl, and The Girl on the Train comes a powerful psychological thriller with a gripping pace and Hitchcockian twists. Set against the backdrop of New York City, this compelling novel delves into the dysfunctional yet mesmerizing world of the mega-wealthy elite and will keep readers guessing until the very last page.
The Haves. The Have-Nots. Kate O’Brien appears to be a Have-Not. Her whole life has been a series of setbacks she’s had to snake her way out of—some more sinister than others. But she’s determined to change all that. She’s book-smart. She’s street-smart. And she’s also a masterful liar. As the scholarship student at the elite Waverly School in NYC, Kate has her work cut out for her: her plan is to climb the social ranks and land a spot at Yale. She’s already found her “people” among the senior-class “it” girls—specifically in the cosseted, mega-wealthy yet deeply damaged Olivia Sumner. As for Olivia, she considers Kate the best friend she’s always needed, the sister she never had.
When the handsome and whip-smart Mark Redkin joins the Waverly administration as head of fund-raising, he immediately charms his way into the faculty’s and students’ lives, becoming especially close to Olivia, a fact she’s intent on keeping to herself. It becomes increasingly obvious that Redkin poses a threat to Kate, too, in a way she can’t reveal—and can’t afford to ignore. Mark has his own plan for a bright future and never doubts that he can pull it off. How close can Kate and Olivia get to him without having to share their dark pasts?
“Combines a Gossip Girl milieu with the unsettled psychological terrain of Gone Girl.” —PW
“It’s smart, dark, entertaining, and unpredictable.” —Quill & Quire, Starred
About the Author
TERESA TOTEN is the author of Beware That Girl; The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award in Canada; The Game; The Onlyhouse; and, with Eric Walters, The Taming. She is also the author of the acclaimed Blondes series. Teresa lives in Toronto. Visit her online at teresatoten.com and on Facebook, and follow @TTotenAuthor on Twitter.
Read an Excerpt
Toten / BEWARE THAT GIRL
Tuesday, March 22
Kate and Olivia
Neither girl moved. The young blonde on the bed didn’t move because she couldn’t, and the blonde in the chair didn’t because, well, it seemed that she couldn’t either.
Two doctors, a nurse and an orderly barged in, disturbing their silence. They lifted the body in the bed using a sheet, changed the bedding, checked her pulse and heart rate, tapped, touched and shone lights into unseeing eyes. This time they removed the long cylindrical tube that had been taped to the girl’s mouth. The withdrawal of the tube was ugly.
The body seized, arced and then spasmed.
When they left, the girl in the chair resumed her vigil numbed by the reek of ammonia and latex. The doctors never told her anything, so she’d stopped asking. The bedridden girl was attached to a tangled mess of tubes and wires. They led from her battered body to several monitors and a single pole that branched out like a steel tree blooming with bags of IV fluid. Things beeped and hummed on a random timetable that neither girl heard. In the forty-eight hours since their arrival, the girl in the chair rarely broke her vigil to stretch, sleep or go to the bathroom. Her normally perfect blonde hair clung to her scalp, greased darker now with sweat, mud and dried blood.
She sat spellbound by the monitors, by the ever-changing colored dots, the indecipherable graphs and especially the wavy green line. The green line was important. She didn’t waver, not in all those hours—not until Detective Akimoto cleared his throat in the doorway. She struggled to meet his eyes.
“I’m sorry, but I’m going to need you to step outside for a moment.”
The girl turned to her friend, whose mouth was red and angry from where the tape had been ripped away.
The detective flipped open a small black notepad.
He clicked his pen several times.
Other men were outside, milling about the corridor. Cops.
“We have a few questions about your friend, and also about a . . . Mr. Marcus Redkin.”
She rose slowly. The room swayed in the effort. “Yes, sir.” She stole one more glance at the wavy green line.
The girl on the bed was no longer inert, not entirely. But no one saw. Words fell out of her mouth, silently slipping off the sheets and onto the ground.
But no one heard.