Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Book Review: Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

One thing I love most about flying is that it's a long uninterrupted stretch of time that is internet-free, when I can really get some great reading done. Therefore I am always a little anxious about what books I choose to bring on the plane? Nowadays, thanks to my job, I always have a couple dozen options on my iPad, so I'm not stuck if my selection turns out to be poor. Still, it's such a great reading opportunity, I hate to waste it on a mediocre book.

To my delight, as my plane pushed back on Newark, en route to O'Hare, this book already proved fantastic! Three women work as lawyers at the largest sports brand in the world (I was thinking of Nike), and they're also friends: Sloane, Ardie, and Grace. A new young woman starts in the department, and their boss, Ames, takes a disturbing interest in her. All the more disturbing as he's next in line to take over after the CEO dropped dead in the shower. And these women aren't basing this on rumors--at least one of them knows first-hand about Ames's behavior. They try the usual tactics--warning the new hire, inviting themselves along when Ames invites her out for drinks after work, lightly warning him to back off (after all, he's their boss too so it's risky to be too direct.)

Meanwhile, the action is interspersed with depositions of these women, letting us in pretty quickly on the fact that soon enough, something Very Bad will happen. Not sure what at first, and then we're not sure who, but that really keeps the tension high. Not that it needed much more tension! Just knowing that this young woman is likely to be sexually assaulted by her own boss at any moment was tension enough for me! But it really works.

I've simplified things here and getting towards the end, the storyline makes a couple of turns I wasn't expecting. It doesn't proceed along the usual route for this kind of story, and is much more interesting than any novel on this topic I've ever seen before. It was compelling and I was glad my brother was running late to pick me up at the airport. In fact, I was even a little annoyed when he arrived! I loved this very good, very important, and very timely novel.

This book is published by Flatiron, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

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