When the game is deception, nothing is as it seems in this novel of cunning psychological suspense.
Do you want to play a game?
Twelve years ago Jessica Williams escaped a cult. Thanks to the private detective who rescued her, she reintegrated into society, endured an uncomfortable notoriety, and tried to put it all behind her. Then, at an airport bar, Jessica meets a woman with an identical name and birth date. It appears to be just an odd coincidence—until a week later, when Jessica finds her bank account drained and her personal information stolen.
Following a trail of the grifter’s victims, each with the same name, Jessica gathers players—one by one—for her own game. According to her plan, they’ll set a trap and wait for the impostor to strike again. But plans can go awry, and trust can fray, and as Jessica tries to escape the shadows of her childhood, the risks are greater than she imagined. Now, confronting the casualties of her past, Jessica can’t help but wonder…
Catherine McKenzie was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. A graduate of McGill in History and Law, Catherine practiced law in Montreal for twenty years before retiring to write full time. An avid runner and skier, she's the author of numerous bestsellers including HIDDEN, FRACTURED, THE and the GOOD LIAR. I'LL NEVER TELL was a #1 Amazon Bestseller, a Globe & Mail and Toronto Star Bestseller, shortlisted for the Hugh McLennan Prize for Fiction and has been optioned for a television series by Paramount TV. Her 2022 release, PLEASE JOIN US, has been optioned by Fox Television.
Her next novel, HAVE YOU SEEN HER, will be released on June 27, 2023.
Readers! YOU CAN'T CATCH ME will be my 10th novel in 10 years, which is so crazy to think about I need to put that aside. Anywho! I'm so excited for you to meet Jessica Williams, and ... Jessica Williams, and Jessica, you guessed it, Williams! That's right, there's a lot of Jessicas in this book! Several years ago, a friend of mine kept getting stopped at the border. She has a common name, and there was an APB out for someone with a similar name and the same birthday. Over time, we realized that they were looking for a man, but it got me thinking: if you did have the same name and birthday as someone, wouldn't it be the perfect way to steal all their money? I'm sure that's what you were thinking too! So that was the genesis of YOU CAN'T CATCH ME ... a book about a woman who meets another woman with the same name and has all her money stolen. It was an amazing challenge to write this book and I hope you enjoy it! Coming June 9, 2020!
This is the tenth novel of Catherine McKenzie and this is my third waltz with her books. I enjoyed “Good Liar” but “I’ll never tell” is a 3 solid starred Switzerland read with unlikable characters and of course “Fractured” is at my long time TBR list (I wish I have 72 hours a day to trim that monster, it gets more terrifying at each day and I’m feeding it with more book lists!)
This book gave me complex feelings. The idea of putting grifter/identity theft and cult into same equation was a little compelling start with lots of coincidental, circumstantial events follow each other but at the end the author achieved an amazing job by filling all the plot holes and giving us a logical explanation and satisfying conclusion even she breaks our hearts.
Her brilliant writing technique, twisty, riveting, breath taking, action packed story-telling hooked me from the beginning and of course I loved Jessica Williams so much. She is flawed, she was rookie, she was traumatized by her past experiences in the cult and her devoted/impossible love story with Liam who was her savior/father/brother/mentor and long- time crush was emotionally gripping. At some parts the book’s genre turns into romantic suspense at the chapters about their blooming chemistry. I truly wished they could have their HEA!
For better understanding the story line and the coincidental events that I mentioned at the last paragraph, let me talk more about Jessica’s story: After being sagged from her reporting job, crucified at the social media, Jessica thinks she deserves to her Puerto Vallarta holiday, turning off her phone, getting away from threatening messages and clearing her head. But as she waits for her flight, she decides to spend her time at the airport bar and a woman with exactly same name and birthday with her sit next to hear. They play 20 questions of Jessica Williams to know more each other, drinking and having quality time till they separate their ways to get on their planes. And of course Jessica’s (our heroine: so let’s call her Jessica number 1) so coincidental meeting with her name and birth twin ends with being drifted. She was fast enough to empty her accounts and transfer the money to the offshore, untraceable accounts of hers.
