Risk taking has helped make Avery Chambers, the protagonist of this suspenseful if not always credible thriller from bestsellers Hendricks and Pekkanen (You Are Not Alone), the hottest mental health professional in Washington, D.C., but her maverick approach, at times incorporating techniques more typically employed by PIs (like tailing patients to check up on them), does have its dangers. Already on edge after making a whistleblower call to the FDA concerning a pharmaceutical company’s malfeasance, the recent widow starts to experience unsettling events, like what looks to be a professional break-in of her home, around the time she begins treating lawyer Matthew Bishop and his wife, boutique owner Marissa. Avery senses there’s much more going on with this power couple than their stated infidelity issue—but can even someone as resourceful as Avery get to the bottom of a relationship stretching back to the pair’s teens, and to the murder of Marissa’s best friend back then, in time to avert disaster? Though several of the twists seem forced, the authors keep the pages turning. This one represents a return toward the high standard of their early nail-biters. Agent: Margaret Riley King, WME (Mar.)
From the Publisher
Mystery Tribune’s Book of the Day
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“Suspenseful. This one represents the high standard of their early nail-biters.” –Publishers Weekly
"The ending made total wacky sense — and was a complete surprise." The New York Times
“The next Gone Girl.” –Reader’s Digest
"Wickedly clever... Hendricks and Pekkanen (The Wife Between Us) expertly build narrative tension... in this propulsive thriller." Shelf Awareness
"My favorite kind of thriller: a guessing game filled with characters you care about and twists you don't see coming. An utterly compelling, spellbinding read." –– Lisa Jewell, author of Then She Was Gone and Invisible Girl
“Part domestic psychological drama, part cat-and-mouse page turner, The Golden Couple is one of those fiction books you might expect to devour in a weekend. The twisty tale of lies, lies, and more lies is perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Paula Hawkins.” –RD.com
"The Golden Couple is a propulsive, twisty, unputdownable thriller - with two heroines you won't be able to get enough of... and a twist you'll never see coming. Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen have outdone themselves!" ––Laura Dave, author of The Last Thing He Told Me
"The Golden Couple is propulsive and thrilling. It grabbed me from the first page and didn't let go. A page-turner that will keep you guessing until the very end." –– Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Malibu Rising and Daisy Jones & the Six
"The Golden Couple is a riveting cat-and-mouse game of a novel that explores the intricacies of marriage, and the many ways in which people lie to themselves...and others. This is a psychological thriller in every sense of the word." –– Lori Gottlieb, author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
"Superior prose and intricate plot lines... [a] riveting story, "The Golden Couple" will suck you in." Zibby Owens
Never mind that Avery Chambers's approach to therapy is so controversial that she's lost her license. Marissa Bishop willingly signs up herself and her husband because Avery says she'll take on only clients whose problems she can mend in ten sessions. Marissa intends to confess her infidelity, but far more dangerous secrets sneak into the room when the "golden" Bishops join their new therapist to talk. With a 350,000-copy first printing.
This Washington thriller achieves suspense mostly through misdirection.
At one point, a character wonders what another is really up to, but most of the characters here actually have hidden agendas. Case in point: Avery Chambers. As a therapist, she’s gone rogue, having lost her license thanks to unorthodox methods that include a combination of detective work, with all the data-mining and surveillance that entails, and prescriptive advice. She tells clients what to do—and sometimes does it for them. Matthew Bishop, a high-powered Washington lawyer, and Marissa, his wife, come to Avery for help. At the first session, Marissa confesses to infidelity with, she lies, a guy from her gym. Suddenly, this “curated Instagram” marriage is on the rocks. Can Avery salvage the relationship in her trademark 10 sessions and done? She cases the gym in question, the Bishops' opulent residence in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and looks into Marissa’s boutique and her slightly unhinged shop assistant, Polly. There's more to Marissa’s story than meets the eye, Avery thinks, somewhat superfluously. The truth could explode any chance of reconciliation. At times, Avery’s tactics seem unusually cruel, even sexist: She busts up one marriage where the wife is unduly controlling but appears to ignore her own initial suspicion that Matthew might be that way, too. Avery’s intrusiveness has made enemies, among them drug company Acelia, which she’s reported to the FDA on behalf of one of her clients who hesitated to be a whistleblower. The Acelia subplot feels superfluous, but it must be pivotal, because it takes up so much space while telling elements of backstory are withheld. There are some sharply observed class dynamics, and the final reversal is unexpected—but only because it is not foreshadowed. There’s a thin line between gaslighting characters and gaslighting readers, and this novel crosses it.
Replete with “huh?” moments.