Book Review: Just One Look
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.
I was looking forward to reading this book. After having read a bunch of romances I was in the mood for a good physiological thriller. Sadly, this book did not do that for me. I would call it more of a "sleeper thriller". While I read this book really fast, there was not a lot happening. Not in the beginning anyways. As the story progressed, the various events that took place within the story did not really raise any hairs on my arms.
In fact, I found myself having to go back and reread sections as I was not as engaged. I could tell where this story was going very early on. Cassie was fine but I did not find her that interesting. Where the story packed the most punch for me was the last couple of chapters of this book. It is where it all came together.