When she goes to the police, she finds out they cannot help her so she calls her partner in crime and long-time crush Liam who is ex-police officer/now private investigator, saved her from cult hell 12 years ago. She is so adamant to find Jessica and make her pay back the damage she’d created but she also suspects she is not the only one fishtailed by her cunning skills. She starts her search through the social media and finds new victims like her. She decides to meet them to form a “let’s kick this con-bitch’s ass” club! But Jessica has no idea what kind of trouble she gets herself into because the grifter she fights against is not only a thief, she can be more dangerous and unpredictable criminal mind than she can ever imagine.
This is fast pacing, exciting, thrilling ride. I was expecting some kind of different revenge story and I still have second thoughts mixing grifting story with cult elements may be not the right combination but the conclusion is relieving and satisfying. So I’m rounding up 3.5 stars to 4! I enjoyed this book more than her previous work because of likable character and her sarcastic, enjoyable, connectable inner thoughts.
I’ve really been having a hard time with thrillers lately, and unfortunately this one was no exception. I had trouble connecting to this read right from the start. I found myself constantly losing focus and having to continually refer back to the previous chapter just to make sure I hadn't actually missed something.
Jessica Williams. A fairly common name. What if Jessica is using that name to take advantage of other women who share her name. What if it’s time the tables turned?
I had such high expectations for this book as I have enjoyed previous books by this author. Perhaps it was just the wrong timing for me.
This was a buddy read with Susanne, that once again we found ourselves at the opposite ends of the bookstore.
There are many fabulous reviews for this book so If this one is on your list I hope it works out better for you than it did for me.
Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC to read and review.
Hot Diggity Dang! Catherine McKenzie sure caught me with this twisty good exciting original thrill of a read!
You Can't Catch me explores an exciting game of revenge here after Jessica is a victim of identity theft. Twelve years ago, Jessica was a victim of a cult, and now she meets a woman in a bar with the same name as hers, and the game begins. She is no ones' victim now, and she is out for revenge!
My attention was caught right from the start with this cunning well-paced read, and every chance I had, I was flipping those pages. After a major turning point in the story, I did start to get worried with the direction it went. I wasn't sure if I wanted to gasp or roll my eyes, and I decided to go with it. I felt like I was in some capable hands here, and that became clear to me when I hit that first twist that left me gasping in surprise.
Lately, it seems as if stories have been all about the characters for me, well Catherine McKenzie switched it up for me, and it was all about the plot and those brilliantly layered twists and turns.
You Can't Catch Me is one of the best games of deception, revenge and cat and mouse game with some of the best twists I have read in awhile. Ok, I do have to admit maybe a little tiny bit on the far fetch side at times if you don't find weaving that into your story as entertaining! It worked for me.
Catherine McKenzie is joined us in The Behind the Pages for a spoiler-free Q & A. You can find the thread here
Every now and then we have the pleasure of reading a book that totally captivates and surprises. You Can’t Catch Me by Catherine McKenzie is that book. Jessica Williams was raised in a cult and was rescued twelve years ago. She rebuilt her life and all was well until a chance encounter at the airport. She was approached by a stranger who turned out to share her name and birthday. The two enjoyed a few drinks and discussed the serendipity. Within days, it became clear that the woman had stolen her personal information and all of her money in her bank account. She eventually put a plan in place to contact other Jessicas to see if the same crime had been committed. And she was right. With their help, she set in motion a plan to set a trap for the criminal. You will need to read You Can’t Catch Me to find out how the story evolves. If you like your mysteries unpredictable, you will love this book. Highly recommended. Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Let me tell you, Jessica’s story is one nightmares are made of! She manages to escape a cult over a decade prior, and she finally starts feeling comfortable in society when she meets a woman in an airport who has the same name and birth date. An odd coincidence, right?
The following week, Jessica’s back account is empty, and her identity has been stolen. Jessica is on the hunt for this woman and finds other victims. Gathering together, they plan to catch the fraud.
I thought this was a captivating story. I enjoyed the cult aspects and the way that Jessica took charge of her life and her future. The pacing is quick, and overall, I thought You Can’t Catch Me was an exciting escape!
I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own.
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Catherine McKenzie, and Lake Union Publishing for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.
