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  • Writer's pictureMandy McHugh

The Receptionist, Kate Myles: A Review

From the alluring pink cover with the mysterious silhouette to the intriguing summary, I was looking forward to starting The Receptionist. Emily fought for her place at the top and loves her life as a high-powered talent agent. Her husband, Doug, is equally ambitious, and together, they are a ruthless power couple with a plan for the future. But Doug's involvement with Chloe, an office employee, proves to be more disastrous than any of them could have anticipated. What follows is a twisty,

unpredictable course of events that will keep you guessing until the last page. I liked this book. I sat on my review for a few days to figure out exactly what I wanted to say. First, Myles' writing is clear and engrossing. I found the distinct voices to be well-developed and interesting even though I didn't particularly like any of them. I'd go so far as to say you're not supposed to like any of them. Cutthroat. Manipulative. Emotionless. Emily was definitely my favorite of the three. Her position was the most complex, as Doug's wife and the orchestrator of the events which guide the second half of the book. This is a prime example of the extremes of toxic relationships, and I think anyone who's ever encountered a person with this borderline (or even flat-out) sociopathic behavior will recognize the off-putting and troublesome interactions. And while I didn't like any of the characters, I wanted to see where the story would go. I finished this in two reads and didn't anticipate the ending. No spoilers, but I wanted more from the final chapter. The switch was too abrupt for me to love it, and after weaving together this narrative of violence and self-preservation, it felt a little rushed/out of place. Overall, The Receptionist is a mix of gritty characters and overarching questions of ambition in an egocentric world. I'd recommend for fans of dark suspense and character-driven psychological plots. Thank you to Thomas and Mercer and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration


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