Review by Booklist Review
As he did in Eight Perfect Murders (2020), Swanson again takes the idea of fiction as homage to deliriously vertiginous new heights. What seems initially to be a fairly straightforward take on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None turns out to be much, much more. The plot hinges, as in Christie's novel, on a group of characters being bumped off one at a time, but here the victims aren't all comfy in a country house but strung out around the country, and there is seemingly nothing to connect them--except that they have all received an ominous list of nine names, including their own. No explanation. Then the recipients of the list begin to die, often in bizarre ways. FBI agent Jessica Winslow, whose name is on the list, begins the search for links, as Swanson tantalizingly fills in backstory on the actual and would-be victims, leaving it to the reader to unlock what eludes Winslow. Meanwhile, a detective (and Christie buff) in rural Maine, where the first murder takes place, settles in for some close textual analysis. Naturally, there are many surprises in store for both readers and characters, and while the tension mounts deliciously as we wonder if there will be any survivors, the real fascination here is the explanation itself--and what it reveals about the cancerous effects of guilt and obsession. Old-school mystery, certainly, but delivered with a wonderful new-school sensibility.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Swanson (Every Vow You Break) neatly riffs on Agatha Christie's classic And Then There Were None in this taut thriller. Nine Americans from across the country--a stressed suburban father, an aspiring actor, a singer-songwriter, a resort owner, a retired businessman, a rich man's mistress, an English professor, an oncology nurse, and FBI agent Jessica Winslow--each receives an envelope in the mail from an unknown sender containing only an identical list of nine names, including their own. The recipients, who don't recognize the other names on the list, vary in their initial reactions; some are disturbed, while others barely pay attention to it. Then someone drowns one of the nine. Winslow, a federal investigator in Albany, N.Y., begins to probe whether the eight others, who have no apparent connections to one another, are all targets of a killer. Winslow's mission becomes more urgent when another on the list is gunned down. Swanson makes the plotline plausible, despite radically transforming the setting from Christie's isolated island with its closed circle of suspects, to the entire continental U.S. This is a well-crafted page-turner. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Assoc. (Mar.)
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Review by Library Journal Review
Nine strangers find their names on a list mailed anonymously, and soon bad things start happening to them, from a beloved older man's drowning at the beach to a young father's being shot while running in his quiet neighborhood. What links them? FBI agent Jessica Winslow would surely like to know, because she is on the list. Swanson sells brilliantly here and abroad, and a handful of his books have been optioned for film. With a 100,000-copy first printing.
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