When it comes to books with twists aplenty and well-developed characters, readers need not look further than Catherine McKenzie and her latest novel. Well-paced and full of ‘aha’ moments, McKenzie shows why she is one of the great authors of her genre. After being outed at work and having her name splashed all across social media, Jessica Williams needs some time away. While waiting in an airport bar, she comes across a woman around her age. Funny enough, they share a name. Two Jessica Williamses? After a drink and some interesting conversation, our protagonist heads off onto her flight, distancing herself from the world and her online presence. It’s only when she lands back in the US that she discovers someone has drained her bank account. On the hunt for who might have done this, bank officials are flummoxed, as it was ‘Jessica Williams’. The security footage is grainy, but Jessica is sure she knows who did it. Confiding in her closest friend, Jessica begins a search to see if others have been taken by this Jessica Williams. The search takes her around the country, as she discovers others with her name and birthdate who have been scammed for much of their money. Determined to drive this grifter out of hiding, Jessica and her gang of others (aptly given numbers to differentiate them) set traps, only to be told in sly text messages that they will never catch her. As Jessica interspersed her battle with living in and bring extricated from a cult, the story takes many directions for a woman who had no identity and will not surrender the loose self she has discovered over the past 12 years. Grit and determination drive this woman, no matter where things take her. A wonderful story that leaves the reader panting from this hectic journey. Recommended to those who love a good thriller to pass the time, as well as the reader familiar with Catherine McKenzie and her work.
I am happy when I see a new book by Catherine McKenzie, as I can always be assured of a wonderful story. She is able to capture all the essentials in a thriller and still leave the reader gasping aloud with some of the plot twists she introduces. Jessica Williams (the original and protagonist) is a wonderful character onto whom the reader can latch themselves throughout. Willing to share a lot of her experiences in the cult, as well as a determination to keep hold of her identity, she finds herself in many interesting situations, always eager to push forward and get some answers. This might be part of her journalism background, but it also gives the reader the needed momentum to push through this book. With an underlying romantic interest in her life, Jessica battles to define herself while also not letting this guy slip through her fingers, all a part of the larger storyline. Other characters help push the story along, not the least of which the other Jessica Williamses, all of whom bring their own qualities to the narrative. McKenzie makes sure to differentiate them from one another, but connects these women with the needed aspects to keep the story flowing. The story itself was well written and developed throughout, keeping the reader on the edge of their seats as they see where the twists occur and how they will help strengthen to overall narrative. McKenzie is creative in her plots and ideas, utilising this to keep the reader wondering. With two strong narratives—cult and present—interwoven, the reader is always trying to determine what is to come, as well as how Jessica Williams came into herself. All culminating in a twist that ties it together. A wonderful book and I am eager to see what else is to come.
Kudos, Madam McKenzie, for another winner. I hope others see the strengths that I do and latch themselves onto this book in short order.
YOU CAN’T CATCH ME by CATHERINE McKENZIE is pure fun that was an extremely quick, entertaining, and brisk read. I was immediately hooked and it held my attention right to that extremely surprising and mind blowing ending.
CATHERINE McKENZIE delivers an engrossing, intriguing, and cleverly plotted story here with some pretty impressive twists and turns. I absolutely loved the short chapters and the snappy dialogue here which made me read this one quite quickly. I totally devoured it.
It was so nice to read a book that was a page-turner and fully held my attention. That has not been an easy task lately and I’m so happy that this one grabbed me right from the very first page. Love Catherine McKenzie and I highly recommend it!
This book is out now in the US/UK. Canada publishing date: August 18, 2020
Thank you so much to Catherine McKenzie and Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a physical copy of this book. I received two physical copies of this one; I won a giveaway that Catherine McKenzie was hosting herself and another direct from the publisher. I passed on one of my physical copies to Brenda. I also ended up with an eGalley as well from NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing.
One of the things I really like about Catherine McKenzie’s novels is that each one is unique. In this one, Jessica has escaped a cult and tried to put her life back together again, earning a college degree in journalism. She writes about the cult, but parts are plagiarized. When she gets caught, she gets fired, but not before receiving a big payoff thanks to the carefully documented sexual harassment she faced by one of her colleagues.
