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Blurb from Simon & Schuster:
At thirty-nine, Nicole Mueller’s life is on the rocks. Her once brilliant law career is falling apart. She and her husband, Dan, are soon to be forced out of the apartment they love. After a warning from her firm’s senior partners, she receives an invitation from an exclusive women’s networking group, Panthera Leo. Membership is anonymous, but every member is a successful professional. It sounds like the perfect solution to help Nicole revive her career. So, despite Dan’s concerns that the group might be a cult, Nicole signs up for their retreat in Colorado.
Once there, she meets the other women who will make up her Pride. A CEO, an actress, a finance whiz, a congresswoman: Nicole can’t believe her luck. The founders of Panthera Leo are equally as impressive. They explain the group’s core philosophy: they’re a girl’s club in a boy’s club world.
Nicole is all in. And when she gets home, she soon sees dividends. Her new network quickly provides her with clients that help her relaunch her career, and a great new apartment too. The favors she has to provide in return seem benign. But then she’s called to the congresswoman’s apartment late at night where she’s pressed into helping her cover up a crime. And suddenly, Dan’s concerns that something more sinister is at play seem all too relevant. Can Nicole extricate herself from the group before it’s too late? Or will joining Panthera Leo be the biggest mistake of her life?
Feeling stuck as this never-ending year continues to do the actual least? Please Join Us is something for you to look forward to in 2022!
Early sunsets and dark nights mark prime thriller season for me! I couldn’t help but empathize with Nicole: she’s followed the “rules” from school to work and the top of her field seems to be just out of her grasp. After yet another setback, enter: Panthera Leo. This new “Pride” of powerful women bonds during an outdoorsy retreat, leading to quick wins upon returning to NY when Nicole’s new network starts coming through with the work and life wins she needs, but at what cost? It’s exceptionally hard to not go full spoiler-y here but, let’s just say that I LOVE a good villain and this book delivers some of the best.
McKenzie’s use of bullet points and accessible legal terminology gave me a glimpse into how Nicole’s brain was working through each challenge and twist coming her way – and was a novel way to break up and recap expositionary writing blocks. I also am so happy that this was one of the few thrillers I’ve read recently where the MC didn’t become the second coming of Rambo in the final act. Brains not brawn here! Add this to your TBR & pre-order if you’re looking for the perfect marriage of legal and domestic thrillers and if you like your heroines tenacious.
Thank you to Catherine McKenzie, Atria Books, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a digital ARC.