So many times as I'm scrolling through NetGalley, a cover will draw my interest before anything else, and this is one of those times. I love the blue and the wisp of smoke with the burned house in the middle, excellent font choice, and interesting title. Hooked. Laura returns to work after six months of maternity leave only to find her temp replacement, Mia, has not only secured a permanent position within the company, but stolen her biggest account from under her. Laura is convinced Mia's out to get her, in spite of everyone around her suggesting she's obsessed, paranoid, or jealous. What everyone doesn't know, however, is that Mia has a secret, her own motivations for joining the company, and the more Laura persists, the closer she is to losing everything. On the outskirts is Janie, the boss' wife who is connected to both women when the office building is burned to the ground and the three of them watch from the quay. I wasn't sure about this story, at first, I'll admit it. Despite starting out with intrigue and deception and a series of interviews for the investigation, I was wary of Laura's fixation with Mia and Mia's devious undermining of her position. However, I quickly became engrossed with the story. Laura's difficulty trying to find a work/life balance is so relatable and heartbreaking. Many times in a working mom suspense, you see a woman with superhuman qualities or a washed-over excuse about her lack of time at home. Here, though, we see Laura struggle with her own guilt, Nate's guilt, Nate's blame, and outside pressure in the social realm. Her friends judge her for choosing to re-enter the workforce, and when Mia seemingly takes her place at work, she realizes she's lost somewhere in the middle. Because of this, identity is a central issue here. Where is the place of the woman who wants to work, wants to be home, and doesn't feel like she can adequately give 100 percent in both situations? How do perceptions of women in the workplace affect the domestic sphere and career trajectories? That was such an interesting aspect of her character, and it was refreshing to see a woman struggling and not always succeeding in both worlds. And while it took a few chapters to get me on board, I loved the way the women's lives entwined. This felt like a Moriarty to me, with subtle and sophisticated mystery wrapped in real-world problems with dire consequences. Overall, Three Perfect Liars is a well-paced, intricate web of lies with enough to suspense to keep you guessing to the very last page. I'd recommend this for anyone who loves Big Little Lies or workplace thrillers with a dominant female cast.
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