Title: Just One Look
Author: Lindsay Cameron
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: July 27, 2021
Page Count: 304
My rating: 3 1/2 stars
About the book:
A young woman’s escalating obsession with a seemingly perfect man leads her down a dangerous path in this novel of suspense brimming with envy, desire, and deception.
Eyes aren’t the windows to the soul. Emails are.
Cassie Woodson is adrift. After suffering an epic tumble down the corporate ladder, Cassie finds the only way she can pay her bills is to take a thankless temp job reviewing correspondence for a large-scale fraud suit. The daily drudgery amplifies all that her life is lacking—love, friends, stability—and leaves her with too much time on her hands, which she spends fixating on the mistakes that brought her to this point.
While sorting through a relentless deluge of emails, something catches her eye: the tender (and totally private) exchanges between a partner at the firm, Forest Watts, and his enchanting wife, Annabelle. Cassie knows she shouldn’t read them. But it’s just one look. And once that door opens, she finds she can’t look away.
Every day, twenty floors below Forest’s corner office, Cassie dissects their emails from her dingy workstation. A few clicks of her mouse and she can see every adoring word they write to each other. By peeking into their apparently perfect life, Cassie finds renewed purpose and happiness, reveling in their penchant for vintage wines, morning juice presses, and lavish dinner parties thrown in their stately Westchester home. There are no secrets from her. Or so she thinks.
Her admiration quickly escalates into all-out mimicry, because she wants this life more than anything. Maybe if she plays make-believe long enough, it will become real for her. But when Cassie orchestrates a “chance” meeting with Forest in the real world and sees something that throws the state of his marriage into question, the fantasy she’s been carefully cultivating shatters. Suddenly, she doesn’t simply admire Annabelle—she wants to take her place. And she’s armed with the tools to make that happen.
Just One Look by Lindsay Cameron is a thriller read that is very reminiscent of Caroline Kepnes’s You series. In this thriller we have a female lead who begins to show stalkerish tendencies and an unnatural obsession much like Joe Goldberg, the lead of You.
Cassie Woodson had been on a blazing career path after law school joining a law firm and working her way up the corporate ladder. However, an incident happened at the firm causing Cassie to lose her job with her failures plastered all over the media to haunt her where ever she turned.
Needing to pay her bills with her law career off the rails Cassie takes a temp job at a firm sifting through their documents for a case. The job is so far down the ladder from where she was before and completely mind numbing work, that is until the private emails of one of the firm’s partners begins to hit Cassie in box.
Being a huge fan of the You series I was actually quite taken with reading the thoughts of a female flawed character with the same traits as Joe Goldberg. Cassie was very engaging when beginning to read and I couldn’t wait to see what the author had in store for her. The thing that held this back to three and a half stars to me though was it didn’t seem as action packed of a book. Cassie spent the majority of her time in her basement job or interacting with a co-worker with only a bit of time spent pursuing her obsessions. If this became a series I would probably come back though as despite a slower pace I was engaged in Cassie’s perspective.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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