The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

The Woman in the Library is an incredibly fresh take on a murder mystery which intertwines the lives of four strangers, one which is a murderer. The characters are two would want to be writers a best-selling Australian author (whose novel we are reading) and a psychology student, as well as another would be writer who gives notes to the author at the end of each chapter on American/Boston jargon and places in the Boston area.

The story begins with four strangers noticing each other as they sit at tables in the Boston Public Library. Hannah, the writer of the novel imagines what each of their lives could possibly be. Suddenly there is a chilling scream from some part of the library. As the security guards run by to find out what has happened, the four strangers begin to talk amongst themselves about the situation and move to sit with each other. Nothing is found and the scream has been thought a prank. Thus begins the group’s friendships.

Cain, who is an author, spent time on the streets when he was young. Whit writes for a local magazine and is happily flunking out of law school. He comes from a wealthy family. Marigold, decked out in tattoos, is the young student. As they ponder what could have happened, they end up going for coffee and agree to meet again at the library the next day. But let’s not forget Leo. Leo’s sends notes to Hannah at the end of each chapter giving her the American version of what she may be trying to say or giving her notes on her characters as he too tries to figure out who the murderer could be.

But the next morning they discover that the scream was anything but a joke. There has been the body of a woman found murdered in the library.

As the group begins to investigate the killing, mostly for pure selfish reasons, meaning they want to use the story somehow in the books they are writing, and Marigold is just there out of curiosity, and perhaps a crush, they begin to discover coincidences some of them may have had with the deceased. But they were sitting together when the scream occurred so none of them think anything of them. Until one of them is brought to the police station and becomes the prime suspect!

Little by little they begin to learn about the secret lives each of them led and the lies each of them has been keeping. Then another body is found murdered and the four begin to suspect each other. This can be no accident that someone in the group was involved. But how? And why? Then of course, they begin to turn on each other, their paranoia beginning to get out of control. Until one mistake will reveal the truth.

In this wonderfully crafted novel with amazing character development, and a plot which reads like an Agatha Christie story, the reader should just relax, enjoy and realize they are being taken on an incredible imaginative journey full of intrigue and suspense and yes, even romance.

Thank you #NetGalley #PoisenedPenPress #SulariGentill #TheWomanintheLibrary for the advanced copy.

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