Kit Owens and Diane Fleming, the protagonists of this nuanced tale of soured friendships, blood-soaked ambition, and desperate murder from Thriller Award–winner Abbott (You Will Know Me), were once fast friends—until Diane tells Kit a secret so dark that it shatters their friendship, sending Kit into a minor tailspin. But high school is drawing to a close, and Kit hopes she’ll never see Diane again. Fast-forward more than a decade, and Kit is working in a lab under the impressive Dr. Lena Severin. When a new grant is announced to study premenstrual dysphoric disorder, Kit can hardly contain her shock as Diane reappears as a newly poached superstar from a competing lab. Kit and Diane each want coveted spots on Dr. Severin’s PMDD research team, and as the only women in the male-dominated lab, they must deal with their colleagues’ thinly veiled misogyny. When Diane’s secret pulses to the surface, lives are lost and futures are put in doubt in a mad rush to keep the past in its place. No writer can touch Abbott in the realm of twisted desire and relationships between women, both intimate and feral. Agent: Daniel Conaway, Writer’s House. (July)
A rising star in a famous laboratory can track her success back to the one person in her life she'd like to forget.As a teenager, Kit Owens is fine with doing just enough to set herself up for a comfortable life. She never had a compelling reason to push herself until Diane Fleming quietly stepped into her life. The new girl with a troubled past, Diane seems to care only about achieving perfection, and she doesn't understand why Kit wouldn't want the same. The two become each other's motivation to do better, go harder, working toward the common goal of a science scholarship funded by a doctor famous for her research on taboo disorders related to the female sex. Until one night, when Diane shares something with Kit that is terrible enough—"the worst thing anyone's ever told me"—to erase any bond they have. More than 10 years later, Kit is the hardest working member of Dr. Severin's lab, angling for a coveted spot on the new premenstrual dysphoric disorder research team. Her lab mates, all men, are convinced she has it in the bag. But then Dr. Severin drops the bomb that she's poached a stellar researcher from Harvard who will join the team immediately. That person is Diane. Kit has buried the memory of her old friend under years of pipetting, thousands of precisely cut samples, and days bent under a fume hood: "After a bad dream, a Diane dream, I avoid the mirror…certain that if I looked, she might be there." Who could truly forget Diane? And when she walks through the lab door the next day, "everything begins again." Abbott (You Will Know Me, 2016, etc.) has made the dark desires and secrets of the female psyche the life force of her novels. Under the surface of Kit and Diane's research on women plagued by an "unbearable push of feelings, feelings gone out of control…a wretched curse" lives their own shared curse, something strong enough to tip the balance of their carefully regimented, chemical-clean world.In Abbott's deft hands, friendship is fused to rivalry, and ambition to fear, with an unsettling level of believability. It will take more than a cold shower to still the blood thumping in your ears when you finish this.