However, when she meets another Jessica Williams with the same birthday as hers in an airport, she befriends this woman and they exchange contact information by touching phones together (this is beyond my understanding of how to use cell phones in what is obviously some magical newfangled technology). Jessica Two as the first Jessica comes to think of her, steals all of her money because Two was able to get Jessica One’s banking information off her phone. The police can’t help at all because the money was transferred to offshore accounts they can’t follow.
So the first Jessica begins a crusade to track down Jessica Two and all of her money, a journey with a lot of twists and turns.
Some things felt like they happened too fast and needed to be fleshed out more. It’s a very quick read for that same reason.
Thanks for NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book, which RELEASES JUNE 9, 2020 by Lake Union Publishing.
The intriguing beginning was promising.... I was curious if and how goodness would prevail.
A few slow spots in the middle -(but certainly not ghastly slow)- Overall... I got what I wanted from this book. Great premises; I didn’t guess the ending!
a personal share.... Our daughter, Ali, ‘survived’ horrors of identity theft- so I knew pretty much first hand - how the victimization of it (10 full years for her), can be financially and emotionally costly.... and draining to the spirit!!! Our daughters story had an interesting twist with a surprise ending - different from this surprising ending - but also surprising.
We meet Jessica and Jessica. They are drinking at an airport bar. Both were born on the same day. Both have the same last name of Williams.
The storyline becomes infectious....and left me guessing until the very end.
We get wrapped up in the novel’s compelling characters—the flashback stories- the secrets-and suspense.
The themes of stolen identities, stolen money, and stolen childhoods were weaved together well.
I’ve only read a couple of books by Catherine McKenzie.... but its my understanding she’s one of the ‘queen-bees’ when it comes to psychological thriller books — which I was in the mood for.
“You Can’t Catch Me”..... (with that cunning psychological suspense going on), scratched my compulsive thriller-itch-yearning beautifully!
Jessica Williams is a journalist who makes a career bombing mistake when she plagiarises an article which results in losing her job though she manages to negotiate a payoff. Whilst waiting for a flight to Mexico for a holiday she meets another Jessica Williams. What a coincidence!!?? Except it’s not. Jessica Two is a hustler and she manages to elicit sufficient information from Jessica One to steal all her settlement money. Thus starts the twistiest of twisty tales that leaves you dizzy as your head spins and your brain tries to keep up with the pace but you are most certainly entertained as you follow Jessica One as she enacts revenge on Jessica Two.
Jessica One has a fascinating story as interspersed with her exploits with Jessica Two we learn about her life up to the age of eighteen in a cult known as Land of Todd. This works really well in the storytelling as it flows effortlessly and the two stories do eventually connect together extremely cleverly. The portrayal of cult life is very sobering and deeply scary as it shows the depth of the control and Jessica also tells the sad story of her cousin Kiki both inside the cult and afterwards.
The novel is well written, the style is lively and engaging. I love the chapter headings! The characters though not all likeable are well portrayed. There are some good descriptions especially the part of the story which takes Jessica to Jackson, Wyoming which sounds breathtaking though remind me NOT to fly into Jackson 🤢! Here there are some very dramatic scenes with that glorious backdrop which I think adds an extra dimension. The end is terrific and I genuinely didn’t see that one coming! Kudos, Catherine McKenzie!
Overall, a really good novel of deception and revenge with grifters, hustlers, escapees from a cult and several interesting characters. It’s full of twists and turns and most importantly is very entertaining!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing.
Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.
In Catherine McKenzie's tenth novel, a disgraced journalist finds herself a pawn in the midst of a very elaborate con game. The police don't seem very interested, but Jessica Williams will stop at nothing to regain the upper hand. But is she really ready for the consequences?
One thing that I can always count on is that Catherine McKenzie wastes no time in getting me hooked. By the end of the first chapter, I knew that I was going to follow Jessica and all the other Jessicas( just wait, it's all part of the plan) she discovers right up until the end. On the other hand, the cult storyline really didn't interest me at first, but CM always has a reason so I stuck with it. I am glad I did because by the end my jaw was on the floor. Well played, well played!
