You Can’t Catch Me, by Catherine McKenzie, 2020
Her PI friend Liam
Her cousin Kiki
Jessica Two, the con artist
Jessie and JJ, her other victims
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The Plot (from Goodreads):
Twelve years ago Jessica Williams escaped a cult. She reintegrated into society, endured 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 who will pay the price.
Congratulations to Catherine McKenzie for ten novels in ten years! What a huge achievement.
You Can’t Catch Me is a fast-paced, entertaining thriller with many impressive layers. The short chapters made the book fly by, and the dialogue was clever and entertaining.
At first, I had no sympathy for Jessica. I cringed so hard as she started answering Jessica Two’s questions in the airport bar. Maybe just because I knew the premise of the book, but she didn’t even try to disguise asking blatant security questions! Jessica deserved getting her money stolen for being that gullible.
As the book progressed, though, Jessica grew on me. She turned out to be a smart, resilient character who would do anything to get revenge.
Catherine McKenzie mentioned on Goodreads that the idea for the book came when a friend of hers with a common name kept getting stopped at border control since there was an APB out for someone with the same name and birthday. How cool to be able to take that story and turn it into a novel. I’m curious where the cult angle came from and why she decided to make that Jessica’s background.
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