"The latest thriller from the ever-impressive Megan Abbott....Abbott sows suspense by shifting between past and present, demonstrating how life's earlier acts affect future ones."Wall Street Journal
"A spectacular thriller . . . Give Me Your Hand is a nuanced and atmospheric story about the lure of big dreams, especially for women."NPR's Fresh Air
"Abbott's trademark elements of darkness in her complex protagonists shine here."Seattle Review of Books
"Abbott proves she's still the queen of uncovering the dark complexity of the female psyche with her new novel."Los Angeles Review of Books
"Trust the nimble Abbott to elevate this smart page-turner beyond catfight into a tense battle between morality and ambition."People, Book of the Week
"[Give Me Your Hand] should cement [Abbott's] position as one of the most intelligent and daring novelists working in the crime genre today."Ruth Ware, New York Times Book Review
"Abbott, who always immerses readers in hothouse subcultures in her novels - cheerleading, gymnastics - here explores the relationship between competitive scientists at a cutthroat university laboratory."New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice
"[A] nuanced tale of soured friendships, blood-soaked ambition, and desperate murders from Thriller Award-winner Abbott...No writer can touch Abbott in the realm of twisted desire and relationships between women, both intimate and feral."Publishers Weekly, starred review
"This is a stellar book...This book is loaded with terrifying brilliance, and it's one of my very favorite Abbott reads for the way it so sharply fuses its setting to its characters and ideas."Entertainment Weekly
"In Abbott's deft hands, friendship is fused to rivalry, and ambition to fear, with an unsettling level of believability. It will take more than a cold shower to still the blood thumping in your ears when you finish this."Kirkus, Starred Review
"In Give Me Your Hand, Abbott again shows why she's one of our best story tellers"Associated Press
"Bloodthirsty"Family Circle, Best Books of the Summer
"Once again, Abbott plunges us deep into a vividly realized world of intense competition and creates life-or-death stakes where we wouldn't have known to look for them...this is a brilliant riff on hard science, human nature, and the ultimate unknowability of the human brain."Booklist, Starred Review
"it's pure suspense hinging on terrifyingly real characters."Vulture
"Abbott writes high school well, and her alternating then/now chapters balance teenage perception and identity with the extreme competition of the adult scientific world."Newsday
"Smart, twisty, penetrating - I literally could not put this book down"Pop Sugar, "The 25 New Books to Put in Your Beach Bag This Summer"
"This is Megan Abbott at her very best. Cool, crisp, chilling."Paula Hawkins, author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller The Girl on the Train, -
"A white-hot look at the ways in which envy perverts ambition, and our secrets make us sick, Give Me Your Hand is the ultimate unsettling read of the summer."Nylon
"It will take more than a cold shower to still the blood thumping in your ears when you finish this."Kirkus
"Few writers get at the dark corners of the female psyche like Megan Abbott"Los Angeles Times
"Give Me Your Hand is further proof that Megan Abbott is the 21st century's answer to Patricia Highsmithshe has that uncanny insight into the dark and treacherous depths of the human heart."Dan Chaon, bestselling author of Ill Will, -
"SO. GOOD. A tense, pitch-perfect thriller about ambition and female friendship and a forensic examination of what it takes for women to rise through male-dominated spaces. It felt in places like a dark inversion of The Secret History."Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said, -
"Give Me Your Hand is dark, smart, twisty, and thoroughly addictive. No one maps the thrilling and sometimes dangerous intensity of female friendships better than Megan Abbott."Tom Perotta, bestselling author of Mrs. Fletcher and Little Children, -
"While Megan Abbott's magnetic new novel mines themes of ambition, competition, excellence, and friendship, what perhaps struck me the most was its exploration of the long, undeterrable reach of memory. Give Me Your Hand is darkly effective, uneasy-making, and beautifully, absorbingly written."Meg Wolitzer, bestselling author of The Interestings and The Female Persuasion, -
"Megan Abbott manages to be a master of suspense, a gifted literary novelist, and a brilliant voice on gender, power, and obsession, all at once. Give Me Your Hand is mesmerizing."J. Courtney Sullivan, bestselling author of Saints for All Occasions and Mine, -
PRAISE FOR YOU WILL KNOW ME:
"[Abbott] is in top form in this novel. She resumes her customary role of black cat, opaque and unblinking, filling her readers with queasy suspicion at every turn."
Jennifer Senior, New York Times
"...brilliant...beneath the glittering carapace of Abbott's lush, skillful, subtle writing, it's impossible to know what we're supposed to think. One of the strengths of this novel is that it doesn't mind what we believeit is cooly at peace with whatever our take on matters might be...we, as readers, are made entirely responsible for our own theories and conclusions. In that sense, this is an exceptionally plausible work of fiction...The wrong kind of ambiguity in a crime novel can be fatal. Abbott judges it impeccably here..all of this Abbott pulls off with groundbreaking skill...excellent."
Sophie Hannah, New York Times Book Review