Goodreads review published 18/05/20 Expected publication date 09/06/20
Catherine McKenzie is at the top of her game when a former cult member finds herself mixed up in a dangerous, high-stakes case of identity theft. Addictive and fast-paced, YOU CAN’T CATCH ME proves that sometimes revenge is sweet. McKenzie best book yet!
As always with Catherine McKenzie books, I read this quickly. She writes such clever, twisty and surprising stories that hook you in from the first few pages. You Can't Catch Me takes you on a wild ride where nothing is as it seems. It was fun but dark at the same time if that makes sense. Really enjoyable read. Out on June 9th, make sure you grab a copy
Have you ever met somebody that shares both your name and birthday? Highly unlikely right? Well Jessica Williams learns this the hard way. She meets "Jessica Williams" at an airport bar on her way out of the country after a scandal at work. On her return to the US she discovers that her bank account has been drained. She is not going to take this lying down, and when the police prove to be useless in helping her she enlists the help of her friends to take this woman down and get her money back.
It is unpredictable until the very end and a great read. Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for my advanced copy of this book to read. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased.
Some books start slow and you have to be patient, often waiting a hundred pages or more for the book to grab you. And then there are books like You Can't Catch Me that grabs you from page 1 and doesn't let go!
Jessica Williams comes to a hefty sum of money but before she has a chance to start spending it, she is conned by someone with the same name. The money's gone and so is Jessica II. Unfortunately police is of no help so Jessica decides to track her money down herself and starts by looking for other Jessica Williams as she suspects that they might have been defrauded by the same person.
Jessica is not your typical 29 year old. She grew up in a cult with a fanatic leader Todd and was separated from her parents at an early age. With a help from an outsider Liam, Jessica managed to escape the cult just before her 18th birthday.
Stories about cults fascinate me and that's what initially drew me to this book. Even though the story centres around the financial fraud, probably half of the book are flashbacks to Jessica's life in the commune.
There are some far-fetched moments in the book but for some reason I didn't mind them and in the end enjoyed both story lines. I found this to be a perfect weekend read.
Many thanks to the publisher for my review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Alas!!! another book for the "wish I had liked it more" file. While I so enjoyed this author's The Good Liar, this one just didn't give me the thrills I was hoping to find.
It has lots going on and perhaps it was that issue that kept me from enjoying this story as much as I hoped I would. The story line, that of a woman named Jessica Williams, who has had her fair share of troubles in the past, being an unwilling member of a cult. being caught plagiarizing and losing her job, and then being taken over by a con artist were just a few things that had poor Jessica going round the bend.
But, for me, the story was convoluted with a plethora of Jessica Williams running amuck and a story that seemed at times to meander along. It was hard for me to build up any kind of link with the characters. They all seemed shoddy and lacked a sense of right and wrong. After awhile the plot became somewhat farfetched as a trap is laid for one of the Jessicas, the one who had plotted and schemed to cheat the rest of the Jessicas.
However, please do look at other reviews and many have truly enjoyed this story.
How far would you go to get revenge? This tale digs into just that thought as one woman chases another who coincidentally shares the same name. How common is that?
After a chance meeting at a bar, Jessica discovers that her bank account has been drained and there’s not much the police can do to help her. So the chase is on to catch the "other" Jessica and get her money back!
This was my first read by Catherine McKenzie although I have several of her earlier books on my to be read shelf. There were quite a few twists, but I really wasn’t invested in the characters and the romance that crops up. The ending was a surprise to me and even though I didn’t love this one, I will still read future books by this author.
This was another fun buddy read with Jayme. Always good to share thoughts with another reader!
Thanks to NetGalley, Catherine McKenzie, and Lake Union Publishing for an early copy to read.
Twelve years ago Jessica Williams escaped from a cult she was involved in. All she wanted to do was leave that portion of her life behind her, but that was easier said than done. The day Jessica crosses paths with a woman at an airport bar of the exact name and birth date as hers is the day her life will alter forever.
You Can’t Catch Me by Catherine McKenzie was a book with many twists and turns that kept the reader turning the pages. I enjoyed this book, but I didn’t love it because I felt a few times the story was a little slow and it dragged a bit for me. In saying that I feel a bit of it was me and not entirely the book, so please don’t allow my opinion to put you off from reading this book. I look forward to reading more by this author. Recommended.
With thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for my digital copy to read and review.
Special thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.
Expected pub date: June 9, 2020
I am so excited to be chosen as one of McKenzie’s early readers, once again. I have read most of McKenzie’s later works, and was impressed by her creativity and skill, so taking the plunge into “You Can’t Catch Me” had me overcome with all the feels.
Jessica Williams has spent the last twelve years trying to rebuild her life, after escaping from a cult. Now, as she starts a new job and a new relationship with the private investigator who helped free her, she is finally making some gains. When she meets another woman named “Jessica Williams” in an airport bar, things soon go from good to very, very bad. Jessica Two has used her identity and stolen the majority of the settlement money Jessica won in a lawsuit against her old cult leader. In order to regain her money, Jessica teams up with others who have also been a target of Jessica Two, and they band together with a plan to take Jessica Two down.
“You Can’t Catch Me” has a unique Charlie’s Angel’s feel, with bad-ass lead female characters banding together to take down another (just plain bad) female who has managed to use her smarts and charm to swindle them out of money. All of the “good” Jessica’s in this novel are easy to root for, and they aren’t portrayed as naïve somehow, as the swindler Jessica has very strong game, making it believable that she could abscond with someone’s money.
I thoroughly enjoyed the cult segment of this novel and wanted more of it. At first, it didn’t seem to tie into the plot (outside of being the protagonists’ Jessica’s back story) , but in true McKenzie fashion, it plays a very important part toward the end of the novel. The twist was impressive, although a lot of convenient coincidences were at play in order to make it work.
Cleverly told, I am a fan of McKenzie’s new novel. After ten novels, McKenzie shows no signs of slowing down, and I will gladly devour any story she wishes to put to paper.
You Can't Catch Me by Catherine McKenzie is a mind-blowing novel. The central theme of the plot is identity theft, wherein our protagonist finds out that she has been duped for all her savings by someone with the same name and date of birth as hers. She then embarks on a journey to seek the perpetrator in hope of getting back her money. In the process, she discovers other victims, and the plot takes unexpected turns. The protagonist's childhood spent in a cult runs as a side track in the plot.
There is no way one can guess how the story ends. After revealing the protagonist, the author had me believing there would be no more surprises, only to land a strong surprising twist at the end. Nicely executed, Catherine.
Thanks to the author and the publisher for the ARC.
This story grabbed me from the start, with everyone's worst nightmare happening to Jessica. Her identity is stolen and all of her money is gone. And all from an innocent encounter in an airport bar. But is it really just a happenstance meeting?
As Jessica tries to get her life and her money back, she sets out an elaborate plan to bring the guilty party to justice. As her plan moves forward and more people become involved, the plan and the story take some unexpected twists and turns. Those twists and turns are what kept me flipping the pages of this amazing, complicated, exciting adventure.
And then there was the ending! Totally not one I saw coming but one that I loved. I had to sit and think about it and savor the satisfaction I felt when it was all over.
You Can't Catch Me is definitely a book that you will want to check out. It's the perfect page-turning thriller to read this summer!
Admittedly, I did not read her last release, I’ll Never Tell, but I saw that it legit was everywhere on bookstagram last year, so I promise to give this book a shot. You Can't Catch Me centers around a woman named Jessica, who luckily escapes a cult to then only get her identity stolen. Jessica plots her revenge by gathering information on this perp, but will the shadows of her past come to haunt her while she plays vigilante?
This book is straight up popcorn thriller in the best way. It's extremely fast paced and I could not put it down. The suspense oozes through the pages and there were some goosebumps moments that I could feel as the plot unfolded. I enjoyed the cat and mouse type of drama that Jessica and her grifter play and the backstory of Jessica's time with the cult comes into play as well. These two storylines, one present and one past, interweave throughout the story and I couldn't tell you which I liked more because they were both gripping. I guess I'm jumping on the Catherine McKenzie bandwagon!
