The book begins with George walking into his favorite Boston tavern to meet his on-again off-again girlfriend Irene for a drink.
On his way to the table, he passes a woman drinking a glass of red wine and reading a paperback. His stomach flutters with recognition.
Something told him this was the girlfriend he had back in college twenty years ago. The one that caused such upheaval in his life.
Though he knew she was bad news, this was a moment he'd been dreaming of for years.
He had not seen her since his freshman year in college. How could this possibly be her?
She was not simply a girlfriend who had broken his heart. She was, as far as he still knew, a wanted criminal. She had murdered one person, and possibly a second. This girl he thought he knew so well all those years ago.
During a college break, she had headed to Florida where her family lived, and he never saw her again. Then, inexplicably, it seems that Liana would not be coming back to college. She had killed herself during the college break.
That is the crux of this story. Did she plan the events that transpired?
It turns out that she and another girl her age had "traded lives." One didn't want to go to college like her parents wanted her to. She wanted to take off with this guy and his boy band.
Liana, or that's what she called herself, came from a poor background, and wanted more than anything to go away to college and escape her trappings.
What ensues is a plot that keeps you wondering.
Was the poor girl just taking a chance for a better life? One she wouldn't otherwise have had? Or was she in fact more menacing?
How did this fluke meeting occur out of nowhere twenty years later? Or was it a fluke at all?
She wanted a favor of him, she said, though she knew she had no right to ask anything of him. He knew he shouldn't do it, shouldn't even listen to what she had to say. But he still had such a soft spot for the girl he fell in love with in college.
George is suddenly cast into a murderous plot that nearly gets him killed. Due to a girl he knew for such a short time, but still made him weak in the knees.
Except. Who was he actually in love with? The sweet girl he thought he knew from college? Or a young woman who was in reality a sociopath?
The plot thickens...I'll leave it at that.
If you like psychological thrillers, then you will love this book. Peter Swanson has masterminded a plot that weaves in and out of the years. And keeps you wondering what will happen next every time you turn a page.