Expected publication date July 17, 2018
Advanced copy provided by publish in exchange for an honest review.
Have you ever wondered if the past will come back to haunt you? Whether it is an ex or a family member or an old friend, I’m sure we can all think of someone who, if they showed up in our lives today, would give us that tv moment of shock and slow-mo (cut to commercial). In Megan Abbott’s GIVE ME YOUR HAND, two women who were high school classmates have grown into scientific powerhouses who have been chosen to be a part of an important PMDD study. The only problem is that Diane told Kit her deepest, darkest secret in high school, she knows who Diane truly is, and she thought that was all left in the past. She is scared to work with her again, and afraid of what Diane might do to make sure her secret stays a secret.
The turning point of the novel happens about halfway through. Having Diane return to her world makes Kit panic. She goes on a date with her coworker Alex that she’s been crushing on for awhile, and after a few too many Long Island Iced Teas she divulges that Diane is dangerous, Kit knows her, and that she’s a killer. The next day Alex has left the apartment for the lab early, saying he’s going to handle it for her.
Problem is that Alex isn’t just her crush, he’s also one of the most irresponsible scientists in their lab. Notorious for leaving things dirty, using the wrong materials, breaking things, and taking rats to use without permission, it’s no surprise that when Kit confronts him in the lab while he is working, they argue, and then the cracked pipette he was heating explodes spilling chloroform everywhere and shredding his throat for good measure. He dies, and wouldn’t you know it, Diane is in the next room. Oh no Kit, what have you done? I heard you arguing, he was violent you had no choice! And then suddenly they are cleaning up the scene and sneaking Kit out in Diane’s lab coat, leaving the clumsy Alex to be discovered by someone else.
Even though Kit did nothing wrong, and calling 911 would have made more sense and been easier, her senses were muddled by the chloroform and she let Diane guide her. Now Diane has something over Kit like Kit does over her. They are even. They are equals and must be friends. And honestly, this is when I stopped reading.
I highly dislike books where misunderstandings like this happen, or when someone has too much power over another. By telling Kit her secret when they were in high school, Diane freed herself because she knew Kit would never tell, and when they reconnect she finds a way to ensure that it never does, almost by accident. The rest of the book would be an anxiety-filled will she or won’t she as Kit decides if putting herself in jeopardy is worth the truth being told. Personally I have enough anxiety in my life right now to kill a bull elephant, and while I enjoy a good thriller this novel is just not to my taste.
It was well written and enjoyable, I’m just not into that kind of a plot device. Want to find out what happens once both girls have blackmail material on each other? Go get you some! And then let me know what happens.