Just finished and wow! what a superb psychological suspense novel! There are some great twists that I didn't see coming, and I loved how everything wrapped up in the end. Even though I have nothing in common with Jessica (the OG) I could really relate to her feelings and how they manifested in her adult life. Her upbringing in a cult was fascinating and I liked the way the author wove together her experiences during and after the cult with the events occurring in the present day. I love a good revenge story, and this one has it in spades. I didn't like the plot for a while because people who are wrongfully accused of something is not a favorite trope of mine, but that didn't feature too heavily so I was able to set it aside for the greater tale. A solidly fascinating book with great twists is always welcome entertainment for me. Great job Catherine McKenzie.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
The concept of this book about identity theft specific to financial scams (not the ongoing destruction of an individual's credit and future life) had potential, but I found the execution lacking. There is an an added element in that some of the principal characters had been involved with a cult.
The biggest problem for me was inconsistent pacing. Descriptions of some events were dragged out far longer than necessary since they added nothing to the story line or the tension necessary in a psychological thriller, while the big reveal at the end was condensed into just a few abruptly delivered pages.
There were also too many options where it was necessary to suspend disbelief in order for the convoluted plot to move forward. And although the key to the ending was withheld throughout the book, other supposed surprises were pretty obvious to me early on, and fell flat.
Sometimes books that require us to accept unlikely coincidences or seemingly preposterous plots are redeemed by excellent writing or appealing characters. That wasn't the case here.
Rounding up to 3 stars because ... Well, I don't know exactly, except that it wasn't bad enough to be a 2, I guess.
A fun, twisty story about a former cult member who falls victim to identity theft after making a career-ending mistake. Dazzling, intriguing, and just good old-fashioned fun! This wildly entertaining thriller is chock full of impressive twists and a plot you'll get utterly caught up in.
Jessica Williams high tails it to Mexico but meets another Jessica Williams at the airport before her flight leaves. The second Jessica is a hustler who extracts vital information from her and swindles her out of the bulk of her money. But Jessica one isn’t about to roll over and take it. Thus ensues a cleverly plotted cat-and-mouse story in which our protagonist must determine how far she’ll go to get revenge.
A quick, fun read that will entertain and engross you. I highly recommend!
ARC requested through Netgalley, and kindly provided by Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
This latest novel, from one of my favs - Catherine McKenzie, was a bit of a mixed bag for me. You Can't Catch Me followed two timelines in Jessica Williams’ life - in the past we delved into her life growing up in a cult and in the present, Jessica dealt with an identity thief who stole most of her savings. I found myself super engaged in the former, but the later was a bit problematic for me.
When Jessica was first introduced onto the pages, I’ll admit I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for her. I thought to myself – here is a clueless character. As we got to know Jessica, though, my feelings changed. I really enjoyed the pace of how Jessica’s past was revealed to us. I found the cult storyline very harrowing and each key piece of her past weaved very well into the present storyline. While the premise behind Jessica’s identity theft was implausible, it did make for a very interesting mystery.
There is really only one “flaw”, if you want to call it that, that brought down my overall enjoyment of the story. Without giving away any spoilers, based on the ending, I believe the story should have been told in the third person, not the first person. Having read it in the first person, therefore getting the story through Jessica’s eyes, the ending, instead of feeling like I was being let in on a reveal, just didn’t make sense based on everything I had read up until that moment. I can forgive the author this, though, and just enjoy the story for what it was. The character development and twists in the story kept me engaged and kept the pages turning!
2.5 Stars. Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC in return for an honest review. This psychological thriller has an intriguing and original premise, but I failed to become engaged in the story and wasn’t feeling any emotions or suspense.
There are two main storylines; identity and money theft and growing up in a secretive cult. I found the switching back and forth jumbled the pacing. The plotting was clever with some appealing twists, but I thought it was lacking a moral centre and was dependent on coincidences which lacked credibility.
Jessica’s behaviour and life choices were certainly influenced by growing up in a cult, and later her striving for independence. Unfortunately, I did not like her role as protagonist and disliked other members of the cast. Because I did not connect with the characters, I was unable to care how the plot turned out, and it became tedious and far fetched for me. The romance story did not appeal to me. I regret this book just wasn’t for me. From the positive reviews I have seen, I think it will appeal to many readers.